Tag Archives: Death Penalty

Schieber, Conway, and McCarthy, “Where Justice and Mercy Meet”

Where Justice and Mercy MeetThis February, Liturgical Press will publish Where Justice and Mercy Meet (2013) edited by Vicki Schieber (Catholic Mobilizing Network), Trudy D. Conway (Mount St. Mary’s University), and David Matzko McCarthy (Mount St. Mary’s University). The publisher’s description follows.

 Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty comprehensively explores the Catholic stance against capital punishment in new and important ways. The broad perspective of this book has been shaped in conversation with the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty, as well as through the witness of family members of murder victims and the spiritual advisors of condemned inmates.

 The book offers the reader new insight into the debates about capital punishment; provides revealing, and sometimes surprising, information about methods of execution; and explores national and international trends and movements related to the death penalty. It also addresses how the death penalty has been intertwined with racism, the high percentage of the mentally disabled on death row, and how the death penalty disproportionately affects the poor.

 The foundation for the church’s position on the death penalty is illuminated by discussion of the life and death of Jesus, Scripture, the Mass, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teachings of Pope John Paul II. Written for concerned Catholics and other interested readers, the book contains contemporary stories and examples, as well as discussion questions to engage groups in exploring complex issues.

Denk on the Eighth Amendment, Catholic Teaching and Death Penalty Discourse

Kurt M. Denk, S.J. (Boston College Law School) has posted Jurisprudence that Necessarily Embodies Moral Judgment: The Eighth Amendment, Catholic Teaching, and Death Penalty Discourse. The abstract follows.

Despite obvious differences, certain historical and conceptual underpinnings of Catholic death penalty teaching parallel core elements of U.S. death penalty jurisprudence, particularly given the Supreme Court’s expansive yet contested moral reasoning in Kennedy v. Louisiana, which stressed that Eighth Amendment analysis “necessarily embodies a moral judgment.” This Article compares that jurisprudence with the Catholic Church’s present, near-absolute opposition to capital punishment, assessing how the death penalty, as a quintessential law and morality question, implicates overlapping sources of moral reasoning. It then identifies substantive concepts that permit Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and the Catholic perspective to be mutually translated, presenting this approach as a means to advance death penalty discourse.