Botched Execution Does Not Bring Abolition as Hoped

There had been hoping among those opposed to capital punishment that there would be a shift in views. Since the botched execution of Clayton Lockette in April, these groups thought there might be a move to do away with the execution portion of punishment. They held out the hope that at least in Oklahoma. This has not been the case.
Part of the problem has come from is the difficulty for states in finding the drugs needed to administer lethal injection. The pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell the drugs if their purchase is for use in lethal injections. This has caused most states to search for or create their own.
This hope was fueled by Gov. Mary Fallen’s suspension of all executions in the state. The suspension came because of Lockett’s botched execution. She wanted that execution and the states’ method reviewed. Hoping that this execution gone wrong would lead many to change the way they looked at execution. Many were disappointed when Oklahoma renovated the execution chamber and announced that it would commence executing condemned prisoners as soon as mid-January.
Oklahoma is not alone in its difficulty when it comes to executions. Other capital punishment states have also found it hard to find and obtain the needed drugs. This has led to the exploration of different methods, new and old.
What will this mean for those found guilty of capital crimes in the future. Is it possible that they will face hanging or death by electrocution?
What about the death penalty? Is it, as some say, cruel? Where we stand on this issue can reveal a lot about us and what we think. It is clear that there are those in our country who have committed heinous and wicked crimes. They have by their actions shown themselves to be untrustworthy to live in society. What then are we to do with them?
Those who oppose the death penalty say that such people should be kept in prison. They can do society no wrong as long as they are incarcerated. We do not kill them, and they cannot hurt others either. But, this too has a problem.
One apparent problem with this view is the question of justice. Is this the just thing to do? Is it just to ask the victim or their survivors to provide support for the person who victimized them?
And if we say yes, this is just, how do we know?
Who has decide that this is just? You see there is a problem when we talk about changing things that we find distasteful, especially in criminal justice. We have first to determine what justice is and who determines justness in justice.
Next we have the problems with the caging of another human being. When we remove liberty from a person, is this not cruel? Were we not created to be free and productive? When it is determined that a person will never be the latter and has forfeited his right to the former, has he not forfeited his right to life? Is this not what the Bible teaches us about punishment?
There is no verse in scripture that teaches that a person is to be imprisoned. No crime can we list, no sin we can name is deserving of imprisonment. In fact, this is not a punishment listed in the Bible, it is a sin. To imprison a person is akin to kidnapping and is itself a capital crime.
This points to the truth of the Bible. Proverbs 10:12 reads: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” These people are neither advocates for better treatment or compassion. Their kindness is in reality cruelty, both to the victim and the criminal. God is the only one who can teach us what justice looks like and how it may be executed. May He turn our hearts to Him.