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8 December 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The State of Ohio legislature is considering a revision to its capital punishment law that would prevent the State from executing anyone who gives his life to Jesus before the procedure. Called Hamlet's Law after the scene in the Shakespeare play in which Prince Hamlet refuses to murder the evil Claudius while he is bowed in prayer for fear of sending him to glory rather than the perdition he deserved, the law is aimed at preventing a heavenly reward for convicted murderers.
"I ask you," rhetorically asked Hamlet's Law spokesman Ralph Reed, "does it make sense to allow these wretched murderers to just skip on up into Heaven after the evil they have perpetrated? Invariably they repent and convert while on death row, as if to subvert our system of justice entirely. They then eagerly anticipate their punishment as though we are doing them a great service by executing them. It's a travesty. Under Hamlet's Law, this perversion of human justice by way of Holy God's boundless mercy would be rendered powerless. Any death row inmate who attempts to embrace his fate this way will be removed from death row and placed into solitary confinement for the remainder of his days for such disrespect of our earthly systems."
When asked why a Christian organization would try to discourage or prevent the conversion of sinners, Reed scoffed. "The Bible clearly states that many will be cast aside for their sins. We are simply ensuring that these evildoers are included in that 'many'. I guarantee you that none of these villains would convert if they knew it would land them in a lifetime of solitary confinement."
Research suggests that this argument is true, which brings into question the motive behind these death row conversions. Reed was asked if the fact that their conversions tend to be dubious at all mitigates the need for this law. "It's true that these conversions are dubious, clearly," Reed responded. "But questionable motives or not, we don't want to take any chances with the mercy of God. You never know. You read how he just willy-nilly let that thief on the cross humbly repent like nothing ever happened. You know what I'm saying?"
The proposal goes to the legislature floor on Saturday, in time to circumvent the annual rash of holiday-induced death row conversions.