Should James Holmes Face Capital Punishment? Batman Movie Massacre…

 

SHOULD JAMES HOLMES, WHO COMMITTED

THE BATMAN MOVIE MASSACRE, BE EXECUTED?

Jesse Morrell

I was deeply disturbed and upset when I heard about the movie theatre tragedy/massacre. James Holmes cowardly opened fire on a crowd in a dark movie theatre as they were watching The Dark Knight Rises. The utter disregard that a person can have for the well-being of others is utterly appalling. This completely senseless behavior ought to be publicly, swiftly, and severely condemned by our government, whose purpose is to protect our rights and promote our well-being.

But I read something today that also greatly disturbed me. Fox News reported, “District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday that their office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims’ families.”  And ABC reported that she said, “We want to get input from the victims as to whether we’ll seek the death penalty.” My initial thought was, “What? What kind of philosophy of government is this? They might pursue the death penalty? They are going to consult with the victims families about that?”

 Before I go further, let me explain my own philosophy of government as I derive it from the Scriptures:

1. The purpose of law is to protect the rights of the people and promote their well-being. See Deut 5:29; 6:3; 6:24; 10:13; Jer. 7:6, 23; 32:39; Lk. 6:9; Rom. 13:4; 1 Cor. 9:10; Eph. 6:3

2. The purpose of the penalty of the law is to give authority and influence to the precept (Ecc. 8:11). The sanctions of the law serve as motives for its obedience (Deut. 30:19; Deut. 11:26-28). The execution of the penalty of the law is a public expression of the governments regard for the law and its determination to uphold and maintain it for the good of all, and thereby deter and discourage others from doing as the criminal has done (Deut. 21:21-22; Eze. 23:46-48; Rom. 11:20-22; 1 Cor. 10:5-6; 1 Cor. 10:11; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:7).

3. The severity of the penalty ought to be designed to publicly declare the value of the law that was violated (Gen. 9:6; Exo. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21). The severity of the penalty is a public expression of the government’s estimation of the value of the law that was transgressed. In the case of murder, the life of the victim is to be declared so valuable that the murderer himself it put to death for taking it. Anything less than this is unjust to the law and to the victim, because their value would not be declared but their life would be devalued.

4. The purpose of executing the penalty of the law is not to console or gratify the personal and private feelings of the victims (Dan. 6:7-16; Eze. 18:32; 33:1; Lam. 3:32-33), but to honor and uphold the law for the good of all. Penalty is designed to be a public example of the governments regard for the law and determination to uphold it in order to discourage its transgression and encourage its obedience.

With this in mind, read again the quote that disturbed me: “District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday that their office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims’ families.”

The first part that bothered me was that “their office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes.” This man murdered in cold blood 12 people and attempted to murder an additional 58+ people. He would have slaughtered everyone in the theatre if he could have. Why then is the death penalty only a possibility that they are “considering”? Is the value of the victim’s lives in consideration? Are they debating if the value of their lives demands it? Are they debating just how valuable the lives were that he took? It should be a given, not a consideration, that the death penalty is going to be the object of prosecution. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Gen. 9:6). It would be unjust to the law, to the victims, and to our society for this criminal not to receive the full extent of what he deserves for his crime.

The government is under obligation to do this, as the Scriptures declare, “For he [the government] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Rom. 13:4).

Not only should he be executed for his crime, but it should be a public execution to have its proper deterring effect. These private executions at Midnight defeat the deterrent purpose and fall short of their necessary effect. Public executions upon those who deserve it are approved of and even demanded in the Scriptures, as a public example to deter others: (Deut. 21:21-22; Eze. 23:46-48; Rom. 11:20-22; 1 Cor. 10:5-6; 1 Cor. 10:11; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:7; Rev. 14:10)

The Bible says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecc. 8:11). These types of tragedies are becoming more common place. This is no longer an isolated case. Therefore, the public execution of Holmes ought to be enforced as a public expression of the governments determination to maintain the law, and thereby discourage and deter others from considering and contemplating from doing as this man has done. Being soft on crime has the inevitable tendency to encourage crime and embolden criminals.

Through a public execution, the government should declare that human life is of such great value that to take human life in murder will be punished with the loss of your own. The precept of the law is of such great value that nothing less than the loss of the transgressors life can adequately declare the value of the precept. Is not the criminals life also valuable? Yes it is. That’s the point. If their life was not valuable, taking their life for murdering someone else would not declare the value of that precept. How valuable the precept of the law “thou shalt not murder” be, if violation of it is punished with the loss of your own? The life of the innocent is so valuable that only taking the life of the murderer adequately declares it. Anything less would be a public expression that the life of the victim, and the precept of the law, was not really that important and valuable. The severity of the punishment declares the governments estimation of the value of its laws, and the value of the rights and well-being that they protect and promote.

The second part that disturbed me was, “She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims’ families.” And, “We want to get input from the victims as to whether we’ll seek the death penalty.” The good of our society demands the death penalty be executed upon Holmes, to uphold the law and discourage its transgression, whether the family of the victims demands it or not. The thoughts and feelings of the victim’s families ought to be irrelevant as to whether or not the government executes the death penalty upon criminals who break the law. Their private and personal opinions, preferences, and emotions should have no bearing on the prosecution of the law and the execution of the penalty. Whether Holmes is executed or not is not the decision of the victim’s family to make. It is the government that has that authority and is obligated to do so, not to console or gratify any personal vindictiveness or bitterness on the part of the victims and the victims families, but for the good of the people at large.

Noah Webster said that vengeance is “The infliction of pain on another, in return for an injury or offense. Such infliction, when it proceeds from malice or mere resentment, and is not necessary for the purposes of justice, is revenge, and a most heinous crime. When such infliction proceeds from a mere love of justice, and the necessity of punishing offenders for the support of the laws, it is vengeance, and is warrantable and just. In this case, vengeance is a just retribution, recompense or punishment. In this latter sense the word is used in Scripture, and frequently applied to the punishment inflicted by God on sinners.”

