“The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Died Via The Death Penalty”: Wyoming Legislator Offers Curious Death Penalty Defense

There are various arguments for the death penalty from deterrence to retribution to efficiency to morality. However, Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, offered a particularly unique defense: if it was good enough for Jesus, the death penalty is good enough for everyone else.

The Wyoming Senate voted on Thursday 12-18 to defeat a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty. In the debate, Hutchings made her Christian based appeal for capital punishment:

“The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me. I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

It is not clear if Hutchings believes that the death penalty might produce more divine figures or capital punishment is now divinely ordained.

A poll showed that 73 percent of white evangelical Protestants supported the death penalty; while the number goes down to 61 percent for white mainline Protestants. That number falls again for Catholics who support the death penalty at 52 percent.

78 thoughts on ““The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Died Via The Death Penalty”: Wyoming Legislator Offers Curious Death Penalty Defense”

  1. Great point. The requirements for voting were different in each state. There doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with inflation. It would seem that the Founders would have intended a higher standard than 9 or 10K in today’s dollars, but that may have been a fortune in that era. Maybe the actual purchasing power of silver was greater then. Maybe money was generally harder to obtain. Land varies greatly by location, location, location.

    Here’s a quote: “In 1624, the price of bricklaying was fixed at 40 pounds of tobacco ($2.43) per thousand bricks.” And in 1629, daily wages in Massachusetts were approximately “2s” and “3s” (i.e. 2 and 3 Shillings), or 48.6 cents and 73 cents according to Hathitrust.

    https://www.hathitrust.org/about

    1. Please ignore this post. It was mistakenly placed in the wrong “reply” box.

      Professor Turley, when will your site provide an “edit” option?

  2. Jesus was crucified a long time ago. He died, not for any crime, but by false accusations and the unjustified fear of him. In Heaven He must be crying to learn that those mistakes have not only gone uncorrected on a Governmental level but are being worshipped as some sort of perverse redemptive and vengeful mission. Jesus the Christ taught Love and obedience to G*d. For that he was murdered. By the State. To repeal Capital punishment would honor his sacrifice AND his teachings.

  3. Since a murder victim will never see light or another person ever again, how about we provide the same environment for the murderer? I call it “the living death’ penalty.

  4. I don’t think a convicted murderer should live better than a homeless person through no fault of his own. how about a bowl or gruel a day

      1. Just a small reminder: In Hitchens’ last book entitled “God Is Not Great,” the title of the first chapter was “Religion Poisons Everything” and the title of the second chapter was “Man Invents Religion.” If you rearrange those “premises” you get a syllogism the conclusion to which is “Man Poisons Everything.” (including, especially, religion)

        Christopher Hitchens professed himself to be a secular humanist. And that’s why he put the titles to the first two chapters of his last book in exactly the wrong order. (Draw your own conclusions.)

    1. Really? Everything? Even my sandwich that I brought in for lunch today? I had no idea the greatest people in my life, my parents and godparents were poison. And yet, they seemed like such nice decent people.

    1. One hopes – and waits – for the professional atheists of this world to have an ounce of self-criticism about their own unprovable supersitions.

      1. Yes, it took me well into my teens to ditch the absurdities of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc – and that’s just the mid-eastern desert varieties – so there is that, and damn me eternally for my slowness. I’ll do a mea culpa when I light my candles to Sam Harris and our departed St Hitchens.

    2. I have no problem with as you say, unprovable superstitions; especially when they guide behavior that better secures our natural right to life, liberty and property. Has it proven logical to dismiss those beliefs and trust human nature will improve with time? Especially when you place that trust in a political class with power to infringe on those natural rights?

      1. Whatever improvements there have been in human nature – and I agree, societies have improved since our beginnings – we have done on our own and without divine intervention. It’s time to cut out the imaginary middle man and recognize this. There are logical and humanitarian reasons for us to love our neighbors as ourselves. etc and most societies have found their way to these values by various routes for a reason, just as we have also lost our way at times. Both of these extremes – from charity to slavery – have been justified as the will of God. In reality they are the will of man.

