Death Penalty

Tobias Winright August 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
In this April 18, 2018, file photo, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks at the legislature, in Lincoln, Neb. (Gwyneth Roberts/Lincoln Journal Star via AP, File)
Gov. Pete Ricketts helped finance a ballot drive to reinstate capital punishment after lawmakers overrode his veto in 2015.
Pope Francis delivers a blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Aug. 5. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia File)
William K. Reilly August 13, 2018
A former head of the E.P.A. warns that the pope’s message on the death penalty, like his message on the environment, may not make it to the pews.
In this Aug. 16, 2010 file photo, Billy Ray Irick, on death row for raping and killing a 7-year-old girl in 1985, appears in a Knox County criminal courtroom in Knoxville, Tenn. (Michael Patrick/The Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, File)
The execution would occur a week after Pope Francis revealed new church teaching that deems the death penalty “inadmissible” under all circumstances.
Sister Helen Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille, and an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, is pictured in a 2010 photo in Geneva. (CNS photo/Salvatore Di Nolfi, EPA)
Kevin Clarke August 03, 2018
“The huge thing,” she said, is the recognition by the church of “the inviolable dignity even of guilty people who have done terrible crimes.”
Pope Francis' revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert that capital punishment is morally inadmissible shows how the church can grow in its understanding of the implications of basic tenets of faith.