We, the VFFDP, will write a rebuttal essay to ’s article, Death Penalty: Jesus and Murder Victims' Families [Posted: 02/17/20133:17 am]. We chose to post it today, as on this date, July 23, 2007, was the The Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders. We disagree with almost everything he said and will like to rebut him with words and statistics.
The Petit Family
Our revenge instinct is strong in the United States. On this issue, we are out of step with our neighbors in Europe and North America and aligned with repressive governments like China, North Korea and Muslim nations. (In my view, there's much non-Muslims could learn from Islam on issues of personal morality and economic justice, but the death penalty is one of those issues where a faith built on grace and a faith built on works will struggle for agreement).
REBUTTAL: It is useless to compare our country with those like China, North Korea and Muslim nations. The U.S.A only executes people for First-Degree murder and not for corruption or espionage. You forget that Japan who lives across the Pacific has the death penalty and they have a low homicide rate. Whenever we mention Islamic Countries, we do so not because we support sharia law but we support the death penalty for murder. Although we do not agree with them in using the death penalty for homosexuals, adultery and apostate, we support it for murder, rape and terrorism. Personally, the Islamic countries have lower homicide rates, as they are tough on crime.
In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus overturns "an eye for an eye" and demands forgiveness. Absorb violence into yourself, he says. Hold loosely to material things. Work for terrible bosses and do more than they ask. Pray for your enemies. Love those whom everyone else hates.
REBUTTAL: DeConto is mixing up the love and justice of God. He is wrong. He is right to say that God wants us to love our enemies but what he failed to point out that the role of the government is different from the role of the citizens. If we and the government are to turn the other cheek, where will it lead us to if all our criminals, whether they are murderers or not, go unpunished?
And one thing I learned is that murder victims' families helped to get it abolished in Connecticut last year.
They opposed it for two reasons. (Here's their letter to the CT legislature: VFLetterWSignatures). First, the appeals process takes too long, so instead of closure, they have to keep reliving the murder in courtrooms over many years, even decades. Second, they feel the death penalty, because for a variety of reasons it's only used on particular kinds of murders, tends to prioritize some victims over others. "From experience, we can tell you that every murder is heinous, a tragedy for the lost one's family. The death penalty has the effect of elevating certain victims' families above others. Connecticut should be better than that."
REBUTTAL: The Politicians in that State only listened to Victims’ Families Against The Death Penalty, DeConto, has forgotten to mention that Criminals sentenced to LWOP will always get a chance to appeal for parole again and again, just take a look at Charles Manson, who is still alive in prison. If you look at The Eight Executed Terrorists, seven of them were executed less than 8 years after their crimes. Do you notice that the terrorist in Egypt was executed 9 months after being sentenced to death and 1 year and 9 months after the murders, swift and sure! The problems lie with the appeals process, not the punishment. Countries like the United Arab Emirates had succeeded in fixing their Justice System, we rather the State learns from them.
We may not be better than that, but let us not pretend that Jesus is on our side.
REBUTTAL: Of course, Jesus is on the side of us, the VFFDP! The blood of the victims of the Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders and the Sandy Hook Elementary Mass Shooting cries out for justice. Yet, the State of Connecticut had taken away the ultimate punishment. As usual, the abolitionists in Connecticut always KEEP SILENT about that two high profile murders. But, we know that Jesus is watching it and he cares for the Victims’ Families. The State will answer to him for failing to wipe out evildoers.
The victims of the Sandy Hook shooting