What Should a Christian Believe About the Death Penalty?

As Christians, we must look to Scripture to guide us in our understanding of the death penalty. We are called to recognize the sanctity of life and not to pass judgement on those that have committed crimes, instead leaving judgement in the hands of God (Romans 12:19). In addition, Scripture teaches us to extend mercy rather than punishment, as exemplified by Jesus’ willingness to forgive the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:11).

Ultimately, a Christian should believe that the death penalty should only be used in extreme cases and even then with mercy and repentance in mind. No one should ever be denied the opportunity to repent and seek redemption. We are called to turn away from vengeance and instead share grace and forgiveness. As followers of Christ, we must seek to imitate him in the way we treat all others, regardless of their crimes.

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