By Bryan Fischer
Federal officials are planning to move the murder trial of Jared Loughner from Tucson to California. This is a terrible, terrible idea, and contrary to biblical concepts of justice.
Innocent blood was shed in Tucson, and the public servants of Tucson should be entrusted with the responsibility and authority to execute justice on behalf of the victims and their families.
It is a perversion of justice to deprive this community of the ability to deal with the monstrous act of evil. The murders of six innocent people by the Marxist-loving, Hitler-loving, Bible-hating, atheistic pothead radical leftwinger Loughner is traumatic enough on a city. Now to be deprived of the authority to see for themselves that justice is done is a second injustice.
In the ancient civil code of Israel, the community in which the murder had been committed had the responsibility to carry out justice. The standards of evidence were very high - no one could be sentenced to death without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses - but when the standard had been met, execution followed.
It’s worth nothing, by the way, that if biblical standards of evidence were still followed in America’s judicial system, as they once were, you would have only an infinitesimal chance of sending an innocent man to death row. Too many are sentenced to die or to long prison terms today based on the testimony of a single witness. That’s exactly how you get innocent people sent away for life. Once again, the Bible is the solution, not the problem.
The only exception was that when a man killed another man unintentionally - the death was accidental - he could flee for safety to a city of refuge until his trial was held. (It’s worthy of note that there was no system of incarceration in ancient Israel. A crime against property was taken care of through restitution plus a substantial penalty. A crime against life was taken care of through execution. Think of the money we could save if we returned to something approximating this simple but elegant system of justice.) But if the “congregation” (read “jury of his peers”) found him guilty, then the “elders of his city shall send and take him from there (the city of refuge) and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die (Deuteronomy 19:12).”
Supporters of changing venue argue that pretrial publicity may make an impartial jury impossible. This is ridiculous, and an insult to ordinary Americans, who take their solemn oath to base their verdict exclusively on evidence presented in court with extreme seriousness. The people of Tucson are capable of following the evidence wherever it leads and rendering a just verdict, and it’s an affront to them to think otherwise.
When a local jury in a local court renders a just verdict, the community has the opportunity of experiencing the satisfaction of knowing that the community itself, which has the most intense level of motivation to see that justice is done, has dealt with a terrible crime committed in its midst.
Tucson now will be robbed of that opportunity, and a verdict will be handed down in another state by people who do not have the same intense desire this community has to see that the innocent blood of their loved ones, friends, and family members is avenged. (“Vengeance,” by the way, is just a synonym for justice. You could look it up. See the dictionary: “vengeance: punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.”)
Federal officials are prosecuting only the murders of Rep. Giffords’ congressional aide and the murder of Judge John Roll. This means no formal charges have yet been filed in the deaths of the four “civilians” (as the Associated Press inartfully put it) whose lives were also tragically taken.
Let’s hope the trials for these murders takes place in Tucson, that the perpetrator is swiftly sentenced to death, and that the sentence is carried out without delay. As Martin Luther King, Jr. would say, borrowing the words of the ancient prophet Amos, “Let justice roll down (in Tucson) like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)