by J. Christian
May 20, 2018
Scripture Reading Acts 5:29: We ought to obey God rather than men.
Unless you’re not watchful, you know that there are severe issues in our land that need attention. We are not sure our country is moving in the right direction. Our core beliefs once assumed seem to be in shambles. One area of concern is our justice system.
Do we have swift justice anymore? Do we have justice anymore? Do we have borders anymore? Is there a basic sense of decency still there?
How we handle justice has evolved over the decades in our land. We’ll look at different approaches that have been taken, and hopefully see where we have gone wrong.
How many murders occur in America each year?
Are we dealing out justice as it should be?
What does the Bible say?
Let’s look at some facts about murder.
The number of murders has risen for two consecutive years, according to FBI statistics. The number rose 8.6 % nationwide to an estimated 17,250 murders in 2016. This was up from 15,883 in 2015. Recent statistics show that the percentage of murders per 1000 population is increasing significantly in the cities, while decreasing in the counties.
Consider the recent story of a man who shot and killed 2 cops. He said this in court while TV cameras were running: “There was no need to prove all this s***. I don’t (bleep) regret that s***. The only thing I (bleep) regret is I only killed two.” As he laughed and grinned, he said this in court to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White.
You may have seen this story earlier this year. There’s more. He was an illegal immigrant. We’ll come back to this later.
But this brings up the topic of the death penalty. Should this guy get the death penalty?
Most everyone has some strong heartfelt notions about the topic. Some consider it a “necessary evil”. Others are deeply concerned that in this day and age we would go “tit-for-tat” with killing someone. Some victim’s family members are so angered that they would like to be the avengers, not tomorrow, but today. Some believe that God’s plan is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, being a deterrent from other miscreants committing murder as well.
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, surely shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:12)
There is no “good” murder. Some murderers are unrepentant even after being made totally aware of what they have done. Some actually ask to be killed.
Not in favor of executions? Well the alternative is not good. The prison system is a huge nightmare. Some say it’s crueler to an inmate than capital punishment.
We have over 1.2 million people in prisons, and another 600,000 or more in jails. As you see in the chart, we have well over 6 million in the system in one form or another. Realize that this figure includes people on parole or probation as well. Over 3.5 million are those on probation. Another half million plus are on parole.
Yes, there is an enormous cost in the United States. More than $74 billion per year is spent on prisons, with over 800,000 people employed in the prison industry.
Typical headlines about prison costs read like these: “A Year in a California Prison Costs More Than a Year at Harvard” “Aging Prison Populations Drive up Costs”
Let’s examine the facts, and some history concerning the death penalty. First, let’s look at some history in nearby Hamilton County, of Cincinnati, Ohio, with some credit due The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Back in 1789, we had Fort Washington with a small Army garrison. Mathew Ratmore and John Ayres deserted and then were caught. According to Charles Greve’s “Centennial History of Cincinnati,” they were executed - - shot by firing squad as they stood in a corner of the fort. John Wilkinson, Commander of the fort, sometime later went further with this proposal: “One head chopped off in this way and set upon a pole on the parade might do lasting good in the way of deterring others.” These were the first executions known to occur here. They certainly meant business. When it came to hangings, apparently there was no “respecting of persons”. In other words, if you did the crime, you got hung, regardless of stature.
A few years later the gallows were built at Fifth and Walnut streets, at present-day Government Square. Then most civilian executions were performed by hanging. Greve wrote, “The execution was public, as all such affairs were at that time, and the people gathered to see it. Excursions were brought into the city and many came as far as fifty miles.”
According to the “Centennial History”, a man named Mays became the first to die there by hanging. He had stabbed a former friend to death. Many came to see the execution.
In 1897, Ohio went to the electric chair for executions. The executions would now be electrocutions using 1750 Volts. Two men from Hamilton County were the first in Ohio to be sent to the chair. William Haas was first to be executed. The same day William Wiley was put to death as well. Haas had killed a woman. Wiley shot his wife.
According to the Sacramento Daily Union, “Both executions were eminently successful. Physicians and experts pronounced the executions as perfect as it was possible to make them.”
Then there was the convict who had killed an elderly man for his money, and was also accused of poisoning three others to death.
