The New Testament lays down the general principles of good
government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of
offenders. Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an
eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this
distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not
primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the
purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be
gained, but crime in itself demands punishment. (See MURDER
T0002621; THEFT T0003632.)

Endless, of the impenitent and unbelieving. The rejection of
this doctrine "cuts the ground from under the gospel...blots out
the attribute of retributive justice; transmutes sin into
misfortune instead of guilt; turns all suffering into
chastisement; converts the piacular work of Christ into moral
influence...The attempt to retain the evangelical theology in
connection with it is futile" (Shedd).