I began to wonder what the Bible says about the death penalty.
The first mention of the appropriate punishment for a murder is in Genesis 4:11-15.
"And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;...a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." (KJV)
The first mention of capital punishment as a penalty for murder is in Genesis 9:6:
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (KJV)
I imagine that proponents on either side of the death penalty question can find comfort in the Bible.
Rethabile Masilo (see photo) reached inside of his soul and created this poem for Troy Davis:
(for Troy Davis)
Over the outer wall
a sun will rise, lighting
the same things it lights
whether or not another war
has been sparked, or
a market dried up and dead,
the same sun that sometimes
appears to linger above
a plot of land on which
his mother grows beans,
collards, in soil smeared with
blood, cleared with toil.
It’ll be so early one might
mistake it for a hanging night
at an unearthly hour
on the morning of this last day,
a cock crows to tell the dead man
it’s time to go, while, somewhere
in the country, a postman
slides letters into mailboxes
whose arms, too, hang loosely
at the sides. A dog runs after
his jeep to the end of the street,
slinks back home dragging its tail.
that easily. A day nobody
is waiting for nor thinks should
materialise. A last day for a man
through whose skin, milling
with melanocytes, past whose
layers of vein and into
whose lumen a needle will
enter and leave its message.
© Rethabile Masilo