If we aren’t talking in the terms of Jesus, we can conclude that the death penalty is a form of justice because the convicted murderer deserves it. A perfectly innocent person was murdered for no reason so the murderer should suffer as they made the victim suffer. Do unto others as they do to you, right? Not exactly. If we are Christians, then we must think and act in the likeness of Jesus in all subject matter. Murder is a sin, but so is lying and cheating. God doesn’t see sins on different levels, so why should we?
But a better question to ask is, who would Jesus execute?
Take John 8, found here, for example. A woman is on the verge of being stoned to death because she committed adultery, a crime punishable by execution in that day, but Jesus intervenes and asks the accusers what gives them the right to kill? Seeking justice by killing a sinner doesn’t come out of a heart of love, but rather from the sinful flesh.
I just think of what my sweet Jesus would do if He were physically here today and I believe with my whole heart that He would stop the executions just like He mercifully stopped the stoning of the woman.