        1. PS The “political class” wrote the Constitution and Declaration on which are rights are based and defended, though the latter claims it’s God. When has God established any rights for anyone? If they are natural, why did it take something like a million years into our existence for anyone to claim or defend them? Wait for God and you’d still be waiting.

          1. If they are natural, why did it take something like a million years into our existence for anyone to claim or defend them?

            They’ve been claimed, attacked and defended throughout recorded history; odds are since the dawn of man. That political class you cited did what no civil society had ever done.

          2. Why are all those rights and priviledges as written by the ‘political’ class (?Governing?) ‘Under G*d’??????

            Maybe because we are more civil and more civilized with G*d in society when we employ understandings of a higher power…..

        2. Whatever improvements there have been in human nature

          There hasn’t been any improvement in human nature. The only improvement has been in the laws that govern it.

          we have done on our own and without divine intervention.

          You said so yourself, that is unprovable. So it doesn’t matter whether you believe in God(s) or in nothing at all, as long as whatever you do believe does not infringe on the natural rights of others. If you don’t need a middle man to do that, then I support that. If you need a middle man to do that, I support that as well.

          1. Your first point is arguable. 400 years ago the behavior of ISIS – beheadings etc – was what all the European monarchs did and virtually no one was shocked. Now, almost the entire world population recoils in disgust at the behavior of ISIS. I’d consider that an improvement in human nature, though you may have a better term for it. That is not to say that these gains are not reversible. For example, the gross behavior of our president is wearing people out and encouraging copy cats in other lands.

            On your 2nd point, I think I demonstrated that there are no natural rights. If there are, why did it take us so long to discover them? In any case, I think we agree that what matters is that we do respect and honor the rights of others

            1. That is not to say that these gains are not reversible.

              Then it’s not the nature that’s changed but rather the force (laws) used to govern it.

              For example, the gross behavior of our president is wearing people out and encouraging copy cats in other lands.

              What does “wearing people out” even mean? Copy cats of what?

              I think I demonstrated that there are no natural rights.

              No, you’ve demonstrated you haven’t discovered them yet. Hint: If you haven’t studied history as extensively as our founding fathers, then be humble enough to admit you might not yet have all the answers.

              1. That the civilized world accepted beheadings – and there was much worse – in our recent past and is now revolted by it are visceral reactions, not behavior forced by law. Similarly, the rarity of out front racism – not to mention slavery – are likewise ingrained in our culture, our morality, and not reliant on the force of law. Think about it.

                The president’s low life behavior are obvious to anyone who’s mother taught them proper behavior. The copy cats are poppibg up in Europe and Latin America.

                You don’t discover natural rights. They don’t exist absent the consent of your fellow humans. God has nothing to with it. That should also be obvious if you think about it. If you think not, give me an example of these natural rights occurring prior to man made law or under totaliterian regimes.

                  1. Ask Olly if there is a natural right to lie. I’d ask him myself, but The Chief is not talking to me anymore.

  5. If it was good enough for Martin, its good enough for me.
    Give me that old time religion.
    That old time religion.
    Give me that old time religion.
    I’m dumb as I can be.

  6. However, Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, offered a particularly unique defense: if it was good enough for Jesus, the death penalty is good enough for everyone else.

    Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, is a complete disgrace in using religion to further her defective/vile/contemptuous death penalty ideology.

    The state – a collection of popularity contest winners (ie elections) and incompetents that has trouble filling potholes and timing traffic signals with any sense of proficiency – should never be entrusted with power of life and death.

    1. The state – a collection of popularity contest winners (ie elections) and incompetents that has trouble filling potholes and timing traffic signals with any sense of proficiency – should never be entrusted with power of life and death.

      Well, you can relocate to Syria if you’d like a taste of anarchy. The rest of us understand that someone has to enforce the law and public officials are unlikely to exceed in incompetence the population from which they are drawn.

      1. My dad told me a long time ago on the death penalty topic that we didn’t have the ability to make that decision. I found it confusing at the time. Not until I actually knew someone who was actually murdered (first degree) and saw what it did to that family did I understand and be against the death penalty. I know, it sounds weird.

