Some will take a sigh of relief and say, “good riddance.” Few crimes get a quicker and more vehement reaction than molesting a child for money. But, my friends, no matter how heinous the criminal, even Jeffery Epstein is still innocent until proven guilty.
Death in prison is not justice. The WaPo article announcing Epstein’s death noted:
The high-rise federal detention center in downtown Manhattan has a fearsome reputation; one inmate who spent time there and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, famously said Guantanamo Bay was “more pleasant.”
There were dangerous people in this prison with connections to organized crime. It is no surprise that Epstein would turn up dead in such a place, and it is only made more suspicious by his connection to the Clinton machine. Perhaps Epstein will one day be added to the Clinton Body Count.
The point is, that Epstein had not been convicted, only charged; his death came while awaiting trial. By Constitutional standards, that is not justice. If prisons must be used to hold as-of-yet-innocent persons awaiting trial, then they should be held to high standards. Innocent people on whom the hammer of justice has not fallen should not be in fear of their own life while awaiting trial, nor should their premature death be celebrated as some victory of civilization.
Why does this matter? Because YOUR life matters. Given the right set of circumstances, it could be you in prison, justly or not. Celebrating death—even if it is ultimately deserved—threatens your own life. Protecting the rights to due process, even of criminals, protects yourself.
You might think of Epstein’s death as the natural, if tragic, end of a wicked man. “It’s Karma," you might say. “He got what was coming to him.” Perhaps so. Perhaps in a way this is justice by the hand of God, as it were, even if it is not by the hand of mankind. And yet your rejoicing in this wicked man's death is an act of hypocritical arrogance that betrays you. It shows that you have not yet plunged the depths of your own wicked heart.
Do not rejoice that this man has died. Be relieved if you want that he can't hurt anyone else. But do not rejoice, because maybe you are next. Jesus said:
Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish...fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
There is mercy freely available to any who ask for it from God. No child molester for profit is too wicked for God to heal. It is a free gift for anyone who confesses their sinfulness, and asks in good faith and repentance.
Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
There's a wideness in God's mercy, like the wideness of the sea.
There's a kindness in God's justice, which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth's sorrows are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth's failings have such kindly judgment given.
For the love of God is broader than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful, we would gladly trust God's Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving for the goodness of our Lord.
—Frederick William Faber