Many anti-corporate punishment people, many anti-death penalty people claim that such punishments do not work and are not a deterrence. The problem, of course, is that they claim that even when these extreme punishments were in effect, crime still took place. well, in listening to a lecture by Craig Evans today, for BAS, God revealed that the Roman authorities had crucifixion as their death penalty method for those deserving crimes.
Yet, the existence of crucifixion seemed to do nothing to stop ancient crime. Anti-corporal punishment and anti-death penalty people would claim that see, even crucifixion did not stop crime in the ancient world. But the problem with that group’s stance, as God revealed, is that they are only looking at one aspect of the issue– the crime rate.
If one only looks at the crime rate then they will conclude that corporal punishment and the death penalty do not work to stop crime. They may cite that such punishments do not deter enough people but we do not know that for sure. That group may point to the few interviewed people who said that those punishments stopped them from doing any crimes but those interviews do not reflect the total amount of people who may have been stopped from doing crime because of the existence of extreme punishment.
If people are searching for the perfect crime deterrence punishment then they are out of luck. There is no such thing on this earth. Even Christians who say they follow Christ do not let the idea of hell or other punishment stop them from making sinful and criminal choices. They will find some justification for their actions and count on God’s grace to ‘save them’ in the end.
People will commit crimes even if the threat of crucifixion is real. We see that the Romans executed a large group of people yet crime continued in their day. Do not expect crime to stop simply because the threat of corporal punishment and the death penalty is on hand today. People will sin and commit crimes because as the Bible says, man loves darkness rather than light’.
If corporal punishment and the death penalty are applied justly then there is nothing wrong with either options. Neither are inhumane nor abuse when done right and biblically. Crime will only stop when God ends the world. Stop looking at different types of punishment as a savior to the crime rate. The only Savior to the crime rate is Jesus and that is only if people let him work in their lives enough so that they do not want to be sinful and criminal.
The only real deterrence to crime comes from the people themselves when they make clear decisions to stop listening to evil and its encouragement to do evil things.