The Canadian Porn Actor Accused of Video Taping, Killing, and Mailing the Body Parts To Top Political Parties. Luka Rocco Magnotta was taken into custody Monday in an internet cafe in Berlin after a person recognized him.
Luka Rocco Magnotta is wanted by Canadian authorities on first degree murder and various other charges. He is suspected of killing Jun Lin. Jun Lin was a 33-year-old Chinese university student that he dated. He is also suspected for mailing the victim’s body parts to Canadian political parties.
So here is what this has to do with anything…
I was thinking about this character today as I was patrolling the top google news articles. Just following some thought on the death penalty in the last blog post “Renegade,” I thought it might be fitting to address the Christian response to what in the world should Christians or any moral social community should do with a criminal such as this one. I think there are going to be good point on every side of the argument but I am going to try sounding unbiased on this one.
First, Normal people do not commit crimes like these.
I know it is easy to get worked up over a case like this, or even more serious situations like when countries have dictators that are sadistic or tyrannical, but I think the questions to ask here are: is death the only adequate penalty for criminals that are sick mentally? Do they have the ability to be rehabilitated? If rehabilitated, can they ever become a positive contribution to society?
Additionally, there has to be some consideration that people typically do not commit violent crimes unless they are ill or they are provoked somehow. That being said, there needs to be a little mercy knowing that he or she is a product of the environment they were raised in. At some point in time we are all going to see or hear something that just seems horrible (and this is one of those things) and we are going to think that WE would NEVER do anything like that. How could a human being act that way? Simple; because it was learned behavior from someone else in his life that was also mentally ill.
Let’s keep in mind that ANYONE is capable of ANYTHING. I was astounded many times in my short 27 years of life to learn how many of my friends would commit horrible deeds that I never expected. Even I have surprised my own self with miserable decision making. Those who refuse to admit that they are capable of horrible things are denying the reality of our own fallen human state.
So, let me suggest a few things. First, I do not think that death is the only answer. That was the same mindset that put Jesus on the cross. Even the most hardened criminal should have the opportunity to repent and at no time should man-kind play judge and jury in a way that leads to taking a person’s life. So, what do we do with Luka Rocco Magnotta?
I think we can turn those criminals destined for death row into labor. Their used to be a day when prisoners worked manual labor and other work as part of the sentence. That is not much true today. Some prisons have work forces but you might be surprised how few have laborers. Instead, the tax payer has to fund their free 20 years hotel stay and then pay guards to watch them as they turn from HBO to ESPN all day. Thus, we can kill two birds with one stone. Guys like Luka Magnotta can avoid death while being placed in a disciplined and structured environment that includes rehabilitation and the tax payer spends less to support him in prison.
Those are just some quick thoughts on the topic. What does the biblical text have to say about it?
I think that Jesus may side with the mercy route. In His famous sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:38 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39“But I say to you………”
I know that the Bible does not address this very much…but I think we can find some parallels. What about the woman caught in adultery? The OT law commanded that she be killed. Jesus commanded that she be given new life because no one is beyond the new life that Jesus gives, not even Luka Rocco Magnatta.
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