    1. and visa versa.

      ??

      Strange as it may seem to you, people draw a distinction between an innocent child and a reprobate convicted of murder at trial.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I am against killing babies. But, I am also against killing the convicted. I will also say, that both of those opinions are challenging and not always easy to defend.

          1. True enough, but what they have in common is removing a life or soul. Something man should not be deciding just because he has a man made law backing him up.

  7. I find her infinitely brighter than Maxine Waters and Sheila Lee Jackson who bloviate on a national level. Plus there’s some virtue in being right for the wrong reasons.

  8. Could Sen. Lynn Hutchings solve an issue? Where is the Archeological location of Mount Sinai?

    Sometimes referred to as Jebel al-Lawz, the Mountain of Moses in the Land of Midian, Saudi Arbia. The top of the mountain is black from fire & melted rocks. The bottom is full of arrow heads, a stone alter where the golden calf was placed & a 40ft rock that was split by Moses. God spoke & the earth shook.

    1. It was a rhetorical flourish, Darren.

      See the article written by the late Avery Cdl. Dulles, SJ in First Things some years back. There is a particular discussion of the crucifixion and Jesus dialogue with Pilate as reported in Sacred Scripture and what that says about the powers and duties of state officials. This woman’s idiom differs from that of a Jesuit academic, but the substantive point she made dovetails with his.

      1. “See the article….Avery Dulles SJ…”

        Refreshing to see Dulles’ name referenced on this site.

        Here is the article:

        https://www.firstthings.com/article/2001/04/catholicism-capital-punishment

        Dulles, as was his custom, weaves in and out at long length, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition as well as Patristics, Early Church, Middle Ages and developing doctrine. He failed to reference the many examples therein of erroneous thinking, sins of omission and commission, by the Church, historically and up until his death (e.g. slavery, subjugation of women, divorce, abuse, etc)

        Here is the money quote in his conclusion among his 10 points:

        “The death penalty should not be imposed if the purposes of punishment can be equally well or better achieved by bloodless means, such as imprisonment.”

        which is what Pope JPII articulated and most recently Pope Francis

        Eye for an eye, vengeance and the like were not part of the ethos of Christ, as Dulles noted.

        “The sentence of death may be improper if it has serious negative effects on society, such as miscarriages of justice, the increase of vindictiveness, or disrespect for the value of innocent human life.“

        emphasis vindictiveness

        Just because Christ did not forbid “x”, does not mean it was therefore licit for the state or church to commt “x”.

        We are Catholic for a reason and not Sola Scriptura wimps

        AMDG

    2. They’re called representatives for a reason. Go to her district and you’ll likely find like-minded people. Washington warned us. A century later so did Garfield. Another century goes by and Reagan does as well. It’s not improving with age.

      It is . . . [the citizens] choice, and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable as a Nation. This is the time of their political probation; this is the moment when the eyes of the World are turned upon them. – George Washington 1783

      Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces. – James Garfield 1877

      When those who are governed do too little, those who govern can – and often will – do too much.” – Ronald Reagan 1971

      1. Indeed, we do get the government we deserve most of the time, except when it is chosen not by the people but by the electoral college system. First W, now the present low life con man – talk about ignorant, reckless, and corrupt! If the GOP had to rely on the will of the people, they’d have had won only 1 presidential term out of the last 7, and since that election – 2004 was a 2nd termer won during a war, even that is questionable.

        1. One could easily argue winning the electoral college and losing the popular vote is the opposite of ignorant and reckless. That ignorance and recklessness would befit someone that lost an unloseable election. Apathetic comes to mind as well.

          In the meantime, go ahead and list the corrupt actions of this President. Make sure you do the same for his main opponent in the general election.

          1. The quotes you posted above talk about the choices the people make, so I responded to it. If you now want to retract them, that doesn’t make them less valid. Our president was not a choice the people made. Unless one thinks bovines increase the IQ of the states they inhabit, it’s hard to argue that the electoral college is wiser than the people.

