Scott Peterson And The Death Penalty

I am currently working on a series dealing with the death penalty. (part I, part II) This series was precipitated by the Scott Peterson case and my response to a posting on LaShawn Barber’s site and some thought about capital punishment on Proverbial Wife. It was Proverbial Wife’s posting that spurred me to begin the death penalty series.

While I suggest, if you have the time, that you read my ongoing series, which will get to the issues in the Scott Peterson case in post four or five, I will summarize the major issues here:

1. The death penalty is legitimate and required by God. (See Genesis 9:5-6 and part I and part II of my series.)

2. In the Law, God established the requirements for implementing the death penalty and that was on the testimony of at least two witnesses. (See Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15).

While we may argue in our modern technological age that direct evidence (e.g. genetic evidence using blood or other bodily fluids, phone tap tape recordings, etc.) might be considered to be a witness in the biblical sense, no one argues that there was anything but circumstantial evidence in this case. As such, even the prosecution, much less the sentencing, didn’t meet the minimal biblical requirements for a death penalty case. From my perspective, Scott Peterson should never been even tried on a capital charge (first degree murder) on circumstantial evidence alone.

This case is disturbing because it shows, that despite the lack of substantive evidence, emotional drivers can succeed in implementing severe penalties, sustained by only “should”, “I feel” arguments. In my opinion, no Christian who claims to be biblically accountable can support this verdict and sentencing, no matter what they feel about the man or what happened to his wife and unborn child.

Just a few sincere thoughts from the rim…