Shane Claiborne Discusses the Death Penalty

Eastern alum Shane Claiborne, class of ’97, is currently writing a book on the death penalty. In a January Facebook post, he reveals he is “finishing up the book,” which “is tentatively titled ‘Executing Grace,’” and it is expected to be released in “at least 8-10 months.”

Claiborne is against capital punishment and believes Jesus would be, too. In a May 2014 article posted on, he argues his stand against the death penalty by calling to mind the New Testament story of the woman caught in adultery and verses such as, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (NIV, Matt. 5:7) and, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matt. 5:38-39).

Also, in a February article posted on, Claiborne writes about executions scheduled for 2015, noting that 2014 saw historic lows: fewer people received death sentences than at any another time in 40 years. In addition, he addresses the issue of exoneration in relation to capital punishment and the high cost of execution.

Claiborne promises the book will include “a little history of the death penalty, some Bible study and church history, a few really horrifying stories, and tons of the most amazing tales of grace, forgiveness and restorative justice you’ll ever hear.”

In the meantime, check out the rest of Claiborne’s library on the subject of capital punishment; keep an eye out for the following titles:

  • “Death Interrupted” (–Sep. 2011)
  • “If It Weren’t for Jesus, I Might Be Pro-Death Too” ( – May 2014)
  • “Marching Through the Desert to End the Death Penalty” ( – Aug. 2014)
  • “A New Conversation on the Death Penalty” ( –Nov. 2014)
  • “Checking Pulse on the Death Penalty” ( – Feb. 2015)


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