Florida Will Pursue Death for School Shooter…the Only Just Penalty

When the state “shows mercy” to a murderer, it accordingly cheapens the value of the victim’s life and that isn't just.

The 19-year-old monster who stalked unarmed and innocent high school students and teachers in Parkland, Florida last month reached out through his lawyers to try to make a deal. When he wasn’t laughing and smiling to himself in his cell, showing no remorse or contrition for the first-degree murder of 17 people and the everlasting emptiness he created in the hearts of countless family members and friends affected by the loss, he was begging the state for mercy.

Seriously. Mercy.

He offered to plead guilty to the 17 counts of murder thus avoiding a trial if prosecutors would agree not to seek the death penalty. Thankfully, the prosecutors in Florida have ignored that offer and will pursue capital punishment in the case. These officials recognize that government is an institution whose purpose is to dispense justice, not to selectively pick certain people to bend the rules and show mercy to. Doing the latter would be the height of unfairness, after all.

If the state exists to dispense equal justice, it’s responsibility is to ensure that the price of what was lost is – as closely as possible – equaled by the price of what is taken.

  • Steal something? You will be punished in direct proportion to the amount you plundered.
  • Cheat on your taxes? You will be fined in direct proportion to the amount you swindled.
  • Destroy someone’s property or injure someone’s person? You will be fined or imprisoned in direct proportion to the amount damaged.

Kill a person (or in this case 17)? The state must punish in direct proportion to the value of what you took.

When the state “shows mercy” to a murderer by putting them in prison for proven, known, admitted first-degree murder, it necessarily cheapens the value of the victim’s life. It is the state declaring the killer’s life is of higher value than their victim’s.

That isn’t justice. That isn’t equality. That isn’t evenhandedness. And regardless of what anti-death penalty activists declare, it may be an unjust act of mercy towards the killer, but it certainly isn’t an act of mercy towards the aggrieved parties.

When Jesus was on the cross, he gave the repentant thief paradise, but He did not excuse him from his death sentence. That’s because mercy is God’s domain, while He has charged the state with the responsibility of justice.

Yes, mercy is a critical attribute and trait of Christ’s followers here on earth. But civil government is not a “follower” of God in the personal sense. What is it? It is, according to Romans, God’s “agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

The monster in Parkland is the definition of a wrongdoer. And the blood of 17 innocent victims cries out from the ground for justice. The state must see to it that such justice is done.

No. 1-7

16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
18 Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.

While this may seem like a harsh thing to us, the Lord has an eternal perspective and realizes that death is not the end of all. Perhaps having the murderer pay part of the price of his crime here, allows for greater mercy on the other side. Just a thought.


Exodus 35: 16-18


Why are we so quick to play God when we don't have to in order to defend others? We should be trembling at the prospect of having to take a life for any reason, not looking to rationalize it... violence begets violence...


Life in prison without the possibility of parole IS mercy, when death is deserved.


If we place this animal in a hole never to be heard of again, then I would be for a life sentence. However, as we learned from Manson, this virus will give interviews to the press and be idolized by other would be shooters. It is in the interest of the people to have this contagion ended.