Christianity and the Death Penalty

Authored by: Tobias Winright

Routledge Handbook on Capital Punishment

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138651579
eBook ISBN: 9781315624723
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315624723-12

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Abstract

Newspaper headlines such as the following occasionally appear in the United States: “Death penalty overturned because of Bible quotes” (Davis, 2015). This particular article reports about a U.S. district judge’s overruling of a death sentence because the prosecutor’s closing statements included selected quotes from the Bible, without any objection from the defendant’s defense attorneys, encouraging jurors to vote for capital punishment as in accordance with God’s will. Not only is this case an example of inappropriate conduct by the prosecutor, it is also a misconception about both how most Christians in the twenty-first century understand the Bible and how they discern where to stand on controversial moral issues such as the death penalty.

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