Her name was Anna Marie Hahn. In 1938, she became the first woman to die in Ohio’s electric chair. The Governor, Martin Davey, said: “The crimes committed by Mrs. Hahn were so cold blooded,” per the Chicago Daily Tribune. She actually wrote a letter of confession before she died. “I don’t know how I could have done the thing I did in my life,” she wrote. “Only God knows what came over me.”
Over time more changes to executions came.
Alton Coleman died by lethal injection in 2002. He and Debra Brown during the 1980s went on a wide ranging tear of killing, raping and robbing people, including children. He was on death row in three states. His victims included a 15-year-old girl in Cincinnati. When Coleman was put to death, a victim’s father said, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.”
Notice that it was over a decade later that Coleman was put to death.
Here is some national history of the death penalty:
1834 - Pennsylvania becomes the first state to move executions into correctional facilities, ending public executions.
1846 - Michigan becomes the first state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes except treason.
1890 - William Kemmler becomes the first person executed by electrocution.
1907-1917 - Nine states abolished the death penalty for all crimes or strictly limit it. By 1920, five of those states had reinstated it.
1924 - The use of cyanide gas is introduced as an execution method.
1930s - Executions reach the highest levels in American history, averaging 167 per year.
On June 29, 1972, in the case Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court effectively voided 40 death penalty statutes and suspended the death penalty.
1976 – In Gregg v. Georgia, the death penalty was reinstated.
On January 17, 1977, a 10-year moratorium on executions ended with the execution of Gary Gilmore by firing squad in Utah.
1977 - Oklahoma was the first state to adopt lethal injection as a means of execution.
December 7, 1982 - Charles Brooks becomes the first person executed by lethal injection.
In 1984 - Velma Barfield of North Carolina became the first woman executed since the reinstatement of the death penalty.
1994 - President Bill Clinton signs the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that expands the federal death penalty.
1996 - The last execution by hanging takes place in Delaware, with the death of Billy Bailey.
January 31, 2000 - A moratorium on executions is declared by Illinois Governor George Ryan. Since 1976, Illinois is the first state to block executions.
March 1, 2005 - Roper v. Simmons. The Supreme Court rules that the execution of juvenile killers is unconstitutional. The 5-4 decision tossed out the death sentence of a Missouri man who was 17 years old when he murdered a St. Louis area woman in 1993.
December 17, 2007 - New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signs legislation banning the death penalty in the state. The death sentences of eight men are commuted to life terms.
March 16, 2011 - The Drug Enforcement Agency seizes Georgia's supply of thiopental, over questions of where the state obtained the drug. US manufacturer Hospira stopped producing the drug in 2009. The countries that still produce the drug do not allow it to be exported to the US for use in lethal injections.
July 7, 2011 - Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican national, is executed by lethal injection in Texas for the 1994 kidnap, rape and murder of Adra Sauceda in San Antonio. Despite pleas from the US State Department and the White House, Texas Governor Rick Perry does not grant clemency and the US Supreme Court does not intervene.
November 6, 2012 - A measure to repeal the death penalty in California fails.
January 16, 2014 - Ohio executes inmate Dennis McGuire with a new combination of drugs, due to the unavailability of drugs such as pentobarbital.
May 28, 2014 - A judge in Ohio issues an order temporarily suspending executions in the state so that authorities can further study new lethal injection protocols.
January 8, 2015 - Ohio announces that it is reincorporating thiopental sodium, a drug which it used in executions from 1999-2011, into its execution policy. The state is also dropping the two-drug regimen of midazolam and hydromorphone.
January 23, 2015 - The Supreme Court agrees to hear a case concerning the lethal injection protocol in Oklahoma. The inmates claim that the state protocol violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
March 23, 2015 - Utah Governor Gary Herbert signs legislation making the firing squad an authorized method of death if the drugs required for lethal injection are unavailable. The firing squad was last used in 2010 to execute a convicted murderer, Ronnie Lee Gardner.
October 19, 2015 - Ohio delays executions until 2017, citing difficulties obtaining the necessary drugs.
November 8, 2016 - Voters in California, Nebraska and Oklahoma are asked to weigh in on the death penalty with referendum questions on ballots. In all three states, majorities vote in favor of the death penalty.
April 20, 2017 - The FDA rules that imported vials of the execution drug sodium thiopental, ordered by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Arizona Department of Corrections, must be destroyed or exported within 90 days. The FDA had seized the shipment in 2015. Sodium thiopental is not approved in the United States.
