jasmine tridevil facebook colchicine gout treatment regimen azithromycin price thalidomide multiple myeloma side effects ketorolac eye drops price site officiel viagra order levaflaxcin lidocaine patch 5 buy aldactone without prescription pilocarpine hcl 7.5 mg cyclidox 100mg treatment tesco pharmacy viagra prednisolone 5mg quel est la composition du viagra relafen 750 mg tab moduretic tablet tadalafil 5mg from india cheap levitra india losartan potassium 100 mg side effects indian pharmacies cialis fast shipping zofran for children side effects diltiazem er 120 mg capsule order adipex online without a script cyclidox capsules for nespresso atacand candesartan cilexetil 8mg does cialis come in generic form dostinex for men lantus solostar pen instructions zyvox patient assistance program form cheap viagra next day delivery lexapro withdrawal symptoms dizziness polarmeds comcast login stanozolol for sale philippines is generic viagra approved by usa fda canada pharmacy online integra elocom krema upotreba meprate tablets 10mg safe way to byi viagra online jamaican peritol pills celebrex online bestellen augmentin antibiotic penicillin qsymia weight loss drug coupons printable viagra in italy cialis online pharmacy amex mcafee can u buy viagra at walmart doxepin side effects for dogs diamox side effects acetazolamide and pregnancy no prescription meds online paypal dose of pyridium for uti enxpensive viagra online buspar dosage forms substitute for albuterol for sale minocycline for acne ratings maxaman caye caulker belize seaside alternative zu viagra ohne rezept cyrux medicine man cialis price greece coumadin antidote medication vitamin k lexapro generic 2012 anastrozole for men sperm count canadian pharmacy fluoxetine amoxicillin buy canada cytotec online in usa flazol 500 tablet dimo terramycin ophthalmic ointment for humans suppliers of generic cialis omnicef 300 mg pil perancang diane cephalexin for dogs side effects entocort side effects viagra generico de la india ampicillin trihydrate for dogs depakote medication wikipedia tapiales de bloques de cementos orlistat price in pakistan tamoxifen for sale by paypal buy viagra 100 mg cod cleocin t solution price amermycin capsule size glipizide medication dilantin iv administration normal saline meds mexico olmesartan medoxomil drugs sildenafil citrate 100mg price american pharmacy alli sildenafil pulmonary hypertension pediatrics pastillas para adelgazar indomethacin 50 mg capsules obat siclidon doxycycline flomax prescription cialis que es marcumar drug identification hytrin side effects bph flagyl forte tab 500 mg www buy periactin pills in usa cialis farmacia free trial of viagra coupon amphetamine salts 10mg canadian pharmacy online viagra ca trental drug classification singulair medicine over the counter german cialis misoprostol in south african pharmacies buspirone 15 mg tab teva buy allegra d 24 hour acyclovir no script canada marcumar therapy appointment generika drugstore philippines branches ubat glyprin seroflo diskus hernia formule chimique de laŠponge terbinafine hydrochloride cream 1 antifungal cream mexico pharmacy drugs nexium camping noord holland viagra in karachi canada drugs no perscripition how much does nexium cost ginseng prices in kentucky 2012 can you get clomid in mexico can you buy elimite over the counter diltiazem side effects with alcohol nz prescriptions online epogen dosing cheat sheet nizoral pills cheap no perscription une femme peut elle prendre du cialis temovate ointment and cream luvox reviews for ocd forum online pharmacy levitra online meds buy levitra usa mupirocin calcium cream 2 and yeast infections ritalin weight loss drugrobaxin doxycycline hyclate for sale lyme disease medication dosage estradiol side effects/hair loss enapren 5mg effects how to order cytotec rapidtabs reviews chinese herbal viagra leeds ampicillin sulbactam reconstitution disgrasil capsulas prandin generic form levofloxacin side effects after what is mexitil medication buy frumil online evista side effects mayo clinic elimite for scabies for children lexapro withdrawal effects buy imigran recovery dyazide medication usage probepackung viagra levitra zithromax online canada dianabol stack with sustanon hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg online zoloft for anxiety disorder tadalafil canada online pharmacy catafast 50mg tramadol voveran without prescription promethazine with codeine syrup dosage xenical roche clindamycin phosphate gel reviews what is donepezil medication flazol medicine etodolac er 500mg cheap original viagra tadalafil australia zoloft for anxiety and depression bisoprolol fumarate 5 mg tab side effects kamagra dosage instructions klomifen pasticca benicar generic buying wellbutrin from mexico ranitidine hcl 150 mg side effects order lasix 40 mg without prescription best india perscription drugs ivermectin scabies virgara fruit and veg cheap prozac grafazol 500 clonidine for children to sleep amitriptyline were can i buy them atorlip 10 para que sirve parcopa orally disintegrating aspirin salazopyrin medication administration bayer website lavitra levothroid medication interaction saint martin garrigue wine clonazepam order online azithromycin 250 mg for mrsa cialis shivam cardizem cd 360 tretinoin cream 0.025 acne buying propranolol online sertraline withdrawal symptoms best life rx hytrin generic name unicure conditioner hair & skin requip restless leg syndrome medication topiramate side effects topiramate weight loss picareta de diamante minecraft mexitil mexiletine hydrochloride why does it take for my cialis to work omnicef antibiotic cefdinir liquid que es azithromycin 250 mg desogestrel ethinyl estradiol reviews on apidexin cost of levetra at walmart lasix for sale atepros 50mg epanutin medication dictionary robaxin overnight delivery rx customer care baytril side effects for dogs zithromax over the counter cialis tabs review best place to buy viagra online usa no subscription pharmacy online medstore anafranil 25mg tab venlafaxine side effects weight gain buy cialis with no perscription what is for tizanidine 4mg information cialis generika billig kaufen atosil tropfen beipackzettel medikamente cialis 20 mg 4 compresse paxil for anxiety and panic attacks budesonide nebulizer dosage prednisone dosage for allergies how much does chloroquine cost overnight pharmacy4u what is aldara medication benadryl for dogs dosage offshore pharmacy adderall cipla generic drugs price list condyline solution reviews ventolin hfa 90 mcg inhaler price cheap cialis 40 mg cialis testimonials no prescription meds overnight prandin medication dosage order non prescription prednisone buy viagra using paypal xanax side effects zolpidem medication drug indikasi misoprostol ciallis for sale allopurinol drug study goodrx reviews pheromones perfume for women nizagara ordering flurazepam hcl 30mg cap obetrol medication information
"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me" John 14:1
Home arrow Modern Issues arrow Capital Punishment arrow TENNESSEE'S DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
Are death penalty moratoriums a good thing?  David Gushee, in a February 2007 article (http://countercultureblog.com), argues that Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen's temporary suspension of all executions is indeed a good move.  In fact, Gushee wants a longer moratorium in Tennessee and nationwide.


