Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012
Capital Punishment

Congress should:

  • eliminate capital punishment from all federal crimes.

Kevin Craig opposes the shedding of blood.

That's a strange way to begin a conversation about "Capital Punishment," until one realizes that "Capital Punishment" in western civilization is historically derived from Biblical passages which demanded that the blood of capital criminals be shed:

But you shall not eat flesh with its lifethat is, its blood5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every manís brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.
Genesis 9:4-6

Smaller sins could be atoned for through the temple sacrifices: lambs, turtledoves, etc., but some crimes were so serious that atonement could not be made in any other way than by the shedding of the blood of the criminal himself:

If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:13

So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.
Numbers 35:33

That God does not require the shedding of blood after Christ's work on Calvary is seen in the case of an unsolved homicide; Deuteronomy 21:1-9 required the tribal elders to shed the blood of a heifer in order to atone for the shedding of innocent blood, following the directions of the priests:

{5} Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled
{7} "Then they shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it.
{8} 'Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.
{9} "So you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.

Nobody advocates the literal application of Deuteronomy 21 after the Cross. Christian theologians for 2000 years have rightly concluded that in our day only the blood of Christ can provide such atonement in cases of an unsolved homicide. Yet they persist in requiring the shedding of the criminal's blood when the homicide is solved.

What politicians call "capital punishment" is actually part of the "ceremonial law," overseen by the Levitical priests. There is in fact no such thing as "the judicial law."

A Theonomic Argument Against Capital Punishment

This has foreign policy implications. "Holy war" in the Old Testament was "capital punishment" on a national scale. The Promised Land was being cleansed of heinous sins committed by the pagans who inhabited the land promised to Abraham. Anyone using Old Testament texts to justify U.S. invasion of a non-Christian land is denying the efficacy of Christ's blood as the only means of atonement, and abusing the Bible.

Secular Holy Wars have been more genocidal than ostensibly Christian holy wars.

One only has to check out Bush's record as Governor of Texas to see his own preference for death over life. During his tenure as Governor, Bush presided over a record setting 152 executions, including the 1998 execution of fellow born-again Christian Karla Faye Tucker, a convicted murderer who later led a prison ministry. Forty of Bush's executions were carried out in 2000, the year the Bush presidential campaign was spotlighting their candidate's strong law enforcement record. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen reported in October 2000 that one of the execution chamber's "tie-down team" members, Fred Allen, had to prepare so many people for lethal injections during 2000, he quit his job in disgust.

Bush mocked Tucker's appeal for clemency. In an interview with Talk magazine, Bush imitated Tucker's appeal for him to spare her life - pursing his lips, squinting his eyes, and in a squeaky voice saying, "Please don't kill me." That went too far for former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer, himself an evangelical Christian. "I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," said Bauer.

Wayne Madsen: Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult

To see an example of the use of the Bible in early American legal codes, see the 1641 "Body of Liberties," the statute book for Massachusetts. Scroll down to section "94. Capitall Laws."

Notice also the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647). This creed and catechism had tremendous influence in the colonies, and the Larger Catechism quotes the Biblical texts above as support for killing in cases of "publick justice."


The problem with capital punishment is not just that the system is imperfect, and sometimes the innocent are convicted.

Even if we had omniscient prosecutors and jurors, the shedding of blood is an anti-Christian quest.

next: Police vs. Security

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