Expert Answer Forum

The Death Penalty QUESTION from Donald Lirette April 14, 2000
Why is the death penalty not considered a pro-life issue and only a social justice issue? I ask because during the pro-life month there was little talk on the D.P. but plenty on everything else from the pulpit. I pray that this changes. God Bless and Have a great day. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 15, 2000
Dear Donald, Thank you for your question. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. [CCC 2266]. The Church does not exclude ... recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor... but that the justification for employing the death penalty today are, very rare, if not practically non-existent. [CCC 2267] There are considerable differences between the death penalty and abortion and perhaps this is why it's not talked about in the same context. As the American Life League points out; In order to be executed, a hardened criminal must: commit an extremely atrocious crime. be caught. be informed of AND UNDERSTAND his legal rights. be found mentally competent. be convicted by a jury of his peers. be sentenced to death. commit his crime in a state which employs capital punishment. not receive a stay of execution. For an unborn child to lose his life, he need only: 1. be unwanted by one person. I hope this helps to answer your question. John Miskell Back to Index Page

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