Victoria Thorpe protests the death penalty

Victoria Thorpe protests the death penalty

On Saturday, while a mob of protestors marched through downtown Spokane to honor the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Movement, a dozen people stood outside River Park Square in shackles, with bruises painted on their faces and signs hanging around their neck, bearing the names of those killed on death row.

“Would you like information on the death penalty?” Victoria Thorpe and other volunteers asked as shoppers exited the mall, eyeing the prisoners.

Some shook their heads waving the advocates away. Others accepted the fliers they were handing out. Some even signed petitions that the group — members of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane's Inland Northwest Penalty Abolition Group — would be sending to state legislatures.

Thorpe, author of “Cages,” said the street theater display (which can be seen in other places through Spokane this week) is designed to raise awareness about the death penalty and to let people know about this week's panel discussion on the issue.

Group dresses as death row inmates in downtown Spokane

Group dresses as death row inmates in downtown Spokane

On Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane will host a panel discussion on why the death penalty should be abolished in Washington State.

PJALS is also planning a Death Penalty Fall Film Series and will be showing free films on the death penalty beginning Sept. 24 at the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Death Penalty Fall Film Series

For information visit

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  1. Kyle A. Franklin

    It has been my past experience that those who are pro-life regarding abortion are also pro-death penalty. Over the past several years, though, I have seen a move toward pro-life truly meaning pro-life on both issues. Whether or not one agrees with the position, it is nice to see congruency!

  2. I believe that the two go together and I also think the Bible agrees. Killing an innocent, unborn child in the womb is murder and it’s wrong. Killing a convicted murderer is justice. So many on the left these days are all about “social justice” until it comes to making a murderer pay for his or her crime against God and another (or many other) human being(s). God commands that “thou shalt not murder”, and because it is so serious demands life for life. Many murderers in states without the death penalty end up going free and then murdering more innocent victims, sometimes tortureously. How can anyone who says they care about another person turn their head when perhaps a beautiful young girl, great personality and future ahead, is viciously and disgustingly raped and murdered by a repeat offender? I’m sorry but I’m not moved to have mercy on that person. God can forgive anyone and will if they truly repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, but they still should be put to death for their crime and will then go to meet Jesus, and I’m not being sarcastic.

  3. For me the issue of congruency is critical for the witness of life in this culture. Abortion, Death Penalty and War are all spheres where those who advocate for peace and life should have one voice.

    I’m not called as a follower of Jesus to kill anyone but to offer mercy, penance, gospel truth and love to both friend and enemy…That is my witness.

    Governments, countries and kings can do whatever they choose but my role is to be a testimony of the new world dawning not the old world eclipsing.

  4. But the Holy Spirit says in Paul’s letter to the Romans 13:4 that government is ordained of God, the servant of God who carries out God’s wrath on the wrong-doer. My role is to call God true, whether it makes me look spiritual or not. I believe there are believers in almost every role in society and that the one who prayerfully carries out the execution of a murderer in an official government role is doing the will of God.

  5. My best hermeneutic is to read Paul through Jesus and Jesus said give Caesar his stuff and God’s His. I’m one who tends to think Jesus really meant for his followers to put away the swords or die on them.

  6. I also believe that the best hermeneutic, since God is the author of scripture, is to make sure that my interpretation is one that harmonizes with all scripture or I might be found misleading someone, and the message is not mine but His.

  7. You can’t really approach the OT from the standpoint of literal application today or you would end up in jail. So one has to choose how to interpret the “all” which is really a straw man argument most of the time. People pick an choose what they say is for today all the time. A quick list or game of ‘do you or don’t you’ and we will be clear that Nt era folk are selective with the application of OT scripture.

    Jesus explains God. Jesus commands us to follow him and build our lives on His teaching. Christianity is first and foremost a call to worship, obey and pass on the message of Jesus’s way, truth and life. I’m pretty confident with planting my flag there.

    As for police or military service, I don’t make it my role to tell people what they should do in such matters. I point them to Jesus and his words and the way he lived his life and let that be the rock they build their lives upon.

  8. It can only be approached as literal for a theocracy based in their time. My reference was from Paul’s letter in the NT. If you’re refering to “all” meaning all scripture, I would disagree that that is a straw man, but maybe I misunderstood that one. But looking at my post it would seem that’s what you mean. Again that is a direct teaching in II Tim 3:15-17. The Scripture referred to there definitely includes the OT and says all Scripture is God-breathed and suitable for teaching, etc. Of course there has to be a logical method which is followed. Obviously we are not Israel and not a theocracy so it would not directly apply, but NT teaching confers God’s authority to human government allowing for the punishment of evil. The OT gives us a fuller picture of the God Who does not change in the slightest detail, He didn’t become a different God starting at Matthew 1. Everything He loves in the OT He still loves today, everything He hated in the OT He still hates today. Still the OT contains a vast wealth of typology that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. I like Chuck Missler’s saying, “The NT is in the OT concealed, the OT is in the NT revealed.

    A spokeman for God, such as a Pastor/Teacher has the responsibility to study and wrestle with Bible truth, because the flock needs help in understanding what to do. There is much more in Scripture than Jesus Words, as important as they are. To minimize the rest of Scripture is to deny the Holy Spirit His say.

    If a godly teacher won’t tell them, then there is a wolf waiting in the wings that will.

  9. Dennis,
    I appreciate your conviction and yet, we seem to speak pass one another. I’m content to point people to Jesus.
    I too teach all the bible, but it’s always through the lens and strainer of the NT covenant.

    “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.” (John 5:39,40).

  10. God bless you, Eric, I’m not interested in an argument, or trying to prove that I’m right. We can only be responsible for ourselves before the Lord. I appreciate your heart too, and pray for sucess and blessing and God’s leading in your ministry my brother.

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