Rights of victims more

Rights of victims more

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important than criminal's

By Karen Luken

HAWARDEN, Iowa -- So often, it seems, the victim is forgotten, the obligation to them outstripped by society's obligation to protect the rights of the person who committed the murder.

Premeditated murderers justly forfeit the rights to their own life.

A sentence of life in air-conditioned, cable-equipped prison, where a person gets free meals three times a day, free medical, personal recreation time, and regular visits with family and friends, is a slap in the face on morality.

Regardless of the conditions of a prison, someone who murders another human being can only be made to pay for his actions by forfeiting their own life.

Loss of freedom does not and cannot compare to the loss of a life.

We must never forget that no one has be executed (sentenced to the death penalty). If no one murders, no one is executed.

As Americans, as Iowans, we should return to the mentality that victims' rights are more important than criminal rights.

Man's creator, however, is not impressed with the reasoning of fallen man in regard to the death penalty for the crime of murder, and neither should those who believe that they are created in the image of God.

In the Bible, God reveals to man the necessity of punishing murder by death.

God threatens vengeance against any who shed man's blood and institutes the death penalty for murder. (Genesis 9:5-6) God seeks, through the solemn warning that he will avenge murder, to put the fear of God in men so that they will not kill one another. Genesis 9:5-6, is given to protect and preserve human life from the violent tendency of man.

Having stated that murder will be punished, the Lord makes known the actual penalty by the words, "will I require the life of man." God demands the life of the killer as satisfaction for the life that was so wickedly taken.

Another man's blood is to take that man's life from him. (Romans 3:5, Rev. 16:6, Genesis 37:22, Num. 35:33, Deut. 21:7, Prov. 6:17)

The Lord reveals that the shedding of human blood must be punished.

Life for Life.

But, how will the death penalty be visited upon the murderer? Will God sentence? Will angels carry out the sentence? Genesis 9:6 stated "by man shall his blood be shed." Apparently, God has appointed man as his agent to impose the penalty for murder.

The death penalty has been accepted punishment for murder and certain other serious crimes since the beginning of human civilization. It came to America with the first settlers and is identified in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

In the United States, the leading democracy in the world -- a strong majority of the people support capital punishment, around 70 percent. Most presidents have been supporters of the death penalty -- Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, 38 states of 50 have the death penalty.

We cannot reverse justice for the past: Cheryle Anne Homan -- Sioux City, Julie Kay Baack -- Le Mars, Iowa, Connie Ruddy -- Ida Grove, Iowa, Aguilar children -- Sioux City, Timothy Boss -- Remsen, Iowa, and the list goes on.

However, we may reserve and establish justice for the future! -- Beth Baack Williams

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