Southern Baptist Leader Speaks Out Against the Death Penalty

Fisher Humphreys, Professor Emeritus of Divinity at Samford University, a Southern Baptist college in Birmingham, Alabama, recently voiced his opposition to the death penalty in a blog on the Associated Baptist Press website.

While Humphreys contends that there are thoughtful people and ideas on both sides of the issue, he remains unconvinced of the arguments of death penalty supporters. He cites research that disproves capital punishment acts as an effective deterrent and argues that life imprisonment can prevent dangerous people from committing further crimes. He disputes the notion that the Bible instructs society to kill those who they feel deserve to die, saying that “it is all right for society to treat people better than they deserve. God does that with us all. It’s called grace.”

He also acknowledges that while certain victims find comfort in the death penalty, many others do not and actually oppose the death penalty. He voices his concern about the real risk of innocence, the unfair application of death sentences, the enormous cost of the system, as well as his distrust of the government to administer the death penalty.

Increasingly around the country, more conservative religious leaders like Humphreys are demonstrating that the death penalty system is so riddled with problems that people of all political and religious backgrounds should be concerned. TADP applauds his willingness to highlight these concerns and his call for repeal.

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