            When 1/2 or more of the words that come out of a person’s mouth are on the spot lies – without a plan beyond him getting to the next 5 minutes – while the other half are consumed with personal bragging, his moral corruption is as transparent as a 4 year old’s desires. There has never been a scum bag like him in office before, and if you can;t see that – surely you do – you are morally blind. Is that the wisdom of the electoral college? I’ll take the will of the people, who rejected him.

                1. Because 12 years ago I was not much different than Jan, atheist and all. Someone on a blog inspired me to study original source documents related to our founding and what I’ve learned changed my life. Maybe it’s my small contribution to the Great Commission. 😇

  9. SENATOR HUTCHINGS IS RIDICULOUS

    THAT’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR STATE LEGISLATORS

    As a Democrat I am tempted to say this State Senator embodies The Christian Right; a political constituency from a bygone era.

    But the truth is State Senators, especially in the smallest states, are often provincial types. Consequently they come across as local yokels when viewed by national media.

    The same is often true with municipal governments. Even the biggest towns have City Council Members saying really stupid things. That’s just the nature of lesser political offices.

      1. For pontificating as a member of the Democrat Party, “Peter H” has managed, ala Hillary Clinton, to alienate a majority of Americans: Christians, smaller states, locals, municipal govts, City Councils, “lesser” political offices. Yet the verbiage is unusually harsh and cavalier from prior PH comments. Here’s why:

        the comment was authored at 3:44 am, and the day prior, previous PH comments were authored 6, 12,16 & 24 hours prior…round the clock trolling. The author is using an account shared by multiple paid trolls. David Brock has this forum targeted with his trolls because of the influence JT holds

        Anathema sit!

        1. The author is using an account shared by multiple paid trolls.

          I don’t think multiple people could maintain such a consistent voice. Pretty much all the partisan Democrats who post here have signatures which make them recognizable no matter which handle they’re using.

  10. Now you know why the Founders restricted the vote to Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres as a general rule.

    Democracies have been restricted-vote republics since the Greeks and Romans.

    1. Wyoming State Senator Hutchings is an African-American Woman in the Republican party–in Wyoming–George. You can read more about her at the link below. Some of her stuff reads a little bit like Judge Roy S. Moore.

      https://www.hutchingsforsenate.com/

      Lynn Hutchings to Serve You as Senator in Senate District 5 … The very first Article and Section of our Wyoming Constitution states, “All power is inherent in the …

      1. Did she vote to fully abrogate and expunge the unconstitutional and “injurious” 13th, 14th, 15th (who calls it legal to coerce ratification with a gun to the head of citizens suffering under the condition of post-war military occupation?) and 19th amendments by executive order a la “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, “Affirmative Action Privilege,” “Generational Welfare,” food stamps, quotas, Obamacare, forced busing, rent control, utility subsidies, social services, WIC, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, TANF, SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, unfair “Fair Housing” laws, discriminatory “Non-Discrimination” laws, “hate crime” laws, etc.???

        No, you say?

        Then she’s not a republican.

        And she has no concept of what it means to be an American under the dominion of the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution which provides maximal freedom to the individual while severely restricting and limiting the government.

        Do you?

          1. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

            – Maimonides
            __________

            The American Thesis is Freedom and Self-Reliance.

            Government under the dominion of the Constitution exists solely to facilitate the freedom and free enterprise of the individual.

            The National Treasure is the “manifest tenor” of the U.S. Constitution.

            You don’t yearn for freedom, you yearn for “free stuff” derived from other people’s money.

            You Covet and that is a sin.

            1. George, you are an unreconstructed Confederate secessionist rebel. You want to repeal the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments to the Constitution, not because you seriously believe them to have been unconstitutionally ratified, but because you are eager to revive and restore The Peculiar Institution of Chattel Slavery and The Power that Oversaw it.

