I Disapprove of the Death Penalty 我不贊成死刑

By on 07/27/2012

(Grand Master Lu’s Article published at World True Buddha Newspaper 729)
Translated by Meiling Kang
Edited by Jessie Loh
Proofread by Yee Lin Lee
True Buddha Translation Teams (TBTTs)
  In many countries, some still implement the death penalty while others have abolished it. The death penalty is subject to many controversies.
  Those who approve of capital punishment insist that there are villains who commit such horrendous and unforgivable crimes that they deserve to be put to death. Only by death penalty will justice be served.
  Let’s take the five heinous sins [as defined in Buddhism] for example:
  1. Killing your father (severe crime);
  2. Killing your mother (severe crime);
  3. Killing an arahat (severe crime);
  4. Causing bleeding of a Buddha (severe crime);
  5. Causing disharmony in the community of monks (the most severe crime).
  These are crimes that will cause anyone to bristle with anger. However, in Buddhism, causing disharmony among monks is the most grave of the crimes. This is because the act causes a person to abandon the Three Treasures — Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Anyone who causes other people to desert the Three Treasures is doomed to fall into the evil realms, without hope of leaving them.
  Causing disharmony is seemingly not as severe a crime as killing. However, it is the most atrocious in terms of the Dharma. Why?
  The answer lies in:
  ”It murders the mind, spirituality and Buddha nature.”
  Therefore, causing people to forsake “True Buddha” is equivalent to killing their Buddha nature. It is unforgivable and the most vicious of all crimes.
  Moreover, in Buddhism, there are ten evils — killing, stealing, adultery, lying, speaking in double tongue, slandering, using improper [sexual] innuendos, greed, anger, and holding wrong views.
  Some people repeatedly rape and kill, inducing much public outcry. Some criminals even rob, kill and commit adultery, and these acts cause much more public condemnation. For these big-time offenders, how can they not be sentenced to death?
  Nevertheless, to my knowledge, when a criminal is facing execution which includes shooting, hanging, or electrocution, his heart is full of hatred and anger.
  These emotions will get assimilated into the soul. There will be resentment in:
  1. Mind;
  2. Affinity;
  3. Birth;
  4. Aggregates or skandhas;
  5. Seed.
  (These resentments are manifestations of anger.)
  He will carry these resentments into his next life and become a person without any sense of shame, causing even more harm to the society.
  I believe that life sentence is a better option. It offers a chance to reform and educate a convict, so that he becomes a better person until he passes away naturally. Therefore, spreading Buddhism in prisons is necessary and cannot be under-emphasized.
  The death penalty will appease the public and bring about a release of an emotional baggage that is associated with the fact that justice has been served. Nevertheless, we should consider the consequences of a vindictive scoundrel reborn from a resentful soul. Caution is required.
  Besides, I don’t think it is appropriate for people to sentence capital punishment to fellow human beings as there are few righteous people in this samsaric world. Most human beings are ordinary people.
  Death sentences decided by ordinary people might be justified on some occasions, yet we cannot ignore the fact that there are possibilities of wrongful convictions. Innocent lives are lost. Since time immemorable, the number of innocent people who died in jail was like the number of corpses and bones stacked up – as high as a mountain. Resentment permeated the air.
  From history, we know of many famous people who died of wrongful convictions. They include:
  Wen Tianxiang
  Yue Fei
  Yuan Chonghuan
  And so on……
  Many unappeased resentful souls are still turning in their graves.
  People are not supposed to hand the death penalty down on people. In terms of cause and effect in Buddhist teachings, Yama is the judge of right and wrong. Moreover, the mind’s own three evil realms will appear naturally. Human beings are not in a position to judge, for it is the mind’s prerogative to do so.
  This is the real justice!

About admin

Leave a Reply

你的電子郵件位址並不會被公開。 必要欄位標記為 *