Previously published in Examiner
Part one of a new series on reasons against capital punishment
Capital Punishment is always a difficult topic to write about because it is so controversial. The United States for example, has capital punishment while Canada does not. Capital punishment can be argued on an ethical, legal, religious, biological, or mental health standpoint.
There are pros and cons for each side of the controversy. As a Canadian and Montreal resident, this examiner agrees with Canadian abolishment of capital punishment. The Canadian law reserves, hanging, which is the form of capital punishment used, to police murders; and people who deal criminals everyday and are always in the line of fire.
Capital punishment means the end of one's life and that is scary on many levels. From a biological perspective
Religious/legal point of view
Often time the bible is quoted as a reference for capital punishment where passages such as "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" are quoted. Yes, this passage was Hebrew law during the Old Testament times and actually was derived from Hammurabi's code. It was replaced with the spiritual teachings of Jesus.
Yet, if we go back further to the book of Genesis we find that Cain killed Able; but God did not take his life, he punished him by banishing him.
The 10 commandments also say, "thou shalt not kill," so that means thou shalt not kill unless you are a government who makes that decision.
Examiner note: This is a double standard. This examiner maintains that only God has the right to take a life.
In the New Testament the Jews did not make their own rules though they did for Jewish matters. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish religious and governing body; however they were under Roman rule and had to abide by Roman law when it came to matters of the empire.
The New Testament is a testament to love not killing. Jesus preached, “ turn the other cheek”, which was very different from the Babylonian concept of an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. From a legal perspective this dichotomy must have been confusing; but, from a religious and mental health perspective it must have been even more daunting.