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Jesus on Death Row

Author(s): Mark Osler

ISBN13: 9780687647569

ISBN10: 0687647568

Publisher: Abingdon Press

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  • What does the most infamous criminal proceeding in history, the trial of Jesus of Nazareth, say about capital punishment in the United States?
  • Mark Osler

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    Baylor University law professor and former prosecutor Osler challenges Christian support for the death penalty by fitting the story of Jesus trial and death into the modern criminal justice process in the United States. His chapters follow the arc of Christs last days and examine their symmetry with aspects of modern criminal trials, noting the use of a paid informant, denial of habeas corpus and humiliation of the convicted. The chapter on last meals offers compelling ligatures between the publics fascination with death row inmates last requests-foods like chicken-fried steak and chili cheese dogs-and the celebration of the Eucharist, which commemorates "the last meal of a man who knew he would be killed by the state the next day." At times Oslers thesis-that Gods "creation of an earthly Christ subjected to capital punishment seems to reveal his intent that we care not only about that man, but that process"-gets lost in the details of the extended parallel. Yet the book makes an effective, and surprisingly gentle, case against the death penalty, an argument aimed at the majority of American Christians who see no irony in supporting capital punishment while following one who was a defendant and victim of it.

    - Publishers Weekly


Jesus on Death Row