Albert Barnes said, “The design of punishment is not revenge or vengeance; for it is not to gratify private feelings or to redress private wrong, – which is the true notion of revenge or vengeance. It is not the infliction of pain for an offence committed against an individual. It is always, though it may be for a wrong done to an individual, inflicted for the offence regarded as perpetrated against the peace of a community; against the lawgiver; against the law itself. When a man is punished for assault and battery, it is not pain inflicted considered as a recompense to the individual who has been injured or wronged: it is as a just retribution for a crime against the peace of the society and the honour of the law… When a man is punished for murder, it is not as an act of recompense to the murdered man, – for he is beyond the reach of all such recompense,- but it is for an offence against the law and the peace of the community… The crime is punished, not as a matter of private vengeance or satisfaction, but as due to public justice… the affair is no longer one of a private character, but becomes one pertaining wholly to the public.”

If a murderer like James Holmes is not executed in capital punishment for his heinous crimes, the government would be saying that his life is more valuable than the lives of his victims. The government would be declaring that the life of this murderer is more valuable than the honor and authority of the law which protects our lives, and therefore that his life is more valuable than the well-being of the society. The honor and authority of the law demands his execution, as does the good of society.

No doubt, my endorsement and recommendation of capital punishment will incite the question, “Ought not Christians to be forgiving and merciful?” The answer is yes, in regards to personal affairs. But we are talking about law, government, and the good of society. Even in God’s moral government, He only forgives sin and exercises mercy through the atonement of Christ, which substitutes our penalty and thereby honors and upholds the law as our penalty would have. Jesus was publicly executed to honor and uphold the law that we violated! The mere exercise of forgiveness in governmental relations without such an atonement would leave the purpose of penalty unfulfilled and therefore, such forgiveness would endanger the well-being of all and would consequently be unloving. Pardon dishonors and weakens the law, encouraging transgression, unless an atonement is made. Never does God ever forgive in a way that would weaken or dishonor His law, or encourage its transgression.

God, as the Moral Governor of the Universe, only forgives our violations of His moral law through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which satisfied public justice. God has upheld and honored His law through the atonement, just as He would have through the execution of the penalty, so that transgression against His law is discouraged through this public expression of His regard for His law and determination to maintain it. It would be unsafe to the public for God to pardon sin without the atonement, as this would encourage the transgression of His law throughout His universe under the hope of impunity. So God substituted our eternal penalty of damnation with the atonement of Jesus Christ, to show His regard for His law and maintain His government, even though He remits our penalty when we repent. When the atonement brings us to repentance, it is now safe to the public for God to forgive us. But God only forgives and exercises mercy when public justice is satisfied by the atonement.

Certainly, Christians ought to be forgiving toward others for personal offenses, but when a crime against the community is committed the civil government is obligated by the well-being of the community to uphold the law and enforce the penalty. See Romans 13 again. If the government were to forgive crime, without any atonement made to honor and uphold the law, then the authority and influence of the law comes to naught. As we saw, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecc. 8:11).

Someone might say, “But James Holmes is an unrepentant sinner who will go to hell if he is executed. He should avoid capital punishment to get a chance to repent.” My answer: he is 24 years old. He has had plenty of time to repent and get right with God. But his repentance is irrelevant in regards to capital punishment. The law ought to be properly vindicated and his crime discouraged. Repentance or not, the law must be upheld and enforced for the good of society. By not taking his life, the government declares that the law was not that important and his victims not that valuable. We should not endanger the population and employees of the prison by sending murderers there, nor waste tax payer dollars. The death penalty takes time before it is executed so Holmes will have time to repent and get right with God. And they should send a minister to him before he is executed, for him to get right with God and avoid the damnation of hell through Christ. God can forgive him through the atonement, but our government cannot forgive him without being unjust to the law and the society.

A person’s rejection of God and refusal to come to Him should not give him impunity or immunity from the civil penalties that he deserves and which should be executed upon him for the good of society. Think of how many unrepentant sinners he has already killed, and how many unrepentant sinners he may kill in prison if that is where he is sentenced. James Holmes should not be given any more opportunities to send unrepentant sinners to hell. What about their time to repent, which James Holmes has cut short and can continue to cut short if he is allowed to live?

It may be the fear of the death penalty that will make Holmes consider eternity and his appointment with God on Judgment Day, and consequently bring him to repentance. So the execution of the death penalty may bring him to repentance so that he finds salvation in Christ, while not executing the death penalty upon him may only prolong and encourage his impenitence.

Someone might say, “But the Bible says that killing is wrong!” Actually, the Bible teaches that murder is wrong. Murder is defined as the shedding of innocent blood. Right after God gave Moses the Ten Commandments where He forbad murder, He commanded Joshua to kill entire people groups for their wickedness. Was God commanding that His own commandments be violated? No. God only forbad the shedding of innocent blood. Murder is unjustified killing. But the Bible declares that a murder has forfeited his right to life. There is no injustice done when a murderer is executed. There is only injustice done when he is not.

Someone might say, “You are referring to the Old Testament to support capital punishment. Things have changed for the New Testament.” Yes, but capital punishment was not merely for the “Old Testament” (Gen. 9:6; Deut. 21:21-22), as Jesus endorsed capital punishment in the New Testament (Lk. 19:27) and so did the Apostle Paul (Acts 25:11). Paul said, ” For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die” (Acts 25:11). Jesus even voluntarily endured the taking of His own life to atone for our violations of God’s law (Jn. 10:18). The atonement of Jesus Christ, above anything else, shows that God believes that laws that promote the well-being of others ought to be honored, upheld, and enforced by penalties. And when the precept of the law is important enough, it ought to be honored, upheld, and enforced through capital punishment.

Interestingly enough, it has been my research and study on the atonement that has given me an understanding of the basis and purpose of capital punishment. A lot of the points I just wrote about above came from my upcoming book, “The Vicarious Atonement of Christ” that will be available soon.

