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.
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.