              1. More hysteria and incoherence. I am an unreconstructed American in America under the dominion of the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution. Everything “Crazy Abe” did was unconstitutional and the Constitution required that he be corrected in his crimes, impeached and convicted. As much as you hate it, secession is not precluded by the Constitution, Congress must declare war, the CSA was a legal sovereign foreign nation, private property cannot be confiscated except under Eminent Domain, citizens were required to be “…free white person(s)… by the Naturalization Act of 1802 changing the status of slaved from “property” to “illegal alien” requiring immediate deportation and Lincoln was not a dictator with authority to suspend Habeas Corpus. Slavery must have been eliminated through the employment of free speech as advocacy, free market boycotts and financial divestiture. Washington, Hamilton et al. foresaw the end of slavery but Lincoln had no authority to resort to undeclared war and violence (1 million dead Americans). He and his allies should have worked legally to put slave planters out of business. The will of the People can be imposed any day through exercise of freedoms and free market activity – buy it or sell it. The American thesis is Freedom and Self-Reliance not dictatorship.

              2. You don’t impose by force an illegal war, kill one million Americans and then ram through “injurious” amendments with a gun pointed at the heads of elected officials and citizens in a condition of post-war military occupation.

                You believe that Americans don’t have freedom of speech, thought, press, publication, religion, belief, assembly, socialization and every other conceivable natural and God-given freedom and right per the 9th Amendment. You are anti-American and anti-Constitution. You believe government can nullify the freedom of individual choice. You believe the government can order people to like or dislike particular people and things. You have no concept of American freedom. You believe the government has the power to order people to like and respect you. You believe in dictatorship.

    2. would that have been avoirdupois or troy pounds. cuz there’s a difference

      a regular pound is almost 22% heavier than a troy pound
      and a troy pound only consists of 12 troy oz, not 16 as an avoirdupois does

      its interesting that much silver is about $9,000 worth but a relative similar amount of farmland would be worth a lot more.

      1. Great point. The requirements for voting were different in each state. There doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with inflation. It would seem that the Founders would have intended a higher standard than 9 or 10K in today’s dollars, but that may have been a fortune in that era. Maybe the actual purchasing power of silver was greater then. Maybe money was generally harder to obtain. Land varies greatly by location, location, location.

        Here’s a quote: “In 1624, the price of bricklaying was fixed at 40 pounds of tobacco ($2.43) per thousand bricks.” And in 1629, daily wages in Massachusetts were approximately “2s” and “3s” (i.e. 2 and 3 Shillings), or 48.6 cents and 73 cents according to Hathitrust.

        https://www.hathitrust.org/about

  11. Another person mis-paraphrasing the Bible for some ridiculous Protestant support of the death penalty.

    Five vs. declare that the “Ioudaios” (wrongly translated “Jews”) killed the Lord Jesus. The only blame given to any non-“Jew” is for partial and secondary blame to Rome, something like “you (meaning the Ioudaios) and evil men (the Romans) killed Jesus.”

    Further, the gospel of John states that it was “illegal” for the Ioudaios to sentence anyone to death. Rome knew the “Jewish” OT law required stoning and the death penalty for certain acts. While Rome ruled over Israel at the time of Jesus’ death, Rome, toward the goal of peace and order, made it illegal for the “Jews” to sentence anyone to death. Of course, Rome desired to insure that no band of Jewish Pharisees would wrongly accuse and sentence a Roman citizen to death who the Jews perceived had broken one of their religious laws.

    So yes, you could say that the Roman ruler Pilate was a secondary cause of Jesus’ death, but only because he allowed the Jews to have their way. Pilate interviewed Jesus and declared Jesus had done nothing wrong to deserve death (by Roman law). But “all the Jews” demanded Jesus’ death, so Pilate allowed it to happen. Pilate made an executive decision, likely based on a real fear of Jewish riot if Pilate set Jesus free. But still five times the Bible states clearly that “the Jews killed the Lord Jesus.”

    1. I followed you there except for the assertion that Ioudaios mistranslates to Jews. I don’t think that is a mistranslation.

      Although in later usage it could also mean Judaizers, as in, Saint John Chrysostom’s Homilies, “Kata Ioudaion”

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