The Death Penalty is an egregious act that disproportionately affects minorities and the poor. The Justice System is broken. We need a major reform. This is a highly important matter to discuss and stand against for any person who knows what it means to “Desire Mercy and Not Sacrifice.” as Hosea 6:6 states and Christ reiterates.
We have an obligation as human beings and those of us who are called Children of God to act justly with our neighbor and to reflect the love and mercy of Christ through our words and actions.
There are too many innocents that are in jail for a crime they did not commit as well. Here are some statistics on the whole matter:
“In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks.”
– United States General Accounting Office, Death Penalty Sentencing, February 1990
BLACK 1,267 41.75%
LATINO 385 12.69%
WHITE 1,305 43.00%
OTHER 78 2.54%
NAACP-LDF “Death Row USA (October 1, 2014)”
According to the Innocence Project’s estimates, between 2.3 percent and 5 percent of all US prisoners are innocent. The American prison population numbers about 2.4 million. Using those numbers, as many as 120,000 innocent people could currently be in prison.
Prison was meant to rehabilitate not rehabituate. When a person goes into jail and then released they are locked in a cycle of poverty many times because employers don’t trust them. This is not conducive for a healthy society.
People often times use the Bible to support the policy of capital punishment but consider these verses:
Deut. 17:6 “On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.”
Ez. 18:13 “He lends at interest and takes a profit. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.”
Called Lex Talionis “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38-42
From Sojourner website: “he who is without sin may cast the first stone”
“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” Matthew 12:7
Another time Jesus uses this same quote to rebuke the religious leaders when they criticize him for having unsavory friends, telling them: “go and learn what this means — I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
In a variety of circumstances, we see that God values mercy and compassion above all else — which means we should be people who value mercy above all else. After all, mercy seems to be God’s love language.
Galatians 3:24: Wherefore the law [of Moses] was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
What God wanted was for them to grasp the bigger picture, to learn to love him and to love each other. The Pharisees’ attitude of condemning and scorning “the sinners” when they themselves were not perfect–instead of, perhaps, using their own moral high ground to help raise these sinners up and help them to repent–showed that they did not understand the bigger picture.
There desperately needs to be a new social movement. We can’t claim to be a great nation when we are one out of nine countries that still executes people. We are grouped with Iran, China, Somalia, Sudan and North Korea.
This needs to change. Fight with me to uphold Justice and Mercy for all people by advocating for the abolishing of the Death Penalty which disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable.
Also fight for the release of Richard Glossip and for the countless others currently imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
I pray that God restores proper Justice to this nation instead of lip service.