The following is a slightly edited transcript of remarks made by Mark Davis during a Newsweek podcast debate on the death penalty. You can listen to the podcast here:

Capital punishment is not about revenge and retaliation. This is not what morally informs death penalty advocates. The goal is to send the societal statement – ​​nobody knows if it’s a deterrent or not, and it’s impossible to know because it would take apples and apples. If you go to Louisiana and Texas the South has a lot of death penalty [cases] and many murders. We would have to jump into a time tunnel, remove the death penalty and see if we might have more.

FILE – A March 2019 file photo, provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, shows the state’s electric chair at Columbia, members of the South Carolina House may soon be debating whether to revive the death penalty blocked by the state with the electric chair and to add a firing squad to the methods of execution. The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, that would allow convicted inmates to choose death by being shot in the heart by multiple snipers.
Kinard Lisbon/South Carolina Department of Corrections/AP, File

Some states may be a bit more prone to murder. No one ever guarantees that the death penalty will eliminate your murder rate. We kill people all the time. This is called a just war. It is perfectly permissible, morally, to kill people in certain circumstances. The notion “thou shalt not kill” as a general statement does not work morally. We kill people for self-defense, we kill people very biblically in the death penalty. On the notion of morality, anyone is certainly free to oppose the death penalty for any reason they wish. I don’t know exactly what the moral argument is. It’s not biblical.

Mark Davis is host of The Mark Davis Show on 660AM on “The Answer” KSKY, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.