“American Sniper” Murderer Eddie Ray Routh Found Guilty – But Is His Sentence Justice?

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Published on: February 25, 2015

The trial of Eddie Ray Routh has concluded. He was found guilty of the murder of “American SniperChris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

The case went to jury that rejected his argument that he was insane when he murdered the two men. As a result, the district judge Jason Cashon read the verdict of the 12 member jury after just 2 and one half hours of deliberation.

Routh, 27, was found guilty of capital murder in the deaths of Kyle and Littlefield. He was then led away from the courtroom to begin his sentence of life without parole.

Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife, left the courtroom as the defense gave their closing statements, apparently upset in the manner they were issuing them. She was not present for the reading of the verdict.

As for some of that line of argumentation the defense issued in their closing remarks, here’s just a couple of examples provided by Yahoo News:

“He didn’t kill those men because of who he wanted to be, he killed them because he had a delusion,” defense attorney J. Warren St. John said. “He believed in his mind that they were going to kill him. Eddie didn’t know these men.”

Defense attorneys tried to get the trial moved elsewhere, but their motions were denied. On Tuesday, defense attorney Tim Moore pressed the jury to not let Kyle’s status as a war hero and the attention of the case keep them from doing their job.

“You can’t go back in there and say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this. What would I say to my neighbor? What would I say to my friends at church?'” Moore said. “Don’t violate your conscious just make somebody else happy.”

However, Jerry Richardson, Littlefield’s step-brother did have some words to say. “You took the lives of two heroes; men that tried to be a friend to you. You became an American disgrace.”

“Your claims of PTSD have been an insult to every veteran who served with honor — disgracing a proud military with your cowardice,” Richardson added. “You wanted to be a Marine, a real man. But you destroyed the opportunity by committing a senseless act. You have put yourself in a world you will never escape.”

Littlefield’s mother also told reporters that her family had “waited two years for God to get justice for us on behalf of our son and, as always, God has proved to be faithful. We’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight.”

Chad’s father Don said, “The State of Texas has decided to spare your life, which is more than you were willing to give Chad. As much as we hurt and are devastated by our tremendous loss, by the grace of God, we will not become angry, bitter or resentful. That would keep us bound to you, and you do not deserve that honor.”

“Now you will have the rest of your wasted life — each and every day of it — to remember his name,” he added. “Let me remind you, his name is Chad Littlefield: C-H-A-D L-I-T-T-L-E-F-I-E-L-D.”

I am glad the family is not determined to become bitter and resentful. However, let me ask, is the sentence of life without parole justice for this man? How is it a just thing to take tax money from the families of the individuals he murdered in order to feed, clothe and house this man for the rest of his life? How is it justice that others, who are not a part of these families are forced to provide for him as well? How is it justice that this man will tie up courts with numerous appeals, wasting the people’s money and time while he is fully taken care of in prison?

We are supposed to be a “Christian nation” and as such, why do we shrink back from the justice God said should occur to such as one as Eddie Ray Routh?

Bryan Fischer recently wrote on the death penalty. Though he did not provide each instance in the Scriptures where the death penalty was to be administered, he did point out the one capital crime that mercy was not shown for, murder.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” –Genesis 9:6

That is a just and righteous punishment for those who commit murder. However, today, we have too many people who claim they are “civilized” who are “appalled” at such notions, both inside and outside the Church. Yet, they think they can be more just than God by putting a man in a cage for the rest of his life, something that is never commanded in Scripture as a just punishment.

And before anyone claims that the death penalty is “Old Testament” and that the New Testament has nothing to say about that, consider the words of the apostle Paul concerning the civil magistrate:

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. –Romans 13:3-4

In brief, the civil magistrate is the minister of God who executes justice upon the evildoer and should not be a terror to those that do good, but to those that do evil. In other words, his job is to protect those that do good by bringing just punishment upon those that do evil. The fact that he is God’s minister affirms that he should be acting in accordance with God’s Law. Sadly, many Christians today distort the text of Romans 13 to affirm submission to all manner of ungodliness that dresses itself up as “law” rather than follow in the footsteps of the apostles who said it was right and good to listen and obey God more than corrupt men and pretended commands of law (Acts 5:29).

In the early days of America, justice was swift. It wasn’t without one being confronted with the fact that his crime was also sin against God and a call to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, as Christians we should desire the work of redemption to be applied to even the greatest of sinners, having been those who were redeemed by the same Lord. But this issue is about justice being meted out in this life. It’s about the commands of a just and holy God.

So, I ask the reader, is this really justice, or is it an injustice to the family to be forced to keep Eddie Ray Routh up for the rest of his life through their labor after he knowingly and willingly took the lives of their loved ones? Frankly, I think the latter is the case.

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