“He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee. But to do justice…” Micah 6:8
A “Botched” Execution
The news this last week reported that a lethal injection didn’t go as planned during an Oklahoma execution. A prisoner, condemned for his crimes was unsuccessfully executed and ended up dying from a heart attack less than an hour later.
To be sure, the problem needs to be examined and resolved. However, the real “injustice” here seems to be getting little, if any attention.
This man’s crime was committed fifteen years ago. Clayton Lockett carjacked a truck from a teenage girl who had just graduated from high school two weeks prior. He shot her once with a handgun and then with a shotgun and then had her buried her in a shallow grave while she was still alive! Witnesses remembered Lockett laughing that 19 year old Stephanie Neiman was difficult to kill.
Here is what God says:
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:6)
God declares that the death penalty is to have a deterrent effect on society as a whole.
“Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” (Dt 21:21 cf. Dt 13:11)
Yet listen to this truth written by King Solomon:
“Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and therefore, as believers we do not either. Yet, we are to seek and pursue justice.
Stephanie Neiman’s family waited fifteen long years for justice in this case. In my opinion, that kind of “justice”, just isn’t just.