death row prisoners

5 Reasons Why Jesus People Ought Oppose The Death Penalty

Prison illustration, Nipitphand / Shutterstock.com
Prison illustration, Nipitphand / Shutterstock.com

As I stated yesterday, I believe that America’s justice system is broken and in need of desperate repair. One of those areas is the practice of putting our citizens to death, something I believe that all Jesus People should resoundingly oppose.

When I was a conservative evangelical, I was a huge supporter of capital punishment for all of the standard reasons. I even had a quick response when folks correctly brought up the hypocrisy of being against abortion while simultaneously being pro-death penalty, a position I previously argued you can’t hold and still call yourself “pro-life.”

However, when I decided to follow Jesus instead of simply being a Christian who paid him hollow worship while conveniently ignoring the red words, I was forced to abandon my support of the death penalty (and abandon my support of violence in general) as part of Following Jesus 101.

While America’s broken justice system is a complex issue, perhaps the first area we can fix is by abolishing the death penalty in all 50 states. Here’s why I think Jesus People should be leading the charge on this issue:

Vengeance Gets Its Day in Court

In January 1985 a sign with flashing lights outside a bar in Macon, Georgia, advertised a "Roosevelt Green Party." Roosevelt Green, a destitute black man, had been sentenced to die in Georgia's electric chair on January 9. The party consisted of a "happy hour" beginning at the time of Green's execution, with free drinks for everyone in the bar when the official announcement of his death came.

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