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16 Responses to Should James Holmes Face Capital Punishment? Batman Movie Massacre…

  1. I wrote this a few years ago: MY CASE FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

    Jesse Morrell

    When discussing issues like crime and punishment, we must ask the questions, “What is the purpose of laws, or, why is crime bad?” and “What is the purpose of penalties?” These are foundational questions relating to government, both human civil government and God’s moral government, that we should think about.

    Laws are for the good of the community. Laws protect and promote the rights and welfare of the citizens. The purpose of law is to promote well-being. Crime is bad because it is at odds with the public well-being. Punishments uphold the law. If the law is violated, disobedience would be encouraged in the community unless the disobedient are punished. Even Jesus Christ suffered capital punishment on the cross in order to maintain and support the law of God which we violated! The law of God was so important that the blood of Christ had to be shed when it was violated! Likewise, human life is so valuable, “thou shalt not murder” is so valuable, that the blood of the criminal needs to be shed when it is violated. Punishment must give an expression of the value of the law, or else the law is not being properly vindicated and the object that the law seeks to protect is not being properly valued.

    Someone said to me online that we should love our enemies and therefore we should not want capital punishment. I answered, “I wouldn’t want my enemies to live in a community where someone could murder them without facing capital punishment. Their life is not being fully protected or valued if someone could take their life without losing their own. Therefore because I love my enemies, I want capital punishment in our society.” We would live in a much better society if capital punishment was threatened and executed when it ought to be.

    He also objected to capital punishment because it does not reform the criminal and, he argued, the purpose of punishment is to reform the criminal. He went on to say that if we do not punish criminals in order to reform them, than our motive for punishing them must simply be revenge. I answered, “The purpose of punishment is not to reform the criminal. The purpose of punishment is to discourage others from doing likewise. The punishment must also declare the value of the law that was violated. Life is very valuable and therefore laws protecting life are valuable. Therefore when someone murderers another person, the only adequate expression of the value of the law they violated is to take their own life. Anything less is being unjust to the law, the community, and the victim. Punishments almost never reform the criminal. That is not their purpose. The purpose of penalties is to express the value of the law, to prevent crime by discouraging others, to protect the innocent. The purpose of penalties is not to reform the criminal. The penalty of the law is not supposed to be executed for the sake of personal revenge, nor to gratify the feelings of the victims or the relatives of the victim. The penalty of the law is supposed to be executed to protect the community by upholding the law. Crimes are not prosecuted as personal revenge, they are prosecuted for the sake of a community. We can forgive criminals, but the law cannot.”

    It is very important for us to have a proper understanding of the purpose of laws and the purpose of penalties. Studying the moral government of God has helped me to understand this. God sends sinners to hell for all of eternity. Therefore the purpose of punishment must not be to reform the criminal. It must be to uphold the law, to discourage sin, to declare the value of the precept, to protect the community, etc. Penalties are to be executed upon violators in order to maintain the authority and influence of the law, so that the law does not fall into contempt, so that crime is not encouraged, so that the public welfare is not endangered.

    He also objected to capital punishment, calling it murder which is forbidden by the law of God. I answered, “Murder is the shedding of innocent blood. Some people deserve to die and for the government to take their life, it is not murder. Right after God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses He commanded Joshua to take the life, or to kill, entire communities. The reason God said was because they were wicked people. It was not murder for Joshua to take their life because they deserved to die. Murder is the shedding of innocent blood, like abortion.”

    Human life is not being valued when it can be taken by a person without facing capital punishment. The law which forbids murder is not being properly upheld if a person can commit murder without facing capital punishment. Murder is not being properly discouraged if it can be committed without capital punishment as the consequence. A community is not being properly protected or valued if murder can be committed being the execution of capital punishment. As long as murders are committed, it is right and just for the government to execute capital punishment. The government is obligated to do so. To do any less would be wrong and unjust.

  2. Those who question the death penalty do so because of their low estimation of the value of the law. Some people have more sympathy for the criminal than for his victims. A person must have a very low moral character indeed if they do not believe that certain sins are worthy of death. Our society does not abhor sin as it ought to, hence it is becoming weaker and weaker on crime. For example, some judges let child molesters off with very minor penalties in my opinion. This is because those judges have a very low regard as to the value of the law that these people violated. The severe the penalty is, the higher regard the person has for the law.

  3. Someone said to me, “If he violates his parole with the same kind of offense, then do away with him.” I said, he’s already killed 12 people. Are you saying that if a person murders one person, they should get a second chance unless they murder a second? But this man who murdered 12 during his crime, should still be given a second chance by the government? That is illogical. The first man, who only murdered twice, should be ‘done away with’ because he murdered two people at two separate times. Bu Holmes should be given a second chance because he murdered 12 people during his first crime? Why not treat his 12 victims as 12 different crimes. Then he has violated your principle of “doing it again” and should therefore be “done away with.”

  4. The facebook discussion on my wall about this blog post:

    Stephanie Murray Wow good points. Shouldn’t the whole practice of criminals spending years and years on death row getting appeal after appeal also be done away with?!

    Jakob Skrzypa kill the bastard, he dosent deserve to live

    Karl Oskar Björkman • Friends with Stephanie Murray As a Swede I think this discussion and text is truly interesting. Most sociological studies has clearly shown that capital punishment is ineffective: Countries that have banned it have had lower crime rates the following years, in countries that have allowed it the crime rate has increased. Another perspective is gun laws. There is an obvious connection between liberal gun laws and amount of people being killed, shown in many studies. So, America, you have a choice, if you want to expose your own citizen to the risk of being shot, allow capital punishment and liberal gun laws, if you don’t, do the opposite. Call me weird, but I come from the most peaceful country in the world and I have a hard time seeing the pros of people being killed.

