Prisons and Capital Punishment
Reformation Lutheran Church
Anno Domini 2001
Position statement : Penology – Prisons and capital punishment
Punitive justice ought exclude imprisonment; it must include capital punishment. The penalty for crimes of theft ought to be manifold restitution. The penalty for crimes of personal bodily injury ought to be left to the judgment of the victim, not excluding restitutory payments. Retribution in the manner of infliction of bodily injury may not exceed that suffered by the victim and substitutes for monetary compensation.
The death penalty ought to be imposed against all capital crimes; guilt must be established by two witnesses. Capital crimes include: murder, adultery, incest, bestiality, homoerotic acts, cursing a parent, sorcery, blasphemy/treason.
Just penology is based upon retribution and restitution. Although there are ceremonial and covenant laws in the Scriptures which were specific to temporal Israel, there is an abiding moral and civil law code which serves as the foundation of law for all nations (Heb. 2:2; Deut. 4:6-8; Lev. 18 & 20; Rom. 1:23-32), and the nations are authorized by God to carry out capital punishment – presumably on the basis of His law – What else? (Rom. 13:3-4).