Many people ask me how I can be pro-life and for the death penalty. The death penalty is about respecting life. One of the best scriptures on this comes from the mouth of God in Genesis 9, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.”I don't really follow the logic. I guess he's saying that if we allow a person to kill another but don't kill the killer, it cheapens the value of the person killed. He also says that our society does not value children.
I also don't think the conclusion flows from that scripture. For one thing, shedding blood can be something less than death. For another, I don't get anything about respecting life from that scripture.
I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about the death penalty in general, other than if we're going to impose it then let's be damn sure it's imposed on the correct person.
My main concern is that trying to let scriptures dictate something as complicated and important as the death penalty is too simplistic. If I am out hunting, shoot at an animal and miss, and the bullet strikes and kills another hunter that I didn't see, death penalty? Blood was shed. Or, I come upon a man in my home assaulting a family member and I whack him with a bat, or shoot him, or stab him, and happen to kill him, death penalty for me? Blood was shed.
How about if I'm driving a get away car and my partner murders a person in the bank, (felony murder) should I get the death penalty? Blood was shed, but not at my hand.
What if it turns out that Manwill's killer has schizophrenia and voices told him to kill Manwill. Death penalty?
Once you start to allow for the infinite variables, black and white distinctions break down.