    Jesse Morrell Karl, can you show me these “studies” that prove that capital punishment encourages crime? It should not be hard to see that being weak on crime encourages it. If you follow this philosophy that the softer the punishment, the less crime there will be, we should conclude that there would be no crime at all if there were no penalties. But of course, no penalties at all would encourage crime. The lawl would fall into contempt and have no authority or influence at all without any sanctions. The stricter the penalties, the greater authority and influence that the precept has. I can show you within family government how this works. When I tell my children “don’t do that” but I don’t do anything to enforce that, they keep doing it. When I threaten, “don’t do that again or you will get in trouble” I’ve seen them stop it immediately. The threat of penalties encourages obedience. Here is a “sociological study” for you: never discipline your children and see if they respect and obey you. And regarding guns, outlawing guns only disarms law abiding citizens. What is too bad is that James Holmes was the only one that had a gun in that theatre. What if all the men in that movie were armed? How far could James have gotten? The victim count would be less.

    Jesse Morrell I can show you that capital punishment certainly is a preventative. There are stories of criminals convicted of murder, who were not executed but sent to prison and they murdered again once in prison. There are even stories of people convicted of murder and instead of being executed, they are eventually released from prison only to murder again. But you cannot show me a single story of a murder that was executed who murdered again after that.

    Karl Oskar Björkman • Friends with Stephanie Murray Jesse: I’m sure your logical ability is correct, I also believe that harder punishment should make people make fewer crimes, but according to science, that’s not how it works. The human mind isn’t always logical. People don’t commit crimes thinking about what will happen if they get caught. As I said, I agree with your conclusions, they just don’t match the reality. How the scientists have explained this very illogical connection is different, but one explanation is that “people don’t do what you say, they do what you do”: which in this case means, “if the state can kill people, so can I”. Don’t kill the messenger, I’m just the guy who took to many sociology courses. I’m sorry but this is the fact. Capital punishment and liberal gun laws creates more dead citizen.

    Jesse Morrell Here is a study with charts that show the correlation of capital punishment being enforced and not enforced and the increase and decrease of homicides. It shows that when capital punishment is enforced, homocides go down. When it is not enforced, it goes up. http://www.johansens.us/sane/law/capdeter.htm

    Annika Björk Karl, Jesse asked for the studies you referred to. Do you have any to show?

    Jesse Morrell But as I said in the article, execution ought to be public to have its deterrent effect. The problem we have in America is that capital punishment is done in secret, privately, at night time, at Midnight. Why not in the public square at high noon? If capital punishment does not deter crime, it is probably not being done publicly.

    Jesse Morrell ‎”And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree…” Deut. 21:21-22

    Shayne Campbell • I would say lock him up for a long time until he decides to repent. If he violates his parole with the same kind of offense, then do away with him.

    Jakob Skrzypa why spend taxpayer money so that this bastard can eat 3 meals a day, get free education, workout, watch tv and have a place to sleep after what he did? fuck that kill him

    Jesse Morrell The execution of penalties, or the lack there of, certainly does have an influence upon the mind of criminals. When I was 15 years old I got into a fight and hit another kid in the head with a glass bottle. This was a felony offense. What did the law do? Since I was a juvenile and it was my first offense, I was only sent to juvenile hall for a weekend and then put on probation. The result? I thought the law was a joke and I was invinsible. I have no respect for the authority of the law. I continued my crimes until I was facing a possible Larsony charge. As my second felony, I would have faced 5-10 years as an adult. The result, I was afraid. I regretted what I did. I saw that it wasn’t worth it. Now I had respect for the authority of the law. And I looked to God for deliverance and was born again. Even the dumbest criminal has regard for his own well-being (as all sinners are selfish). Even criminals make choices which they think will result in their good. Bank robbers rob banks, for example, because they think they will benefit. But if the government shows that “crime doesn’t pay” and enforces the law with proper penalties, this does have impressions upon selfish and benevolent minds alike.

    Jesse Morrell All the criminals I knew, and I knew a lot, committed crimes thinking that they would get away with it.

    Shayne Campbell • Simple concept: I value human life more than money. Having the government endorse retributive justice is like saying it’s okay to kill people to resolve conflicts. I do understand what that psycho did was horrible but we need to look past the blinds of vengeance and make sure he succeeds the requirements of restorative justice not only for himself but for the victims and the community (even though that’s highly doubtful, we must give it a shot). Living a life filled with guilt of killing people is a worse punishment than a quick death. If he gets the death penalty, then that’s the government’s choice. I’m simply putting forth my opinion.

    Jesse Morrell Shayne, he is 24 years old. He has had plenty of time to repent. But his repentance is irrelevant in regards to capital punishment. The law ought to be properly vindicated and his crime discouraged. Repentance or not, the law must be upheld and enforced for the good of society. By not taking his life, the government declares that the law was not that important and his victims not that valuable. We should not endanger the population and employees of the prison by sending murderers there, nor waste tax payer dollars. They should send a minister to him before he is executed, to get right with God. God can forgive him, through the atonement, but our government cannot without being unjust to the law and the society. The Bible doesn’t teach a ‘two strikes and your out” principle on murder, like you suggested.

    Jesse Morrell Capital punishment is not to be executed merely to serve retributive justice, and certainly not at all to serve the purpose of revenge, but rather to serve the purpose of public justice.

    Dale Pierce I could care less what the scriptures say, but go with the quote attributed to Hanging Judge Isaac Parker and if by some chance he did no say this, he should have as it sounds like something he would have said. “The men I hanged never killed again. There were men I didn’t hang…who did…” When a killer of this magnitude escapes the death penalty what they are really saying is his life is more valuable than his victims.

    Dale Pierce ‎”The sword of judgment is about to fall on your guilty head,” Judge Isaac Parker and this he DID say once from the bench.

    Jesse Morrell ‎”If he violates his parole with the same kind of offense, then do away with him.” He’s already killed 12 people. Are you saying that if a person murders one person, they should get a second chance unless they murder a second? But this man who murdered 12 during his crime, should still be given a second chance by the government? That is illogical. The first man, who only murdered twice, should be ‘done away with’ because he murdered two people at two separate times. Bu Holmes should be given a second chance because he murdered 12 people during his first crime? Why not treat his 12 victims as 12 different crimes. Then he has violated your principle of “doing it again” and should therefore be “done away with”

    Shayne Campbell Jesus once said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5: 43-44).

