Crucifixion & Execution: The Trial of Jesus Christ as a Death Penalty Sentencing Process

63 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2006 Last revised: 26 Jan 2010

See all articles by Mark William Osler

Mark William Osler

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: January 22, 2010

Abstract

Last year, I came to a remarkable conclusion: That the debate over the death penalty in the United States is largely among Christians, but has ignored the capital sentencing which is at the center of that faith. The result of this epiphany is Crucifixion & Execution: The Trial of Jesus Christ as a Death Penalty Sentencing Process. In Crucifixion & Execution, I argue that the story of Christ parallels modern capital practice in many respects: Christ was turned in by a paid informant (Judas), arrested in a strategic manner, given an arraignment and stood mute, was tried, convicted and sentenced, appealed to two separate sovereigns, and finally was denied a pardon.

These similarities lead to two primary conclusions. First, the death of Jesus Christ, an innocent, indicts a modern death penalty system that continues to threaten the execution of innocent men and women. Second, the trial of Christ suggests structural reforms of capital sentencing, if we are to retain capital punishment.

Keywords: death penalty, capital punishment, sentencing, law and religion

JEL Classification: K14, K19, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Osler, Mark William, Crucifixion & Execution: The Trial of Jesus Christ as a Death Penalty Sentencing Process (January 22, 2010). Baylor Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=882811

Mark William Osler (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
(254) 717-7032 (Phone)

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