In 1997 in Over-the-Rhine of Cincinnati, Ohio, Raymond Tibbetts beat his wife to death with a baseball bat, and stabbed her 21 times. He also killed his landlord downstairs, stabbing him to death, leaving four knives stuck in him. Several relatives of the victim said they wanted Tibbetts to be executed. He is currently on death row. What? This is 2018. He did the crime in 1997, and he was sentenced in 1998.
Tibbetts was earlier scheduled to die by lethal injection in 2015. Near that time national issues were stirring around which chemicals would or could be used for lethal injections. His execution was delayed until February, 2018. But Ohio Governor John Kasich has now granted a reprieve until October 17, 2018. Intervention by a group called Ohioans to Stop Executions and a letter from juror Ross Geiger to Kasich led to the reprieve. The juror’s reasoning had nothing to do with Tibbetts’ guilt of the actual murder. Regarding the sentencing portion of the case, Geiger merely contends he wasn’t given all of Tibbett’s childhood background history. Are you kidding me?
We saw that there were 17,250 murders in 2016. There were 57 in Cincinnati alone. These are not the counts for “shootings”, which are much higher. These are murders.
So, one might suspect there would be thousands of death sentences and executions each year as justice. Think again. Very few are executed.
We are only executing some tiny fraction of the murderers! Why?
And with the system as is, it takes a long time from conviction to execution.
Can you guess how long it takes, nationally on average?
The latest figures say 190 months! Not days, not weeks, months! That is almost 16 years! Are you kidding me?!
The system as is contains a myriad of courts, judges, clerks, bailiffs, reporters, jails, prison guards, food preparation, maintenance engineers, etc. With endless appeals and court proceedings, continuations, etc., is there any wonder why the convictions and executions for a murder take so long?
Some say it costs more to run a convict with a death sentence all the way thru the system to execution than it would cost to place the convict in prison for 40 years!
Logic might say they are wrong. But as is, it appears they are correct. They calculate all the costs including the lawyers, prosecutors, public defenders, etc. Society bears the cost of defending a murderer! But it doesn’t have to be that way and shouldn’t be that way. There is so much red tape. The system is overly complex. If we had a simple system, the cost/benefit would be a much better ratio. So with the correct system, then it certainly would not cost more to execute murderers! A man commits murder in a cold minute. No reason for it to take 16 agonizing years to administer righteous justice!
But most importantly, what does God say about this?
This most certainly angers our Lord. Scripture says, “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.” (Numbers 35:33)
Some believe the God of the Bible would not want another killing on top of the one that already occurred. They believe the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13) literally means no killing, not even to avenge the murder of another. Others believe the commandment actually means Thou shalt not murder, and does not apply to a justifiable execution.
It is widely accepted that this commandment means “Thou shall not murder.” The word in the 6th commandment in the original Hebrew is ratsach, (Strong’s #7523), meaning kill, especially to murder, also manslay. It is also used to mean manslayer, or murderer.
Moreover, in each of the following Scripture citations, that same Hebrew word ratsach is also translated to the English as “murder”, as follows:
They [the wicked] slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. (Psalms 94:6)
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; (Jer 7:9)
. . . if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt 19:17-19)
Jesus said the commandment referred to “murder”. So, it is more than reasonable to say the translation of the Lord’s Commandment was meant to be, “Thou shalt not murder”. In context with all the other applicable verses, this is the correct answer. Do not be confused by the number of mercy and forgiveness verses contained in Scripture. Certainly we are to be merciful, forgiving, and turn the other cheek - - in most situations. But that does not override God’s instructions given to us which are very serious, very specific, and very just.
Consider these verses:
These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. (Num 35:15-18)
This covers a lot! First you see where God provides mercy for the accidental (unawares) killing. He allowed for cities of refuge for the one who caused the unintended death of another to flee. A bit of distance will prevent future angry confrontations, and preclude the possibility of causing a bad set of negative events.
Next you will see that the Lord gets specific about one striking another with an instrument of iron. That today could include a hammer, a tire iron, or a knife. (That covers Mr. Mays and Mr. Tibbetts we read about earlier!) Next the throwing of a stone is covered. A stone might have been a more common weapon in those days. In more recent times you might consider a rounded hunk of lead (bullet) thrown (shot) out of a barrel as a projectile at lightning speeds (gunshot) somewhat comparable. A stretch? Maybe, but point made. Finally there’s the striking by a “hand weapon of wood”. Today perhaps a baseball bat (Mr. Tibbetts), cane, or night stick would apply.