    Dale Pierce Parole is for burglars, drug dealers and street preachers violating noise laws. It should not be for murders whoa re, as in this case, obviously guilty and there is NO doubt whatsoever of it, then so long!!!!!!!

    Jesse Morrell ‎”When a killer of this magnitude escapes the death penalty what they are really saying is his life is more valuable than his victims.” Right, and the government would also be saying that his life is more valuable than the honor and authority of the law which protects our lives, and therefore that his life is more valuable than the well-being of the society. The honor and authority of the law demands his execution, as does the good of society.

    Benjamin Joseph Stenson If the penalty is not executed for a single transgression of the law, then the wording of the law should be changed to read, “Do not do such and such more than once”, “Do not murder during your parole for murder” Why not change the law to say that. Then the penalty can be consistently upheld. We could change the ten commandments to say “Thou shall not sleep with your neighbors wife a second time after you have already been caught earlier that week”

    Dale Pierce As for repentance, as a nonchristian I could care less. I also kind of doubt the repentance thing as to a man, when I was reading a book a while back on the condemned, they all came to Jesus or supposedly did,. Terrific,. Maybe if they would have found Jesus before hand they would no have been int hat lifestyle that got them on detach row and this is from an avowed NONCHRISTIAN.. On the other hand, let us assume Christianity is real…ok…so Holmes here gets a chance to repent before frying…terrific…how many do his victims are in hell because they did not get the same chance to repent and why should their killer be afforded such luxury?

    Dale Pierce Somewhere back in time and I forget the name but he may be found in Blood Letters and Bad Man, this one yellow killer went tot he gallows and became a Christian before he died or so it seemed, even working a few church people who visited him on the row. Paraphrased, as he was on t he trap door he gave some sappy Christian speech and then his true colors came through and he shouted “You’re all a bunch of bastards…” then went on about how he was not repenting….it was all lies. As the guard put it, he (the killer was so contemptible that he had to lie int he face of God for a few more seconds of life.

    Jesse Morrell A person’s rejection of God and refusal to come to Him should not give him impunity or immunity from the civil penalties that he deserves, for the good of society. Think of how many unrepentant sinners he has already killed, and how many unrepentant sinners he may kill in prison if that is where he is sentenced.

    Dale Pierce Ditto for the Karla Faye Tucker case and her Christianized life on death row is another example. if sincere, fine, great wonderful, but I found it suspicious when she was about to get her shot, she was not as keen to going to heaven and meeting Jesus as one might have thought she should have been…..

    Dale Pierce Well if he doesn’t get the death penalty maybe the cons will fix him up like they did Dahmer. By the way Jesse, if you see Dahmer in heaven don’t trust him or eat any dish he may bring to a church potluck up there.

    Jim Rogers Jesse, I would like to say that your argument is very well stated but the reason that there is even a question regarding the death penalty in this matter is entirely due to the influence of humanism in our culture. According to the Humanist Manifesto (1933), they “regard the universe as self-existing and not created.” Without a creator, we are not created in God’s image, our lives have no more value than the animals that we use as food. “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values (ibid).” Therefore, it follows that everything to the humanist is relative. It is only the opinion of the “culture” that matters (although, in reality, what they mean by this is the opinion they believe the culture should have).

    Humanists have taken it upon themselves to fundamentally transform every institution to conform to their own specific goals, regardless of the original intent of the founders of that institution. “Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world (ibid).” As Paris Reidhead put it, in his great sermon, ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt,’ “humanism is like a miasma out of a pit that just permeates every place. … humanism is like an infection, an epidemic. It just goes everywhere.”

    The stated aim of the humanist is to undo all forms of Capitalism. They are, “firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible.” Their goal is to eliminate God in our Churches, our Schools, our Government, and even our Marketplace. Then they intend to establish democratic socialism as the new reigning political and economic order. They have been working at it for close to a hundred years.

    I would urge all Christians to take a few moments to read the humanist manifesto. Our job as Christians is to recognize it and expose it for the diabolical lie that it is. The Humanist holds no quarter with the Christian. Christianity and Humanism are at complete odds with each other, they are opposing world views. Humanism has gradually permeated the Christian mind set in America because it has become the prevailing atmosphere. Those men that God has placed on the wall, have either been ignored or asleep. This must not go on. We must rise up and speak the truth. We must take our churches back, we must take it upon our selves to educate our selves, our children, our families, our neighbors and our cities.

    Dale Pierce If the Bible says we should execute this son of a bitch i have a new found love for the bible!

    Jesse Morrell I just added this to my article: Someone might say, “But James Holmes is an unrepentant sinner who will go to hell if he is executed. He should avoid capital punishment to get a chance to repent.” My answer: he is 24 years old. He has had plenty of time to repent and get right with God. But his repentance is irrelevant in regards to capital punishment. The law ought to be properly vindicated and his crime discouraged. Repentance or not, the law must be upheld and enforced for the good of society. By not taking his life, the government declares that the law was not that important and his victims not that valuable. We should not endanger the population and employees of the prison by sending murderers there, nor waste tax payer dollars. They should send a minister to him before he is executed, for him to get right with God and avoid the damnation of hell through Christ. God can forgive him through the atonement, but our government cannot forgive him without being unjust to the law and the society. A person’s rejection of God and refusal to come to Him should not give him impunity or immunity from the civil penalties that he deserves and which should be executed upon him for the good of society. Think of how many unrepentant sinners he has already killed, and how many unrepentant sinners he may kill in prison if that is where he is sentenced. James Holmes should not be given any more opportunities to send unrepentant sinners to hell. What about their time to repent, which James Holmes has cut short and can continue to cut short if he is allowed to live?

