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capital punishment

Boston Marathon victim’s parents: ‘Drop the death penalty’

By Reuters — April 17, 2015

BOSTON (Reuters) “We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives,” Bill and Denise Richard said.

Racial reconciliation demands Christians reconsider the death penalty (COMMENTARY)

By Antipas L. Harris — April 1, 2015

(RNS) At the same time that the Southern Baptist Convention apologizes for its complicity in racial oppression and urges racial reconciliation, the denomination remains a vocal proponent of capital punishment.

400+ Catholic and evangelical leaders want to kill the death penalty

By Heather Adams — March 31, 2015

(RNS) Christian leaders say Jesus’ state-sponsored execution should prompt believers to oppose the death penalty.

In a groundbreaking vote, Latino evangelicals call for end to death penalty

By Jonathan Merritt — March 30, 2015

(RNS) Many religious groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, oppose the death penalty, but evangelical groups tend to take a more conservative stance.

Latino evangelicals call for end to death penalty. Will others follow?

By Jonathan Merritt — March 27, 2015

The National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged their 3,000 member congregations to end capital punishment. They are the first major evangelical association to take this position publicly, but support for the death penalty among Christians is waning.

Pope Francis takes a dim view of the death penalty, but not all Catholics are convinced

By David Gibson — March 23, 2015

(RNS) Pope Francis is trying to tighten church teaching against the death penalty. Not all American Catholics, however, are convinced.

Utah poised to revive the firing squad in state executions

By Reuters — March 11, 2015

(Reuters) Utah used firing squads for decades before adopting lethal injections in 2004. A bill to revive it was introduced amid national concerns about the efficacy of lethal injections.

Executions drop to lowest level in two decades

By Kevin Johnson — December 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (RNS) The 72 death sentences issued in 2014 represents the fewest in 40 years, according to a leading anti-death penalty advocacy group.

Supreme Court seems increasingly wary on death penalty

By Richard Wolf — December 3, 2014

WASHINGTON (RNS) On top of drug protocols, developmental disabilities and lawyers’ mistakes, justices must decide if mental illness should be a reason to keep prisoners such as Scott Panetti alive. An appellate court gave him last-minute reprieve.

Pope Francis blasts supermax prisons as ‘torture’

By David Gibson — October 23, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Francis also took aim at practices that have been hotly debated in the U.S, such as the so-called “extraordinary rendition” of terror suspects to other countries.

COMMENTARY: The death penalty is never humane, even when carried out swiftly

By James Alan Fox — July 28, 2014

(RNS) I am concerned about relentless efforts to make the administration of capital punishment streamlined, straightforward, and simple. It should never be easy to kill a person.

COMMENTARY: Conservatives may hold the key to ending the death penalty

By Kirsten Powers — June 27, 2014

WASHINGTON (RNS) Anti-capital punishment activists say the time is ripe for promoting a culture of life.

Jesus, Werner Herzog, and capital punishment

By Laura Turner — June 25, 2014

After Clayton Lockett’s botched execution and three executions in two days last week, it’s time to revisit Werner Herzog’s 2011 documentary on the death penalty.

On death penalty, should Christians side with Jesus or Paul?

By Jonathan Merritt — May 5, 2014

Jesus’ love-your-enemies ethic is often juxtaposed with Paul’s sword-bearing theology in Romans 13. Who should Christians side with?

On capital punishment, don’t start with the Old Testament

By Jonathan Merritt — May 2, 2014

Some Christian leaders are asserting their support of the death penalty using scriptures from the Old Testament. Would starting with Jesus and the Christian gospel instead alter their conclusions?

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