Special Alert on Capital Punishment

Murder Demands the Divine Justice of Capital Punishment

Michael A. Clark

THERE is a large body of law abiding Christian thinking people, who have an ever growing concern at the horrific amount of violence and bloodshed that is stalking our land and the failure of the ruling authority to implement true justice. The value of human life has been cheapened to the point where a person can be brutally murdered and the murderer walk free within a few years only to repeat the crime. 

That the abolition of capital punishment has been the direct cause of the cheapening of human life is not open to question. Whatever prison term the murderer serves reflects the value of the victim's life. If however, the murderer pays for the crime with his or her own life, the State exacts the maximum penalty and places the highest value possible on the life of the victim. The age of the victim, whether it is a child or elderly adult, should have no bearing on the seriousness of the crime and the need to exact the maximum penalty.

Since the abolition of capital punishment in 1965, approaching 100 people have been murdered by previously convicted killers. These are killers who subsequently have been released from prison. In effect, many innocent people have been sentenced to death by ruling authority itself, because it has refused to implement true justice. The consequences of this abdication of responsibility have produced a multitude of other problems.

The principle that the supreme penalty should be paid for the ultimate crime is true justice and a highly civilised one, being instituted by the Almighty. The Divine directive is clear in this matter; the ruling authority should not seek to torture the mind of a murderer by means of a cell-existence, reducing him or her to a vegetable. Nor should it offer release to the murderer so that the crime can be repeated. 

The death penalty is mandatory: the murderer has knowingly brought it upon him or herself.

In the case of kidnapping of persons for ransom, the Law of the Lord requires that this unspeakable crime shall also be punishable by death. This applies whether the victim is found alive or dead (Exodus 21:16). With this law in operation those into whose hands the criminal placed the victim of kidnapping, while negotiating the ransom demand, would also be liable to the death penalty. This provision would ensure a restraining effect on all those who might otherwise assist the kidnapper to terrorise the community in committing the crime. 

In the specific case of Northern Ireland, it was the terrorist killers who, over the years, retained power through acts of murder and it was government through failure to apply true justice that lost its authority and the power that accompanies it. The failure to execute those convicted of the ultimate crime led to a situation where government found itself having to consult terrorist murderers in the Maze prison.

All along the ruling authority has failed to implement true justice through fear; fear of pressure groups and fear of making wrongful conviction. The state that abandons true justice through fear will heap to itself a mountain of injustice and determine a course towards eventual self-destruction.

The fear of convicting the wrong person can never justify the failure to implement true justice. Furthermore, this danger has now been greatly diminished by the huge advance in scientific and forensic testing. We should also keep in mind the fact that the figure of those murdered by killers, who have been released, is vastly greater than those who have been wrongfully convicted of murder since 1965.

In times past when a breakdown of law and order threatened in the countries of the Celto-Saxon world, there was an instinctive turning to the code of national and social control which has proved to be infallibly effective -- the Law of the Lord. It is the Creator of Life Who instigated capital punishment in order to safeguard society and the lives of His children.

The Abolitionist movement, which has grown so strong in recent decades in Britain, is obviously not based on any truly moral grounds, despite its pious protestations to the contrary. It is mainly those who feel that it is, somehow, the fault of society that men are evil and that they should not be held fully responsible for their actions who have propagated it. Our Maker will never allow man simply to pass off his sin as the fault of his environment. 

It is high time as a nation that we woke up to the reality of evil that is in the world. We have rejected God and His Law and this, more than anything else has brought destruction upon us; but also, the gentleness of
the English nature has been abused by other cultures with their violent criminal patterns. The truth is the peace of the country is under attack by violent people that seem to be able to penetrate our borders at will. Yet the defence of the Realm is the first priority of government. 

Unlawful killings in Britain reached 850 in 2000, compared with just 282 in 1960. Guns are being increasingly used on an everyday basis despite the most stringent legislation on firearms. Innocent, law-abiding citizens are now in constant danger of being robbed, mugged or brutally murdered by an increasing army of thugs who move about the streets of our cities almost with impunity. 

The recently announced measures of Britain's Home Secretary to deal with street crime are to be welcomed, but the over 70,000 inmates of our overflowing prisons demand a far greater rethink of what needs to be done. For example, it is estimated that fifty per cent of prisoners are mentally ill. If we took out at least the seriously ill people and gave them treatment, including spiritual treatment, in special units or hospitals, they would free up both prison cells and the money for an area that is desperately needed. 

We believe that unless and until our national thinking can recover the reality of the true framework of justice for a God-orientated civilisation, there is little hope of a reduction of the bestial crimes which are fouling the lives of our people.

While Jesus taught forgiveness, it was strictly on a person-to-person level. It had nothing whatever to do with the State's responsibility for administering criminal law. The only person who can forgive the murderer is the victim and they are dead. The deterrent argument is also completely beside the point: murderers were not executed under the Divine Law merely as examples, but because that is what God's justice demands.

The lawful and peaceful order of our once great country is passing into the hands of alien powers and criminal hordes. On 2nd May, 2002, Britain yielded up the sovereignty of it courts to the new European human rights rules. Thus, without the approval of the Electorate, Ministers signed a new protocol after a decision by the Lord Chancellor to support the updated charter. This means that those who are supposed to defend the Realm have given away all rights to bring back the death penalty, even in a time of war. 

It is, therefore a matter of supreme national importance that the ruling authority in this Realm understands what, over the past three decades, it has increasingly failed to demonstrate it understands. This is, that Parliament and the Government do not have authority from the Electorate to transfer the Power to govern us and make laws affecting us, on this and other matters, to alien bodies i.e. the European Union. There can be no question but that the Government should reintroduce capital punishment regardless of what the supra-national powers in Europe seek to dictate. 

The sculptures over the main entrance of the Central Criminal Court in London, represent the Recording Angel in the centre, with Fortitude and Truth. Above this are the words "Defend the children of the poor and punish the wrongdoer" being a paraphrase of Psalm 82: 3-4. These are words that need to be remembered and acted upon by those who would rule in righteousness if we are to progress at all in the 21st century.

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