The significance of capital punishment as a way of dealing with criminals

After a five-year moratorium, from tocapital punishment was reinstated in the United States courts. Objections to the practice have come from many quarters, including the American Catholic bishops, who have rather consistently opposed the death penalty. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops in published a predominantly negative statement on capital punishment, approved by a majority vote of those present though not by the required two-thirds majority of the entire conference.

The significance of capital punishment as a way of dealing with criminals

Catholicism & Capital Punishment by Avery Cardinal Dulles | Articles | First Things

Perjury in capital cases Deuteronomy However, the Old Testament ideas of punishment became secondary to Jesus' message of love and redemption. Both reward and punishment are seen as properly taking place in eternity, rather than in this life. Jesus said His mission was not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it Matthew 5: However, He and His apostles greatly modified our understanding of God's intentions.

Love is the principle that must guide all our actions Matthew 5: We are no longer bound by the harsh Old Testament Law John 1: Jesus flatly rejected the Old Testament principle of taking equal revenge for a wrong done Matthew 5: He also said that we are all sinners and do not have the right to pass judgment on one another Matthew 7: In the case of a woman caught in adultery a capital offenseJesus said to those who wanted to stone her to death, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

Go your way, and from now on do not sin again. Arguments For and Against Capital Punishment Christians, and our churches, are divided on the issue of whether capital punishment is right or wrong. Some proponents of capital punishment see it as mandated by the Old Testament Law.

However, Christians are no longer bound by the legal code of Old Testament Law. The argument of a Biblical mandate for capital punishment is also contradicted by the fact that many of the capital crimes in the Old Testament are considered relatively minor today.

Very few people in the Christian world would support capital punishment for such things as doing work on the Sabbath, false prophecy or making false statements about a woman's virginity. Many proponents of capital punishment interpret the phrase, "authority does not bear the sword in vain! However, the point of this passage is that Christians must not use their freedom from the Old Testament religious Law as an excuse to violate the civil law.

We must obey civil authority, which is instituted by God, because of fear of punishment as well as conscience verse 5. Opponents of capital punishment see it as exactly the kind of revenge and human judgment that Jesus and His apostles so often warned against.

They believe the principles set forth by Jesus and the apostles restrict punishment to only that which is necessary to protect society i. Opponents of capital punishment also point out that Jesus taught great principles for us to apply in our lives, rather than specific laws.

Thus, his failure to specifically condemn slavery, capital punishment and many other evils should not be interpreted as approval of those things. They see the mercy He showed to the woman caught in adultery John 8: However, Jesus never specifically repudiated capital punishment.Because death sentences cost significantly more than life sentences (see Cost), abolishing the death penalty would provide additional resources that could be used for other ways of dealing with crime, like services for victims' family members, additional police officers, indigent defense funding.

The significance of capital punishment as a way of dealing with criminals

Second, those favoring capital punishment contend that society should support those practices that will bring about the greatest balance of good over evil, and capital punishment is one such practice. criminal punishment on moral grounds while at the same time having a criminal justice system that resonates with the very people to protect and serve whom it was created.

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Capital punishment has shown to be a completely ineffective way to eliminate crime. There has been absolutely no evidence whatsoever that capital punishment eliminates .

The significance of capital punishment as a way of dealing with criminals

To justify imposing punishment on one of its members, a society must have a purpose. People who break the law are punished. Criminal penalties range from a . Statement on Capital Punishment U.S. Bishops, November, We should acknowledge that in the public debate over capital punishment we are dealing with values of the highest importance; respect It is also a challenge to us as a people to find ways of dealing with criminals that manifest intelligence and compassion.

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