Capital Punishment & non-Catholic


#1

First of all, I've been praying for unity in the Catholic Church for my non-Catholic husband . One of his issues is with the Catholic Church teaching on capital punishment, which is against it almost always, says if someone hurts a child (molest,physical abuse, etc) they should be killed then quotes eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. How do I refute that? :shrug:

I'm going to post this also in the apologist thread.

Thanks God bless.


#2

I’m Catholic and I support the death penalty 100 percent. In fact, I think it should be used much more often.

Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean acting like a moron and letting people literally get away with muder.

Having said that, I would tell him something like “Just being against the death penalty doesn’t mean your pro-crime/criminal.”


#3

@Rascalking:

So it is ok to support the death penalty and be Catholic and be true to the teachings of the Catholic Church?? Because, I have a hard time swallowing that death penalty is completely wrong......This could be a huge deciding factor for him.....argh I'm confused..

My understanding from what I read is that the Cathechism says that it is wrong in ALMOST all cases unless death is the only way to protect other's lives against the aggressor.

Thanks

God bless


#4

Well, I’m no expert on what it takes to be Catholic, no one here is-take everything you read here, even from myself, with a large grain of salt! :wink:

From what I’ve read, a Catholic can support the death penalty under certian circumstances.


#5

I admire the Church for the consistency of its Seamless Argument against anything that takes a life, abortion, capital punishment, murder, etc.
But aside from any moral argument, I changed my mind about capital punishment when new DNA testing has shown several people on Death Row to be innocent (at least of the crime for which they were being punished).
Our justice system is based on the concept that it is better to let 99 criminals go free rather than convict one innocent person. While this concept is often upsetting to me when I hear about evil people going free, I still prefer it over the alternative.


#6

+JMJ+

I'm Catholic, and I'm almost always against the death penalty. The death penalty is only for the very gravest situations if there is not possibly another way to protect innocent life. However, in a country as great as ours, we have numerous ways of ensuring that the bad guys don't get out again. Solitary confinement is an example. I think that the death penalty is used way too often, when a better solution exists. Human life is too precious to me to be taken lightly.

To answer the "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," quote the Bible, Matthew 5:38-48. Sure, you have to defend yourself and others, but at the same time you have to know where to draw the line. You don't want to be merciless. If they abused children, does that give you the right to abuse them in the same way? No. To stoop to their levels of hatred just to "show them how it feels" is wrong. That has now turned to revenge.

To quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "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 with 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 definitively 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." (CCC 2267)

Hope this helps!


#7

Except in the rarest of circumtances, the death penalty is society’s way of saying “we failed, and we dispair of it.”


#8

That’s interesting. The death penalty has been used, basically, throughout the history of the world. I don’t think for a second that any of those societies failed. Some have been quite successfully, actually.

I resepctfullly disagree.


#9

My only real problem with the death penalty is that our “justice” system is hopelessly corrupt and subject to monetary influences, twisted ideology, and all sorts of shenanigans. If we all saw a woman get raped down the street by some guy, I think we would morally justified to implement the death penalty.

Unfortunately, when that gets to a courtroom, you can’t count on the evidence because the police are more interested in collars rather than justice (and the promotion system encourages this), the judge may have omitted evidence you think is vital and don’t even realize was omitted, and the quality of the case is often determined by the skill and/or salaries of each party. And you, as a juror, can’t even question anyone. I won’t put someone’s death on my conscience based on that kind of a system.

So, on a personal level, I’m for the death penalty for unspeakable crimes (murder, rape, etc). In our current society, I am steadfast against it.


#10

There is another thread right now on the death penalty that you might enjoy perusing:

Death Penalty

Being conflicted about the death penalty is not nearly as big an obstacle as being conflicted about the morality of abortion. Even while the Church admits that, in the present day, use of the death penalty is almost never necessary, She never states that the death penalty is intrinsically wrong nor that it can never be used. That’s an important difference.

That said, I would encourage him to at least be open to reflecting on why the Pope and the bishops say that the death penalty is almost never necessary and why they consistently speak out against it. Even if there is room for other opinions, we should not lightly cast aside what they are saying.


#11

[quote="Rascalking, post:8, topic:254421"]
That's interesting. The death penalty has been used, basically, throughout the history of the world. I don't think for a second that any of those societies failed. Some have been quite successfully, actually.

I resepctfullly disagree.

[/quote]

Eh, I somewhat agree with the statement.

Justice should be designed to encourage reconciliation, not punishment. If we treated justice as penance and restoration to society (if at all possible) then perhaps we would see a turn-around in the number of repeat offenders who return to jail... but somewhere along the way we stopped treating justice as though it were meant to rehabilitate the criminal and started treating it like vengeance. Therein lies the problem: our justice system no longer remotely represents anything about the way God treats us when we sin... and when we fall from God's model into man's we end up with a lesser system.

So the death penalty is a statement that we cannot rehabilitate a person, we cannot allow them to repent of their wickedness and seek God, and that we lack the means to confine them in such a way that they can't hurt others whilst still offering them the opportunity to repent. I imagine that God is very upset with us every time we execute a person who would have turned to him if they only had a few more years of life to face their maker...

So while my fallen human nature demands blood as punishment for sin, I recognize fully that the church is right in this regard... the death penalty is a permanent "solution" that ends all chance of true repentence and conversion.


#12

Then this begs the question - which historical societies would you be prepared to be at the mercy of?


#13

Actually our criminal justice system treats the punishments as retribution, which means that the punishment is equal to the crime. I’m referring of course to the U.S. criminal justice system. Sorry if you’re referring to another country.

Our Justice system hasn’t been much about rehabilitation since the Walnut street jail or Auburn. While rehabilitation aspects are still present, the main idea of prison is to punish offenders and deter others.


#14

I think the support remaining for the death penalty is largely generated by the human tendency to feel better about oneself when one finds somebody else out there that is "much worse." In reality, this is a sad shell game.

The order of creation and original innocence of man was destroyed and death entered the world because Adam and Eve ATE AN APPLE! All sin deserves the death penalty according to God. It is only because He was merciful to us that we have hope of salvation.

That's the bottom line reason why we need to be very careful about the application of the death penalty. Rationalizing about how this or that criminal doesn't deserve to live anymore is ultimately just our own ego trying desperately to convince us that we're so much better. We aren't. We were convicted criminals on death row too. We just were offered a wonderous, glorious pardon. If we can find a way to protect the public from repeat offenders without having to kill them, why wouldn't we? Especially so in our current system where it costs so much more to execute a convict than imprison him for 50 years. There just isn't any defensible reason in most cases to kill prisoners anymore.


#15

[quote="LaFleurDeLis, post:13, topic:254421"]
Actually our criminal justice system treats the punishments as retribution, which means that the punishment is equal to the crime. I'm referring of course to the U.S. criminal justice system. Sorry if you're referring to another country.

Our Justice system hasn't been much about rehabilitation since the Walnut street jail or Auburn. While rehabilitation aspects are still present, the main idea of prison is to punish offenders and deter others.

[/quote]

And that's exactly why it's incorrect and we're seeing the resulting increase in repeat offenders returning to incarceration.

Back in the early 1900s there was no warehousing of criminals (ie, they didn't get community time to trade crime tricks in their respective repertoire), and there was a solid prison economy in the form of work. When a prisoner was released, they had spent a large portion of their incarceration working for pay and were released with a small, but reasonable amount of money to start out their lives... not to mention the products sold and tax revenue saved contributed to the cost of running the prisons.

We went wrong when we walked away from the model of God's sacrament of reconciliation and towards mere punishment...


#16

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