• For many, the catalyst has been a simple question: “If I value life, how can I support taking a life when the death penalty doesn’t make us any safer?”

    The answer to that question is equally simple: the franchise of the government to do justice with the gallows was unquestioned for 19 centuries. See Avery Dulles, SJ on this point. A violent criminal convicted at trial is not the equivalent of a child in the womb. Seeing them as equivalent is willful perversity.

    By the way, your sociology stinks, sister.

  • Tom Downs

    Oh those wacky conservative Christians; they’ve decided to join the mainliner liberals. We’ve were campaigning to end the death penalty long before John Paul II issued his encyclical. Now if they would only stop discounting our vision of God’s call to ministry in other areas of social justice.

  • Your ‘vision’ is not worth a pitcher of warm spit.

  • ronald

    The man on Death Row must be given a choice: Repent, or go to your doom.

    If he repents and accepts that Jesus died for his sins, then he is redeemed and must be set free. It is a violation of the Free Exercise clause to keep someone imprisoned if he believes he is forgiven and washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.

    This is the Christian way to do things.

  • Andrew

    Art, how are you going to tell someone their sociology stinks when your justification for the death penalty is “this is the way we’ve always done it”. If you’re saavy enough to know the word “sociology”, you should know your reasoning is decidedly un-sociological. As a matter of fact, the literature totally supports the author’s claim that the death penalty does nothing to deter crime. What exactly are you saying is wrong here?

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  • whiskers mccoy

    Are you nuts, then every criminal would just claim theyve repented and go out and do it again.

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  • Wesley

    i would not get rid of the death penalty, but it should be used in extreme cases where the convict killed doing acts of terror to communities like mass killings. 9-11 attacks, Oklahoma City bombing, serial killing indiscriminately should be determine before the death penalty is used. for you normal murderer on death row prison for life should be the norm.

  • David

    How long will it be when, in the interest of Biblical proportionality of punishment befitting a crime, will life in prison without possibility of parole will be considered “cruel and unusual?” After all, unless the criminal is of particular notoriety, e.g. a Sirhan Sirhan, a Squeaky Fromme or a John Hinckley, most guilty of Murder 1 are released within ten years of conviction or after parole appeals have been exhausted.

    Let us consider the societal cost of housing convicted violent felons for life too, we already incarcerate a higher percentage of our population than any other western country.

    Finally, while no one here would argue that the death penalty provides comfort to the victim’s family, it does provide some closure and removes the threat of this person ever debasing the public again. It is primarily, in my opinion, that the lack of certitude of capital punishment being carried out in a reasonable and timely manner that its deterrence effect has lost some of its…

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