Gushee says, "When the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that states could resume executions, they mandated that any state doing so must apply this ultimate penalty in a fair and consistent, rather than arbitrary and capricious, manner."  Certainly, if a state can make the process better, they should.  But is a long moratorium the only answer?


Gushee claims, "Tennessee's death penalty sentencing is rife with error.  Half of all death sentences in our state are overturned on appeal due to serious constitutional error, according to a study by The Tennessean."  But overturned cases don't mean these prisoners were innocent.  And Gushee's statement, "That number does not include those sitting on death row who are, in all likelihood, innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted," assumes, without much basis, their innocence.


Innocent People

If people like Paul House are truly innocent, then they should be released.  But if his case is so open and shut, why is he still in prison?  DNA testing, often used as an argument against capital punishment, can make cases like House's easier to deal with, not establish a reason to stop executions.


While some innocent people probably do get caught in the system, the risk is worth the injustice of the guilty living on death row for 20-plus years.  Besides, the innocents who die at the hand of those still on death row are probably far more numerous than those innocent people actually on death row.  (See two articles by Dennis Prager: Capital Punishment -- Another Argument For It and George Will and Capital Punishment.)


Race and Economics

Gushee then brings up the race issue by saying, "National studies repeatedly find both race-of-perpetrator and race-of-victim bias in death penalty sentencing.  In Tennessee, racial/ethnic minorities are vastly overrepresented on death row, and a full quarter of African Americans on Tennessee's death row were sentenced by all-white juries."  The issue is never, how many blacks versus whites are on death row, or how many whites versus Hispanics.  The question is, who commits more death-row-deserving crimes?  If the statistics show that blacks commit more heinous crimes than whites, then there should be more blacks than whites on death row.  And is it really that hard to make sure cases don't end up with all-white juries? 


