A Cautious Man
January 05, 2007
 
That Execution Line
Following up on the false "religious = conservative" idea that the media pushes -

For anybody who is discussing the death penalty (whether in the context of Saddam Hussein, or the New Jersey commission which recommended abolition of the death penalty, as discussed below), the following is submitted for your consideration:
Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 2267 (Emphasis added).

For related thoughts on other issues, I refer you to Nitpicker's thoughts on the mental gymnastics engaged in by some conservatives.

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