Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Maryland death-penalty repeal advances

It appears that a bill to repeal the death penalty in Maryland is advancing, and is likely to -- eventually -- be enacted into law.  Good.  The death penalty is constitutionally permissible, and it is not the job of judges to abolish or undermine it.  But, it should be rejected, by us, for the reasons set out by Archbishop William Lori (you know, that "conservative" who, some imagine, has been speaking out forcefully about the importance of religious freedom for merely "partisan" reasons):

There are many worthy arguments against the death penalty regarding bias in
its application, its ineffectiveness as a deterrent, its costliness, and the
emotional toll of death penalty proceedings on victims. As a faith community,
however, our perspective goes beyond these issues. While those who have done
terrible harm to others deserve punishment, we urge a response that meets evil
with a justice worthy of our best nature as human beings, enlightened by faith
in the possibility of redemption and forgiveness.

As the bishops of the United States have consistently said, “We oppose
capital punishment not just for what it does to those guilty of horrible crimes,
but for what it does to all of us as a society. … We cannot overcome crime by
simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by
ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers
the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.”


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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