What do the scriptures say about the death penalty? In California, a major gang member was in jail for 25 years and sentenced to death. Some people were in an uproar about it! How do the scriptures address this now and during Jesus' days?

To begin with, Jesus' days were the tail end of the Old Testament times. (Under the O.T., there were a number of capital crimes.) So what was required by the old law or allowed during the early first century does not necessarily apply to our own day. There were a number of crimes meriting the death penalty in O.T. times.

And yet today there is no more "church state." Politics and Christianity do not mix. Not practically, and not theologically. So I do not think the scriptures directly address the situation you refer to.