[quote=Della]You have stated Church teaching wrongly. The Church does not, never has, and never will teach that execution of murderers is intrinsically evil. Therefore, capital punishment is not a sin. Quandary solved!
Also, many Christians today, cannot reconcile capital punishment with a consistent “respect-for-life ethic”. The purpose of punishing criminals is to redress the disorder caused by the offense, to preserve public order and personal safety, and to correct the offender. The poor and minorities, who cannot afford the costly appeals process of our legal system, have suffered capital punishment the most, a form of punishment that does not reform the criminal. Furthermore, there is little evidence to show that capital punishment deters crime, a key reason people have used to justify it. And although scripture recognizes society’s right to use the death penalty in grave cases, it is to the credit of Christian nations to follow Jesus’ example of forgiving love and refrain from exercising it. The gospel of Jesus’ forgiving love teaches that because of the many means society has to deter crime today, capital punishment should very rarely be used. It should only take place in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
The Christian person should not be hold on to vices such as the need for revenge or the need for retribution and other vices that lead to the “want of murder” toward another.
My priest painted a picture for us during a recent RCIA class. Picture in your mind Children sitting on the Lap of Jesus. Now picture a man sitting in an electric chair, now picture Jesus walking up and throwing the switch.
He could not see it nor can I.