Death PenaltyMay 08, 2015
I wrote the cover package for this week's issue of Word&Way (a Baptist newspaper in the Midwest). The cover package includes two themed articles, which are highlighted with the cover graphic. The theme for this issue was "Death Penalty."
The first article, Jesus' Death Inspires Concerns over Death Penalty Use, explored how the fact that Jesus died from capital punishment impacts how some Christians view the death penalty. In the article I quote University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Mark Osler, Reverend Justin Thornburgh (pastor of Emerson Avenue Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Ind.), and some public statements and resolutions.
The second article, Racial Bias Seen as a Key Reason to Eliminate the Death Penalty, focuses on racial issues related to capital punishment in the United States. In the article I quote Churchnet Executive Director Jim Hill, Reverend William "Jimi" Gwynn (pastor of Hope of Glory Christian Assembly in St. Louis), and Reverend Elston McCowan (pastor of Star Grace Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis). I also work in a reference to a John Grisham novel.
There seems to be some shifting in U.S. opinion away from supporting the death penalty. However, white evangelicals remain the most supportive. I hope the two articles will help people think more carefully about the death penalty.