Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

A Case for Execution by Hanging

13 Dec., 2019

It is believed by many moderns that hanging is a “cruel and unusual” punishment.   Even a quick, painless execution is deemed unconscionable by many who presume to know a justice above and beyond that which is dictated by the Creator.  But to argue with the fool – he who believes in neither a Creator nor his bona fide Law – is vanity, perhaps.  But, argue we must if we have any hope for establishing justice in this world.  (Yes, we shall never arrive at perfect justice, just as we shall never personally achieve perfection, but we press on, ever pursuing that goal.  That is our Christian and human mission by Divine design.)  

Hanging as an Influence for Deterrence

Part of God’s plan in dealing out justice in THIS world is to provide a deterrent for criminally-oriented folks.  That deterrent, despite the objection that it does not work for the very hard-hearted, does work for the average sinner.  Deterring evil-doers from carrying out all their evil inclinations and intentions is a good thing.  And since capital punishment arguable serves as a deterrent as well as just punishment for capital crimes, it is best – and most just – to re-establish and apply this effective remedy for misbehavior.

Hanging as a Merciful Option For Carrying Out Justice For Capital Crimes

Hanging, especially publically carried out, is – one may imagine – a most effective means to instruct and influence citizens to take stock of themselves and strive for the maintenance of good character and behavior.  It is merciful from the perspective of another Judgment to come. The tortuous aspects of hanging the unrepentant serve to drive the hard-hearted to repentance.  The hanged one is made to focus whole-heartedly upon his impending departure from this life and the threatening dooms of another Judgment to come.  Such albeit swift contemplations may well lead to a concentrated turn from sin to the pursuit of reconciliation with the ultimate Judge.  Confession and forgiveness may well occur in the moment!  Death, then, by hanging, far from “barbaric,” is a legitimate, even arguably the preferred means of carrying out justice for capital crimes.

The Scriptures do not mandate the means of execution even though they surely identify capital crimes which merit the death penalty.  The principle of death by hanging finds support, then, as a means of facilitating and encouraging repentance in the last, precious moments before justice is carried out and the convict is dispatched forever.

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