Former Prosecutor Examines Capital Punishment by Putting Jesus on Trial in New Book

August 30, 2016

Louisville, KY

Former federal prosecutor, Mark Osler, was never able to find a Jesus that seemed real to him—until he put Jesus on trial. Drawing on his training as a prosecutor and professor of law, he and a group of friends staged the trial of Jesus for their church, as though it were happening in the modern American criminal justice system. “In the end, to find a Jesus I could see, I had to prosecute him—that is the way I knew to define people,” Osler writes. “That’s what I did, in eleven states over the course of three years, before audiences that were large and small, conservative and liberal.”

Prosecuting Jesus (Westminster John Knox Press) follows Osler on this extraordinary journey of discovering himself by discovering Jesus. Juxtaposing things we rarely put together, like the passion of Christ and our ideas about capital punishment, Osler explores an active engagement between Jesus and our contemporary law and culture. “Like most hard questions, the best answer lies within a story rather than an argument,” Osler says. “And that story took me to a truer self, one that sees the strength and truth and light in Jesus the disrupter.”

Prosecuting Jesus is available for purchase through Westminster John Knox Press and other major retailers.

Mark Osler is Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A former federal prosecutor, he is the author of Jesus on Death Row.