The United Methodist Church: Our stance on the Death Penalty in Arkansas

It has been announced that a number of executions will be carried out in the state of Arkansas in coming weeks.  While the matter of the death penalty is a subject of much discussion and debate by faithful Christians, a number of people have made inquires about the official stance of The United Methodist Church.  The following is a statement from Paragraph164, G as found in The 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church.
G) The Death Penalty – We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore, and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.