    Jesse Morrell Our society questions the death penalty because of its low estimation of the value of the law. Some people have more sympathy for the criminal than for his victims. A person must have a very low moral character indeed if they do not believe that certain sins are worthy of death. Our soceity does not abhor sin as it ought to, hense it is becoming weaker and weaker on crime. For example, some judges let child molestors off with very minor penalties in my opinion. This is because those judges have a very low regard as to the value of the law that these people violated. The severe the penalty is, the higher regard the person has for the law.

    Jesse Morrell Notice that even the Apostle Paul did not object to his own capital punishment if he deserved it: ” For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die” Acts 25:11

    Dale Pierce Would the Jesse of old killed if it wasn’t for fear of the death penalty.???????

    Dale Pierce Old time wild west judges like Isaac Parker, Well Spicer and such had the right idea.

    Jesse Morrell I admit that before I became a Christian, I had a hit list of people I wanted dead, and contemplated how I could get away with killing certain people, but I feared being caught. I would have no doubt murdered if I knew I would get away with it. Those who do murder do so because they think they will get away with it, that they can out smart the law, etc. The government, therefore, ought to severely and publicly execute murderers.

    Dale Pierce Ditto. I would admit to the same .No street preachers, by the way, are/were on my list.

    Jim Rogers Those who are concerned (and I believe rightly so) with Holmes’ chance to repent would be well served to pray that he learn the fear of God. He will have plenty of time to repent. But, let me remind everyone. Deut 19:11-13 makes it clear, we are not to shrink back from taking the life of a murderer, and we are not to pity them.

    Jim Rogers This is really good stuff Jesse.

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa stopped reading when you mentioned religion. relgion and state should always be seperate.

    Jesse Morrell I noticed that my article on my blog is already getting hits from people searching the internet for “possible punishments for james holmes” “james holmes execution” and “james holmes death penalty” https://openairoutreach.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/should-james-holmes-face-capital-punishment-batman-movie-massacre-2/#comment-240. Maybe this article will continue to get more of an audiance as this trial continues and it will help people understand the governmental purpose of penalty, and consequently the need of Christ to die for our sins. The article clearly explains why God needed an atonement to forgive, so many readers of this blog will see the intelligence and rational of the Bible.

    Dale Pierce I have found a new love for Deut.

    Jim Rogers Jesus quoted Deuteronomy often.

    Jesse Morrell Dennis, the american legal system was founded upon the Judeo/Christian ethic and principles. The declaration of independance appealed to nature’s God and our constitution outlines the inalienable rights granted by God. No doubt the government should not legislate what we should and shouldn’t believe, or how we should or shouldn’t worship. That is why our founding fathers fleed the tyranny of the british government. They wanted religious freedom. Government should outlaw behaviors, not beliefs. But to say that we cannot get civil governmental principles from looking at the moral government of God, would be a rebuke to the founding of our govenrment.

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa yah, well we also used to think the sun revolved around the earth. there is no reason to base ones principals off of a book that is full of loop holes, contradictions, metaphors, interpretations and with every new reprint seems to somehow come into line with the current civilization

    Kathy Fischer Excellent post!

    Jesse Morrell Like it or not, the God of the Bible was the basis for the Declaration of Independance which started this country, and the basis for the Constitution which formed our legal system.

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa so was slavery, it helped carve tunnels, farm fields, build. i guess we should still be employing that method.

    Jesse Morrell Speaking of slavery, did you know that William Wilberforce was a Christian and he was the one who had slavery abolished in England? And that the leaders of the abolishionist movement in America, like Oberlin College, were Christian? You can thank Christianity for abolishing slavery in our society.

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa AND for starting it. so?

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa you want to pick and chose what points you will have something to say about you show just how misguided following religion has made you.

    Jesse Morrell Why is it that when it comes to the purpose of starting our country and establishing its legal system, unbelievers say that our founding fathers were “Diest” but when it comes to the slavery issue, “They were Christian!”

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa YOU are the one who said that. why is it when you back a christian into a corner and they have nothing left to say to defend their farce they redirect to another point which is off track to what they are discussing?

    Jesse Morrell Isn’t the basis for the argument against slavery that “God has made all men equal”? What basis is there without that?

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa sure, and super mega church leaders are as equal as i am with my old car and truck. they buy a brand new car every year, live in a mansion and never really work, but tell people to give until it hurts.

    Ian Hutchinson • Friends with Annika Björk I believe very strongly that no-one should be able to go out and commit murder without being aware that their life may be forfeit. Mercy can always be shown in suitable cases, but the value that society must put on a human life is a life for a life.

    In the UK the death penalty was gradually withdrawn over a period of 7 years. The first stage was in 1957 when it was reserved for certain murders and only for the direct perpetrator. This followed a very difficult case in 1952 when a mentally deficient 19 year old, Derek Bentley, was hanged following the shooting of PC Miles by Bentley’s accomplice, Chris Craig, after Bentley had been arrested. I believe that the execution of Bentley was wrong but the effect on armed robberies in England & Wales the following year was dramatic. From about 200 a year it went down to 4!. The change in 1957 removed the risk of being hanged from those who didn’t pull the trigger & armed robbery crept up to around 700 a year. The removal, in 1964, of capital punishment for murder produced a trebling to 2100 such robberies in 1967. That number is now astronomical & murders are a daily occurrence to the extent that one London Borough in 2004 had more murders in one month than the whole of the UK in the year of 1963—the last whole year of the death penalty. So it wasn’t a deterrent? The figures speak for themselves. Have a search for Angela Wooliscroft online and ask ‘Would she have died if Hart had been facing his own death for the crime?’ Such cases became common after 1964.

    A major difference in the UK compared to the USA is that the sentence had to be carried out within, I believe, 90 days or it was automatically reduced to life imprisonment. THAT is why it was an effective deterrent, unlike the years & years that appeals go on in the US. It was also carried out in modern times in a very quick & humane way. No long walks & protracted holding areas; the record time was 7 seconds from the time the cell door opened, admitting the executioner & attendants, to the time the prisoner was dead after the drop in the room behind the condemned cell. The prisoner had no idea that the wardrobe concealed the door to the noose. That is good justice, but, as I said, mercy can always be given in appropriate cases.

