Insanity defence

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    Today there is a lot of judicial hurdling to keep people who have committed a crime out of prison or off death row. Can anyone point to a passage that shows that insanity, low IQ, age or some other reason that justifies not giving the guilty the sentence that the crime calls for?
     
  2. padredurand

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    For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
    James 2:13 NAS77
     
  3. freeatlast

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    So are you suggesting that verse is saying in the judicial system we need to let criminals go to show mercy?
     
  4. padredurand

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    No. I am saying mercy is warranted where mercy is warranted. Mercy does not preclude judgment. It is a component of justice.

    Let me give you a real world example. On August 1, 2010, our daughter-in-law set fire to our home trapping three of us in our third floor bedrooms and our infant grandson was abandoned in his bed on the first. Though we lost most of our earthly possessions we were rescued relatively unharmed. She was arrested and charged with the arson. She could have faced individual charges for each victim and the potential to spend the rest of her adult life behind bars.

    Part of me wanted to put her in a burning room so she could experience the horror of being trapped while a fire raged out of control just feet away. Part of me wanted to do her physical harm. Part of me wanted her to be punished to the full extent of the law. Part of me wanted to be merciful and take into account the circumstances of her life at the start of the fire.

    I won't get into the details but there was certainly enough going on to warrant a second look. I understand that there are many, many people in her position that do not lash out violently. She did but it did not happen in a vacuum. Regardless of her circumstances she still committed a serious and violent crime and the laws of our state require that she is punished for that.

    The DIL is now incarcerated for the next 15 years. The sentence is merely a fraction of what she could have gotten but it is punishment nonetheless.

    We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We deserve death. God is merciful and just. In mercy, He sent His only Begotten to ransom me from a death I deserved. Mercy triumphs over judgment! :godisgood:
     
  5. freeatlast

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    While I am sorry for your loss You are talking apples and oranges. The crime you are talking about happened to you. You have every right to seek mercy or justice for the person responsible. However based on scripture where does it teach that judicial law is to show mercy to someone just for the purpose of showing mercy? Where are the provisions for a court to show mercy when the people who were wronged desire justice and not mercy?
    Also you claim this;
    "Mercy does not preclude judgment" you are pointing to God as showing mercy and His mercy does totally away with judgment. So again in the judicial system where are the standards to determine how the judicial system should show mercy if any?
    I say that mercy should never be part of the judicial system unless the person wronged asks for it for the person who wroned them and in such cases I feel it should always be honored other wise justice should be carried out.
     
    #5 freeatlast, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2012
  6. HeirofSalvation

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    Firstly, we need to distinguish between the purpose and scope of God's moral law, and Earthly/ criminal law:

    But your OP says this....

    You rightly bemoan the abuse of the system....but just because it is obviously abused...does that mean that we should "throw out the baby with the bathwater?" The question is only whether or not there are any just reasons (criminally) that society might want to show some measure of clemency to certain accused....

    I would not think that we should ignore the desire of the wronged party....that is why there are victim impact statements etc....but lest the court be merely a medium for revenge as opposed to justice consider this...
    Notice the woman taken in adultery:
    She (according to the "criminal law" of the day) Could very well have been rightly stoned....It would not have been unjust.

    Notice: they were trying to trap Jesus (as per their usual modus operandi) to Get Jesus, whose heart they realized would bend towards mercy.... to defy the letter of the law...which Jesus, still as yet (recognizing the validity of the law to that point) Would not do.
    Christ recognized this, but Christ used...well a technicality as it were to get out of having her stoned....

    He says this:

    "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone..."
    He does NOT deny the legal justification to stone her....

    Notice:
    Once they leave, HE (who was without sin), and could very well have casted the first stone.....says, "where are thine accusers?" And then He says...neither then do I condemn you...Go and sin no more.

    I daresay, if we have NO ability to temper justice with mercy....we are in a sad state indeed....
     
  7. freeatlast

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    You are comparing apples and oranges. You scenario is from a moral sin or a religious example not a criminal one so your mercy suggestion does not apply.
    Perhaps you did not read the OP question.
    Can anyone point to a passage that shows that insanity, low IQ, age or some other reason that justifies not giving the guilty the sentence that the crime calls for?
     
  8. HeirofSalvation

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    I am?????
    There was simply clear legal/criminal justification to stone the woman...... Jesus knew it , and did not deny that. How do you not understand that?
     
  9. Arbo

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    Heir of Salvation- You gave a clear example. It might be a stretch to expect an individual, who thinks all who are ex-military are brutal by nature and thus should be disqualified from service in law enforcement, to understand it.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Actually the Law required that both the adulterer and adulteress be stoned (Lev 20:10). Only the woman was present, so the Law wasn't being followed. This was merely an attempt to trap Jesus and the woman was used as the bait.

    The Law also required that capital punishment required at least 2 witnesses of the crime and they had to cast the first stone, then the others would follow.
    In this instance, no witnesses stepped forward, therefore there was no one to cast the first stone.

    Jesus followed the Law perfectly. It's a case of Jesus being both just and merciful.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    How is it that you cannot seperate the moral laws from criminal laws? Are you saying we should stone everyone today who is engaged in adultery?
     
  12. freeatlast

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    So what is your anwer to the OP?
     
  13. Amy.G

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    I am not aware of any scripture that says one is not guilty by reason of insanity. I could be wrong though.
     
  14. freeatlast

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    No you are correct.
     
  15. HeirofSalvation

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    ACTUALLY....we know that...and we have read Lev 20:10.....so, are you implying that if they did not have the co-conspirator present with them....then the one "caught in the act..." should not be punished?....Is that your claim??? Do tell....
    Yes...it was..there were more laws being broken or ignored, but the prosecutor had a legit case...

    Jhn 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
    Yes, they understood the law, and they had a LEGAL case, as I said....

    They would not legally be able to trap Jesus unless their case was legally valid...and it was.

    The witnesses were there....What Jesus added was this, NOT IN THE WRITTEN LAW....

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her...."
    Morally, they had no real case, it was indeed a set-up and morally, rather sick.....Legally, they had a case.... I would assume the man involved was there...and would have had to have incriminated himself....thus, they would not furnish their legal witness, but they had a legal case, and they knew it....These "teachers of the law" were not to be jurisprudentially outwitted by you....only Jesus
     
    #15 HeirofSalvation, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2012
  16. HeirofSalvation

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    WOW!!!!I can, that is the crux of my entire argument.....I am arguing against the conclusion of the OP, which seems NOT to distinguish.... the very fist sentence I posted was.....

    As far as this question goes....

    I am not against it. I would not have an inherent problem with such a law....outside of the fact that I would insist on a less physically brutal form of execution.
     

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