I'm against it. There are people on both sides of the argument in the Christian community, and basically, I err on this side - it's not a sin to keep a guy in prison forever, and it may be sinful to kill someone, even if they commit murder. Sort of a variation on Pascal's Wager, perhaps, but it's where I land.
In Indianapolis, we recently had a tragedy - a criminal who had been in and out of prison for most of his adult life was released from prison early by error, and shot a police officer during a routine traffic stop. That officer ultimately passed away.
My emotional response is, "This guy should be dead." But I struggle with that, because its vengeful and from a place of anger and hatred. I don't know how to process it. A political voice in Indianapolis, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, posted a blog on this issue:
Let's be honest, some people are just evil and have reneged on their membership to the human race and it's time for their privileges to be revoked. You may say the death penalty is wrong and two wrongs don't make a right, but it sure as hell makes it even.
Sadly, I can at least identify with this mindset. I don't fully agree, but the argument is compelling. So I ask this question - is there ever a time where someone is so evil, so wicked, that it is simply better for them to be dead?