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The Death Penalty on Trial

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This book rigorously examines the controversy over the death penalty with clarity and cogency. After Dr. Ron Gleason lays a thorough groundwork in history and law, he defines ethics philosophically, and then presents the Biblical mandate.

For the secular reader, he illustrates the positions of leading thinkers on both sides of the issue and examines their arguments down to the foundational premises.

For Christiansboth for and against capital punishment, Dr. Gleason identifies the governing Scriptures and illustrates them with commentary from the confessional statements of the historic reformed church and some of the foremost voices in the church today.

Proponents on both sides will find the issues in focus and the arguments framed for more meaningful discussion. But as he homes in on the heart of the matter, the reader may find himself drawn persuasively to Gleasons conclusion. This book rigorously examines the controversy over the death penalty with clarity and cogency.

Paperback, 152 Pages.


Dr. Ron Gleason challenges both sides of the capital-punishment debate to know and articulate their positions more definitively. He avoids simplistic answers to this serious topic, recognizing that real lives are at stake. This book assesses and provides clear guidance for establishing and maintaining a safe and righteous society. Dr. Dominic A. Aquila, President, New Geneva Theological Seminary Colorado Springs, CO

In a society that wants to deny a divine absolute standard, I find Dr. Gleasons work both challenging and thought-provoking as he systematically provides the Biblical basis supporting his view on capital punishment. Brad Dacus, Esq., President, Pacific Justice Institute, Sacramento, CA

Fuzziness on ethical issues is the bane of modern thinking. Happily, there is a voice of clear reason on the scene. Dr. Ron Gleason brings genuine moral clarity to the issue of capital punishment by his illuminating survey of American History. The reader will be most appreciative of Dr. Gleasons masterful discussion of the objections to the death penalty. This book is a must-read for all lawyers, judges, and law officers. Pastor Carl Robbins, Senior Minister, Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC

Speaking as an attorney and retired Marine Lt. Colonel, I find that Dr. Gleason systematically examines the historical background, the objections, and the scriptures to present a compelling argument. Dr. Gleasons book has settled the issue for me and I challenge those on both sides of the issue to read it. Richard B. Hudson, J.D., Fallbrook, CA

Regardless of ones own position on the controversial issue of capital punishment, Dr. Gleason clearly and effectively gives readers the resources to work through this topic and equips them to discuss it with others. This powerful book will make a significant contribution to this topic. I recommend it for careful reading, study, and discussion. Dr. Charles Dunahoo, Coordinator of PCA Christian Education and Publications, Atlanta, GA

The Death Penalty on Trial is a must-read for anyone questioning the ethics of capital punishment. Dr. Gleasons treatment lays a foundation and framework of thinking that is essential for discussion. Many have mistakenly tried to defend erroneous positions because they have been misinformed by historical inaccuracies. This treatment to key historical documents is crisp, clear, and a valuable resource for anyone discussing this often emotionally-charged topic. Those dealing with current judicial reform need to read this to gain insight, not only to the issue of capital punishment, but also to those issues that surround (and often cloud) it. Dr. John O. Bumgardner, Jr., First Presbyterian Church, Dillon, SC

Whether you are an abolitionist or believe in Biblical retribution, this is a must-read. Dr. Gleason tackles this controversial subject and disassembles all of the arguments against capital punishment in a logical and persuasive way. The most convincing argument in the book is Dr. Gleasons response to those who argue against capital punishment on the grounds that it is better for ten guilty men to go free, than one innocent man to be executed. Charles M. Loopstra, q.c., Queens Counselor, Toronto, Ontario

At a time when sentiment and the spirit of the age too often characterize liberal ethical reflection, how refreshing it is to see careful Biblical reflection on one of the great issues of our day. Dr. Gleason not only articulates and defends the Scriptures teaching on capital punishment, but also cogently responds to many of the contemporary objections raised. Accessible without being simplistic, this book should be in the hands of every individual seeking light on this controversial topic. Dr. Guy Prentiss Waters, Associate Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS

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