The Telegraph on 4 May 2009 wrote about how “Colorado plans to abolish death penalty and focus on unsolved murders”. That in itself is not surprising, but what is surprising is their reasoning behind it:
Supporters of a state senate bill to repeal the death penalty say it would save around $1 million (£668,000) a year in prosecutors’ time, defence lawyers’ fees and appeal costs.
So, let me get this straight: If you put someone behind bars for life, feed them, clothe them, provide utilities for them and pay guards to watch them, you save money? Don’t you think something is seriously wrong with our justice system, assuming that is even true?
God had no problems with the death penalty. It is not a violation of the 6th Commandment because the word used for “kill” should be translated “murder”. Not only did He institute the death penalty, but He even said that you were to take someone from His altar to exact justice.
But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
~ Ex 21:14-17
Lest you think that is only an OT concept, Paul wrote:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
~ Ro 13:3-4
If the death penalty meant death instead of the unjust actions of sitting around squandering taxpayer money filing appeal after appeal, then we would have the money to fight other crimes. If criminals were put to death, then the recidivism of criminals would drop as well.