    Jesse Morrell I believe in equality of the value of life, not in our economic standing or status. Now we certainly are on a side track, so let’s get back to discussing capital punishment.

    Jesse Morrell I was looking at charts that showed the gradual and major increase of crime in places like Sweden since the 1950s.

    Dennis Lang • Friends with Jakob Skrzypa check and mate. have a good life and try to not appologies too much for being human, it wasn’t your choice right? chronicles of Riddick. convert or die

    Jesse Morrell I hope you are not saying “check and mate” for our slavery debate. As there is no basis for anti-slavery except God has made all men equal. If there is no God and human life is the accident of the universe, why not enslave each other? After all, if there is no transcendent and infinite mind that legislates morality, there is no basis for absolute moral law that is universally obligatory.

    Dale Pierce With me executing these bastards is NOT a biblical or spiritual issue, but one of justice. I would love to be the one to spring the trap door on Holmes.

    Jesse Morrell It may be the fear of the death penalty that will make Holmes consider eternity and his appointent with God, and bring him to repentance. So the execution of the death penalty may bring him to repentance, while not executing him may only prolong and encourage his impenitence.

    Jesse Morrell Someone messaged me and told me that they disagreed with y comments on guns, as the safest countries they have been to have had strict guns laws. I said, one of the reasons why the constitution gave us the right to bear arms was in case the government became tyrannical. Adolf Hitler had very strict gun laws. Everyone had to register their guns in Germany so the government knew right where they were. The Nazi’s came and rounded up all the guns and burried them in cement in sidewalks. So when the Nazi’s came for the Jews, they couldn’t defend themselves. Of course, the Nazi’s still had guns. In those countries where you said there were no guns, did the government not have guns either? And if there is a good reason why the government should have guns, then there is a good reason why we should as well. The government isn’t supposed to be anything more than an extention of our own rights.

    Benjamin Joseph Stenson If Americans continue to elect leaders that refuse to execute those who commit abortion, I expect their extreme disregard for human life will continue to manifest itself in more and more shootings and other violence. If the population does not even care about those who are EASIEST to pity, how will they do any better when it comes to everyone else? It seems like self-inflicted natural justice. America’s wicked heart is a ticking time bomb. Our justice has become make-up on a corpse.

  5. Someone on facebook said that I leaned too much on the Bible in this article. I said, It was the Judeo/Chrisitan ethic and principles that laid the foundation of our legal system. Our society borrows much from the civil legal system we see under the law of Moses. The Declaration of Independence cites nature’s God as it’s authority and that was the start of our nation. And the Constitution of the United States, which is the basis of our legal system, cites God as the granter of our inalienable rights. No doubt our founding fathers were seeking religious freedom when they forsook Britain. But they were seeking freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Separation of Church and State, to them, meant that the State should not legislate how we should or shouldn’t worship God, but not that our civil government isn’t to be based upon biblical principle, as this is contradicted by their own practice.

  6. tom3forcier says:

    First, please stop quoting the King James version of the bible to drive your point home. An educated person can see right through it; for example when you quote Romans, the word wrath means fear, this is the primary deterrent to crime, fear of punishment, not death. Second, you need to read a little deeper; you cannot use the old testament as an end all beat all argument because it is just that, OLD. Jesus gave the gift of life not the gift of death, the old testament was full of stoning, torturing, and fear of GOD. Jesus came to the earth and taught life and love, He then gave his life so that YOU would have your sins forgiven in the eyes of the lord, so you may have eternal LIFE. I want you to think about Jesus hanging on the cross feeling the thorns push a little deeper into his forehead as he brings your name to mind and accepts the sins of your life as a final sacrifice for your eternal soul. Now do the same for James Holmes; I want to say that I despise his actions and if I was sitting in that theater with a gun on my hip and my wife or children at my side, there would have been no hesitation, I would not have shot to wound or maim. However there is a difference between self defense and pre=meditated murder. Jesus took this mans sins on himself and was forsaken by the father just the same as he took your sins. There is no ranking in the eyes of God when it comes to sin, there is only a cloud of black that will simply be sent away from his presence. I believe that when Jesus knelt down in front of the crowd (John 8) he was writing out the sins of each man there and when he stood to declare the simple truth that they had sin in them just as the woman did, they had to face the truth. I do believe that this man needs to be punished for his sins but who are you to put a worth on anybody’ life! Did you pay the price for that 6 year old girls life?!? Did you carry you own cross up a hill?!? Better yet did you shake off these sins and rise from the dead so that you could prove to all that you are the son of God? I will admit that I did not read all of you lengthy post and I will not read it because it hurts that you may spread this junk to a person that will take it to heart. You need to change the title of this post to “Should there even be a death penalty” because There is only one true judge and he will not be sitting the bench for this mans earthly trial.

    • You should read the entire article. I addressed your objections in it: Someone might say, “You are referring to the Old Testament to support capital punishment. Things have changed for the New Testament.” Yes, but capital punishment was not merely for the “Old Testament” (Gen. 9:6; Deut. 21:21-22), as Jesus endorsed capital punishment in the New Testament (Lk. 19:27) and so did the Apostle Paul (Acts 25:11). Paul said, ” For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die” (Acts 25:11). Jesus even voluntarily endured the taking of His own life to atone for our violations of God’s law (Jn. 10:18). The atonement of Jesus Christ, above anything else, shows that God believes that laws that promote the well-being of others ought to be honored, upheld, and enforced by penalties. And when the precept of the law is important enough, it ought to be honored, upheld, and enforced through capital punishment.

