If I’ve got the post number correct this is #349.
I think there are only two criteria that determine whether a punishment is just:
- its severity is commensurate with the severity of the crime, and
- use of the punishment does not introduce other harm to society
As for the first, if capital punishment was ever just then it can only be because death is a commensurate punishment for (at least) the crime of murder, and this relationship can never change since the severity of neither the crime nor the punishment can ever change. As for the second, this is a prudential judgment (as I have always recognized) that is the responsibility of the government to make based on its own evaluation of the impact of the punishment.
So which is it? Is the punishment of execution for murder fixed outside the common good and can never change. Or are all punishments including execution, determined by the State as the caretaker of the common good?
Where did the Church ever teach the first of your ‘criterior’?