I have my own ideas on capital punishment and its implementation. Yes, I do believe utilizing capital punishment, a.k.a. the death penalty, is a viable deterrent to criminals who are prone to commit capital crimes; but only if the government is consistent in the execution of such punishment. I am going to lay out my ideas on capital punishment, and how it should be implemented.
The first recorded murder committed was when Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy because the LORD GOD accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but rejected Cain’s sacrifice. When the LORD GOD confronted Cain about having murdered his brother, the LORD GOD assigned a punishment to Cain, a consequence for Cain’s evil actions. However, in that punishment the LORD GOD did not put Cain to death. When Cain protested that the LORD GOD’s punishment was too harsh to bear, and claimed that if someone found him and knew that he had murdered Abel, they would in turn kill him (Cain). In His great mercy, the LORD GOD put a mark on Cain so that anyone who would kill Cain would suffer seven-fold the punishment they exacted upon Cain.
After the earth was filled with violence and all flesh had been corrupted, the LORD GOD Himself carried out capital punishment on a worldwide scale; and put to death everything that lived on land and had the breath of life in it, with the exception of the eight people of Noah’s family and the creatures the LORD GOD had led to the ark to save in order to replenish the earth with life.
After the flood was over, the waters had dried up from the land and been moved into their designated areas, the LORD GOD pronounced capital punishment for any beast or human being that was responsible for taking the life of a human being.
During the time Moses was leading the Hebrew people (Israel) from Egypt to the land the LORD GOD had promised to give them, the LORD GOD set forth a number of laws that included capital punishment (the death sentence), and not all of the sins (crimes) that were punishable by death were some type of murder. So there are other crimes that may be punished by death. In addition to this, there was recognized a relative of the murdered called the “avenger of blood”. This “avenger of blood” was the relative responsible for putting to death the person who murdered his family member. In this was also set up “sanctuary cities/towns” where someone being pursued by an avenger of blood could go for sanctuary. The elders of these sanctuary cities were responsible to protect the person fleeing from the avenger of blood until the truth of what happened could be determined. If the person fleeing from the avenger of blood was found to be guilty, he/she was to be turned over to the avenger of blood; if he/she was found innocent of a capital crime as prescribed by the law, the avenger of blood was present at whatever proceedings they had and was required to stop his/her pursuit and leave the person alone. This was to help prevent people innocent of capital crimes from being put to death.
Which crimes should be punished by death?
I believe each state in our country (The United States Of America) is responsible for deciding for itself which crimes should be punished within their sovereign state with the death penalty, and this should not be interfered with by any other state, or by the federal government.
How should the death penalty (capital punishment) be meted out?
This is where I have my own original thoughts.
First of all, if a person is found guilty of a capital offense (a capital crime punishable by the death penalty), they should immediately be assigned a second trial one year from the completion of the first trial in which they were found guilty. All the evidence should be locked up for six months, at which time a second prosecutor should be assigned to look at all the existing evidence and begin a new search for any new evidence that would strengthen the case or prove the accused innocent. A second defense attorney should also be assigned at this time. The case should be heard by an entirely different judge and jury, or a tribunal of three judges. If the person is found guilty the second time, the death penalty should be assigned to be carried out within seven days. There are to be no more motions, appeals, or trials at this point.
Here is where my ideas may get a bit interesting. If the victim of a capital crime is alive, then it is up to this victim to decide whether the perpetrator is assigned life in prison with no possibility for parole or pardon, or the death sentence. If the perpetrator pleads guilty and decides upon the death sentence, then the perpetrator must be the executioner of the death sentence. If there is a surviving victim, this surviving victim must be responsible for carrying out the death penalty. If the surviving victim cannot bring him/her-self to execute the death penalty, then the guilty party is automatically assigned to a life sentence with no parole, appeal, or pardon. A pardon can only be exercised if evidence is found that exonerates the accused, and must be exercised; this is not to include a violation of process or a technicality, but must be exonerating evidence.
If the victim of a capital crime is dead, then the family of that victim is responsible for deciding if the accused should be assigned the death penalty upon completion of a second guilty verdict. If the family decides for the death penalty, then someone from that family (in my thinking, the head of that family[the avenger of blood]) is responsible for executing the death penalty. If they cannot do so or bring themselves to do so, then the guilty party must be immediately assigned a life sentence without parole, further motion, or pardon unless exonerating evidence is found.
In order to prevent the false accusation of a person in order to put them to death, I also recommend that anyone found make a false accusation, to plant evidence, or commit perjury for or against the accused be given a life sentence without parole, appeal, or pardon. Actually, I recommend that anyone found to commit perjury or planting evidence be sentenced to the harshest available penalty that the person on trial could be subject to if found guilty; whether that planted evidence or perjury would seem to help or harm the accused.
It is my strong belief that there would still be some practice of capital punishment, but that it would be greatly lessened; and that people would take such crimes and such trials and such punishment much more seriously. I also believe that consistency in this practice will serve as a great deterrent against capital crimes.
If the accused is found to have an other than guilty verdict in the second trial, then it is my recommendation that within 30 days a new trial be commenced before either a single judge, or a tribunal of judges. The case should be tried anew in full, and the reasons for the disagreement of the second jury with the first should be also examined in full in this third trial.
If the third trial finds the person innocent, then he is released. If the third trial finds the person guilty, then the punishment must be carried out within seven days if it is the death penalty, or begin immediately if it is life in prison.
If the second trial agrees with the guilty verdict of the first trial, then the death penalty must be executed within seven days; if the penalty be life imprisonment, then it must begin immediately.
I believe this is a reasoned approach to the death penalty.
Personally, I am currently in favor of the death penalty for certain capital crimes. However, if I were the person responsible for deciding the penalty would be death, and then I would also be the person responsible for carrying out the execution of the death penalty I believe I would change my mind in some of the crimes or circumstances; possibly not all, but in some of the cases.
What do you think about these ideas? Should they be forwarded to our state legislators and governors?