Bible supports capital punishment, Archbishop declares: The Church of England Newspaper, July 21, 2013, p 7. July 18, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Crime.
Tags: capital punishment, hanging, Nicholas Okoh
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has reaffirmed the morality of capital punishment telling reporters last week the execution of convicted criminals by the state did not contravene Christian ethical teaching.
On 21 June 2013 four men were hanged in Benin, Edo State after they exhausted their appeals following their convictions for murder. In a statement signed by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the bishops described the executions as “a clear departure from modernity to savagery”.
“We believe that the actions aimed at reforming criminals will do better good to the society than capital punishment,” the Catholic archbishop said.
Overseas organizations led by Amnesty International also condemned the hangings. However Archbishop Okoh told reporters on 5 July 2013 “government should not allow anybody or organisation to teach it what morality is. The law of capital punishment for those who rightly deserve it should be enforced.”
The convicts executed last month were part of a criminal gang that had been found guilty of robbing a woman then raping and murdering her, the archbishop said. “Where is the human right of this woman? Meanwhile, the armed robbers involved had been executed, and people are crying for the human rights of the armed robbers,” he noted.
“Anybody who has degenerated to that level of depravity deserves capital punishment and it should be enforced,” said Archbishop Okoh, adding that it was “not true to say that punishment does not deter crime, it does.”
One of the duties of government is to administer justice. “Punishment must be effected and that is the essence of government, the Bible supports it, and the government cannot abdicate from punishing crime in the name of Amnesty International,” he said.