DEATH IN TEXAS
Should Karla Tucker have been Executed?
During the night of 3/4 February 1998 38 year-old Karla Tucker, convicted of a horrendous double-murder 14 years previously when she was 23, was executed in Gatesville, Texas, by means of a lethal injection. A heroin addict when she was 12 and a prostitute before she was 15, she soon came under the grip of satanic forces which led her into a frenzied killing with an axe.
The Karla Tucker of 14 years previously was not, however, the same woman who was put to death. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour and experienced the breaking of the demonic hold upon her, becoming a totally new woman. Or to use legal parlance, she became a rehabilitated person fit to walk in society again.
This tragic case leads us as New Covenant Christians, and hopefully many other Christian groups too, to review our position on the death penalty. Should Karla Tucker have been executed? The relatives of those whom she murdered wanted her dead, and with a vengeance, and so did the "State of Texas", whatever that nebulous entity may be. She had no opportunity to defend herself in court as, for example, O.J.Simpson did who, through the use of a great deal of money which bought him talented lawyers, was able to escape, many would claim, a just conviction for murder. There are many who believe that the American (and particularly the Texan one) is unjust because those who are invariably condemned to death row are not those with money but the very people who had none. Can justice be perverted by money? History would indicate that it can, and often.
But what is the Biblical position? And what is the New Covenant position? Murder, no matter what motivated it, carried with it the automatic death penalty under the Law of Moses, along with adultery, homosexuality and besitiality, so long as two or more witnesses could be procured. Even striking a parent merited the death penalty. Was that law just and righteous? Absolutely. It was authored by Yahweh- Elohim, creator and sustainer of the Universe.
But when He sent Yah'shua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) into the world, He offered a way out for murderers. Those who genuinely repented, received Christ as their Saviour, and experienced the New Birth, were offered forgiveness. A reformed soul was the condition of pardon and eventual release. The woman caught in adultery was given this pardon by Christ.
Our position, then, is very simple. Were this a theocracy -- as it shall be in the Millennium -- then a murderer would be executed. Were he to reform by genuinely repenting, making whatever restitution he could (and there isn't frankly much you can do in a murder situation save to beg the forgiveness of those whose loved one's life he had taken and perhaps offer his service in some tangible way for those in need), and demonstrate it by a godly walk, then he would be pardoned.
We have no Millennial legal code yet because the theocratic Christian nation has not yet been invented (though such a code is being formulated now by the Chavurah Bekorot or Holy Order). But my guess would be that a murderer would be incarcerated, judged, and given a period of time in which to reform. If no evidence of reformation became evident after that period of time, then he would be executed.
What is our opinion on the Karla Tucker execution? We believe it was wrong. Had she not been rehabilitated (reformed) then it would have been justifiable.
Karla Tucker could have been a productive member of society again even if it had been from within prison bars for the rest of her life. She could have done much good in prison as well as out. We consider the whole episode a tragedy but are frankly not surprised. It is, after all, Satan's world....for a little while longer
This page was created on 8 April 1998
Last updated on 8 April 1998
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