Oregon Center for Christian Voices believes that capital punishment is
unjust and immoral. Jesus embodied an ethics of love and forgiveness, and taught that all humans, whatever their faults and crimes, are capable of redemption.
Who are we to deny another person the opportunity to confess their sins and seek forgiveness?
State sponsored killings are barbaric and have no place in a civilized society. How can we condemn gang member shootings if the state itself sanctions killing? The state is responsible for justice, not vengeance. Those who are found guilty should be punished, but not by adding to the violence that already permeates our society and our world. OCCV is concerned that innocent men and women have been condemned to death for crimes they did not commit. According to Death Penalty Information Center, since 1973 over 130 people have been released from death row due to new evidence of their innocence. DNA has helped to quicken the pace of these exonerations in recent years, but the #1 cause of mistakes has been prosecutorial misconduct. The reality is that our judicial system is imperfect and flawed and may result in the ultimate injustice – taking the life of an innocent person. To the crowd around the woman caught in adultery Jesus said, “He who is without sin, let him throw the first stone.” (John 8:7) Given our own sinful nature, harsh judgment against others for their sin with a sentence of capital punishment cannot be sanctioned. The death penalty is unjust, since it is applied unequally to those without the means for adequate defense. On moral, religious and humanitarian grounds, OCCV urges Oregonians to repeal the death penalty.