Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sharing some posts about the death penalty

I've written two recent posts about the death penalty, in light of Governor Rick Perry's entry into the presidential race. They are here:

Death is irrevocable


Dead wrong: Rick Perry and the death penalty

Please feel free to comment either there or here about these posts.


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  2. Thanks very much for these posts, Erin. The one on Rick Perry's record is particularly interesting.

    After following some of the debate on this in the Catholic blogosphere, my own views on the death penalty are uncertain. The relevant passage from the Catechism does seem to forbid (or at least discourage) the death penalty if other means of protecting society are available. On the other hand, I appreciate the comments of those who are puzzled by how the current teaching fits with the older teaching and why this teaching has evolved as it has. Also, I do not know enough about the criminal justice system or prison system to judge whether non-violent means of protecting society truly are available in the 21st century United States.

    On the other hand, I still feel powerfully averse to the death penalty. All killing, even the most justified, is horrific and tragic and the death penalty seems especially so to me: to keep someone in confinement, in anticipation of death, for a long period of time before finally snapping his neck, shooting him, electrocuting him, or injecting toxic chemicals into his body seems cruel to me (even though the condemned might have been quite cruel in his own crimes).

    I suppose my position would be that violence, even justified violence, is best avoided if possible. This attitude might well not be obligatory for Catholics, but I pray that it is permissible.