    • And this part of the article also addresses your objections: No doubt, my endorsement and recommendation of capital punishment will incite the question, “Ought not Christians to be forgiving and merciful?” The answer is yes, in regards to personal affairs. But we are talking about law, government, and the good of society. Even in God’s moral government, He only forgives sin and exercises mercy through the atonement of Christ, which substitutes our penalty and thereby honors and upholds the law as our penalty would have. Jesus was publicly executed to honor and uphold the law that we violated! The mere exercise of forgiveness in governmental relations without such an atonement would leave the purpose of penalty unfulfilled and therefore, such forgiveness would endanger the well-being of all and would consequently be unloving. Pardon dishonors and weakens the law, encouraging transgression, unless an atonement is made. Never does God ever forgive in a way that would weaken or dishonor His law, or encourage its transgression.

      God, as the Moral Governor of the Universe, only forgives our violations of His moral law through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which satisfied public justice. God has upheld and honored His law through the atonement, just as He would have through the execution of the penalty, so that transgression against His law is discouraged through this public expression of His regard for His law and determination to maintain it. It would be unsafe to the public for God to pardon sin without the atonement, as this would encourage the transgression of His law throughout His universe under the hope of impunity. So God substituted our eternal penalty of damnation with the atonement of Jesus Christ, to show His regard for His law and maintain His government, even though He remits our penalty when we repent. When the atonement brings us to repentance, it is now safe to the public for God to forgive us. But God only forgives and exercises mercy when public justice is satisfied by the atonement.

      Certainly, Christians ought to be forgiving toward others for personal offenses, but when a crime against the community is committed the civil government is obligated by the well-being of the community to uphold the law and enforce the penalty. See Romans 13 again. If the government were to forgive crime, without any atonement made to honor and uphold the law, then the authority and influence of the law comes to naught. As we saw, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecc. 8:11).

      Someone might say, “But James Holmes is an unrepentant sinner who will go to hell if he is executed. He should avoid capital punishment to get a chance to repent.” My answer: he is 24 years old. He has had plenty of time to repent and get right with God. But his repentance is irrelevant in regards to capital punishment. The law ought to be properly vindicated and his crime discouraged. Repentance or not, the law must be upheld and enforced for the good of society. By not taking his life, the government declares that the law was not that important and his victims not that valuable. We should not endanger the population and employees of the prison by sending murderers there, nor waste tax payer dollars. They should send a minister to him before he is executed, for him to get right with God and avoid the damnation of hell through Christ. God can forgive him through the atonement, but our government cannot forgive him without being unjust to the law and the society.

      A person’s rejection of God and refusal to come to Him should not give him impunity or immunity from the civil penalties that he deserves and which should be executed upon him for the good of society. Think of how many unrepentant sinners he has already killed, and how many unrepentant sinners he may kill in prison if that is where he is sentenced. James Holmes should not be given any more opportunities to send unrepentant sinners to hell. What about their time to repent, which James Holmes has cut short and can continue to cut short if he is allowed to live?

      It may be the fear of the death penalty that will make Holmes consider eternity and his appointment with God on Judgment Day, and consequently bring him to repentance. So the execution of the death penalty may bring him to repentance so that he finds salvation in Christ, while not executing the death penalty upon him may only prolong and encourage his impenitence.

    • Since you believe in protecting life through self-defense, you should also believe in protecting the public by deterring murder through capital punishment. If killing a murderer is justified on the grounds of self-defense, then killing a murderer is justified on the grounds of public justice.

  7. tom3forcier says:

    It seems that one of your main arguments (If not the main argument) for capital punishment is the deterrent of future crimes. I have to say that religious beliefs are not as relevant as you think here. James Holmes as well as any person capable of committing such a crime as this is not going to be deterred by the threat of capital punishment. I am no psychologist, just as I am no theological scholar, but this man was propelled not by the normal thought patterns that the average person may possess, but by some sort of psychosis. I believe that this causes many of you points to be moot as there is no threat that would deter a mind that is not capable of processing these types of thoughts.

    • The purpose of punishment is not merely to deter others who are of like mind with Holmes, but anyone who is contemplating murder. The penalty that the government inflicts upon murderers is a public expression to everyone of their value of the law, estimation of the evil of its transgression, and determination to uphold and maintain it. And like all criminals, Holmes did this for his own pleasure. There has been no indication from anyone that has known him that Holmes is mentally impaired or mentally handicapped. He is evil. Plain and simple.

    • Benjamin says:

      tom3forcier, it sounds like you are not allowing for free will. People have the power of self-determination and moral intention. If all heinous acts were necessitated then there would be no point in having laws in the first place. Law (precept and penalty) is a moral influence. If the human will was necessitated then precepts and penalties would be the wrong tools to use in governing the human will. Society way too often uses false claims of inability/necessitation/determinism as an excuse for doing away with rules, accountability, guilt, justice, etc. They are like undisciplined youth whining “I can’t” when they know they are supposed to do something.

  8. tom3forcier says:

    when it comes to mental illness I believe free will is a difficult concept to apply. the average person has 100% free will because they are 100% in control a person with schizophrenia for one example cannot even tell you what is real or not much less base their decisions on actual facts. That is one example of how free will is tricky.

  9. I don’t think that his crime is done in psychosis. For one reason, he has planned the whole scenario for weeks before doing the act of massacre. Second reason, he is a fairly educated man, he knows how to reason. Whatever his reason might be, is not justifiable in killing innocent lives. I believe that public execution on this man ought to be implemented. Proper justice must be served according to the crime committed! The government prolonging this case does not do any good. He must be served with capital punishment ”publicly”. This man is no respecter of people’s lives and must be punished accordingly.

  10. Excellent points Bro. Jesse. Well said. I was a about to say, “My sentiments exactly” but then, sentiments really have nothing to do with it, as you so aptly stated.

    • jen says:

      On Judgement Day, God will not say “You poor, schizophrenic, mentally impaired thinker, here, here come into heaven” He will be thrown into hell. Those are just a bunch of man-made , garbage, corrupt, godless society excuses for sin. Made by people who are easily fooled by the wicked, ie suckers, rather than fulfilling their public duty and responsibility by executing justice

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