But most importantly of all, what the Bible tells us here that, no matter the weapon, if one unjustly causes the death of another, he is a murderer. Further the murderer must be put to death. Justice. That is what is merciful to the rest of us. Very serious, very specific, and very just.
Does it stand to reason that the same God who ordered His people to slay thousands upon thousands of people would not even allow capital punishment!? What? Our God told people to kill? Let us read In Deuteronomy 20:
12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. (Deut 20:12-18)
Further, from I Samuel 15:
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Oh, but that’s just foreigners, you say. What about your own people? Consider this passage in Exodus, where God wanted to destroy those who made and worshipped the golden calf: “And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.” (Ex 32:27)
About three thousand men were then killed by the sword. The Lord did proclaim a time to kill (Eccl 3:1-3):
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (Eccl 3:1-3)
I’m trying to awaken you to truths of the Bible. The Bible should be your first source of the Truth. Not your Pope, cardinal, minister, or priest. They may have told you the New Covenant did away with the Law.
The Law was NOT done away with since the New Covenant or Testament! Jesus came to fulfill! Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt 5:17-18)
Remember our cop killer, the illegal immigrant?
Luis Bracamontes shot and killed two cops. He also shot a motorist in the head, then stole his car, then wounded another police officer before fleeing, along with his wife.
“There was no need to prove all this s***,” Bracamontes said. “I don’t (bleep) regret that s***. The only thing I (bleep) regret is I only killed two . . . I will break out soon and I will kill more, kill whoever gets in front of me ... There’s no need for a (bleep) trial,” according to The Sacramento Bee.
Further, this illegal was cheered by inmates when brought into prison. He is a Mexican, 37, and had been arrested and deported multiple times prior to his shooting rampage.
Want to know what else is crazy about this? His latest crimes happened in October of 2014! It was just this year he was brought to trial. Remember, this is not one of our citizens! Then his “lawyers” tried to have him declared mentally incompetent for trial. Thankfully, incompetency wasn’t granted. His lawyers hoped he could avoid the death penalty, since a blood test found a high amount of methamphetamine in his system that may have made him paranoid.
Three and ½ long years of court proceedings, delays, continuations, etc. finally ended with a conviction on February 9, 2018. April 25, 2018 he was given the death penalty.
Why is this animal still alive? Have we no backbone at all? He has mocked our entire system.
Do you think maybe we are going the wrong way with our “justice” system? What kind of looney system do we have?
We are too nice; too forgiving; to an extreme. And too politically correct.
If we have thousands of murders each year, how come we only have a handful of executions for justice? There should be no excuses. No endless appeals, no technicalities.
Where does it say we should give a convicted death-row criminal years worth of additional time at our expense wiggling through endless appeals and court proceedings? Where does it say we should pay for a system to hold them for years, and all the associated costs?
God’s law is so simple, so great, so efficient. Why not use it?!
We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Let’s make one point with utmost clarity: This country was established as a Christian nation. No doubt. “Separation of Church and State” is a fraud, an outright fraud. You will not find this bogus statement anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. What you will find is that the very First Amendment distinctly says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” It’s freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. There is an all-out war engaged on Christianity.
If you thought differently, perhaps you have been brainwashed by the humanists in control of so much of the country. But don’t feel bad. Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country’s Christian roots. We read that even the elect will be deceived.
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt 24:24)
"It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled." M. Twain.
Christians, we have allowed this to happen, letting the heathen push their anti-Christ beliefs on us, in the schools, the town square, and the town hall. Passivity is not a virtuous trait when the enemy is attacking! Trust that your liberty comes from God, not from man.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
"The , the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this — it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity." John Quincy Adams
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22: “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us.”
"That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion . . . Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple (hesitate) not to call him an enemy of his country." John Witherspoon, signer of Declaration of Independence
But now that you know, you have work to do. Study. You will learn so much more that has been kept from you. Remember, there are people, not necessarily Christian, working the other side. Ones such as Abe Bonowitz, spokesman for Ohioans to Stop Executions, who said, "If you can guarantee the guy is never getting out, why do you have to kill him?"
Because the Lord God Almighty said so!