Not all studies confirm the often used racist theory: "A 1991 Rand Corporation study by Stephen Klein found that white murderers received the death penalty slightly more often (32%) than non-white murderers (27%).  And while the study found murderers of white victims received the death penalty more often (32%) than murderers of non-white victims (23%), when controlled for variables such as severity and number of crimes committed, there is no disparity between those sentenced to death for killing white or black victims" (Wesley Lowe).


Gushee moves on to social and economic inequities, "In Tennessee, nearly every one of the 102 people on death row could not afford an attorney at trial."  Can Tennessee provide better public defenders?  If so, this would solve many of their problems.


Logical Thinking

We need to think clearly, as Gushee cautions, "It is not logical to respond to this evidence by affirming one's visceral support for the principle of life-for-life."  But the assumption to stop an already slow moving system isn't the answer to justice. 


He continues, "Would not such a passion for justice also require the fair application of this penalty?"  So why can't Tennessee, in the spirit of equal opportunity, start executing all people on death row?  The state could even give everyone on death row a two-year heads up.  Anyone still on death row after two years would be executed promptly according to a fast moving system that started with all white male prisoners.



Then Gushee pulls out the old insanity argument to mount sympathy for his case: "Would we also want to be sure that the people we are executing are morally responsible for their actions, rather than clinically insane, as are a number of our death row inmates?"  Should we always assume that everyone classified as insane needs to escape the death penalty?  Even if the answer ends up being yes, this problem could be solved by testing and then putting those who qualify in asylums.  (I wonder how many death row inmates would love the opportunity to test, or shall we say, audition?)


Inconsistent System

If Gushee is right in his statement, "Nationally, and in this state, the application of the death penalty is about as rational and orderly as who wins the lottery," surely a bit of ingenuity could be pulled off the shelf to make the system rational and orderly.  (See previous paragraphs.)


He admits that, "In the end, a small percentage of convicted murderers get the death penalty, and an even smaller group is actually executed."  But he uses this fact to point out the supposed randomness and inconsistencies of executions.  According to Gushee's admission, we're not talking about a fast moving conveyor belt in a slaughter house.  As best as I can tell, Tennessee has only executed a little more than 130 people since 1909.  It's a slow moving process, like the brain cells of Al Gore trying to think of something other than global warming.  So make the system more consistent, as I suggested above, but don't stop executions long term to do it.



Gushee then stands on the shoulders of DNA and asks, "How many innocent executed persons is too many?"  We obviously don't want to kill innocent people.  That's why we should work for a better justice system, rather than disable it altogether.  A little more than 1,000 people have been executed since 1976 in the United States, so again, we're not talking about a large number, let alone a plethora of innocent people.  My question is, how many innocent people die as a result of letting so many guilty live?  (Again, see Prager's articles.)


Fair Systems and the Bible

By referring to Deuteronomy 17:6, Gushee hopes to show how unfair our justice system is today.  But the point of the eyewitnesses in the Old Testament is overwhelming evidence to convict.  Our justice system requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.  So our system is fair.  Gushee refers to the New Testament's focus of mercy in hopes of persuading readers to his view.  But his passing comments on mercy could mislead.  Mercy can also be shown to the majority of citizen by making sure that true perpetrators of vicious crimes die swiftly for their acts, rather than outlive their victims' family members.  And let's not forget what the New Testament says about a government's role in justice.  Was the Roman justice system always fair?  (I can think of at least one famous innocent person who died at its hand.)  Yet, in Romans 13, God approved of governments carrying out capital punishment.



Gushee's goal is noble-a fair justice system.  I commend him for this aim.  But his call for a prolonged moratorium on executions is the wrong approach.  If Tennessee's system is unfair, it can be corrected without a long moratorium.  And when it's improved, it can be cranked up to breakneck speed-in the name of true justice ( See Ecclesiastes 8:11).


May the people of Tennessee review their current justice system and improve it, if need be.  But hopefully this act will not be another liberal move that uses a moratorium as a knife plunged in the back of Lady Justice.



For articles on why Christians should support capital punishment, click here

< Prev   Next >


Home    Site Map    About NNF    Search    Contact Us    Statement of Faith


Theology and pop culture from a conservative evangelical perspective.

Joomla Template design by RocketTheme