We know that government makes mistakes in everything else, from military procurement to lost social security checks. Why, then, would responsible conservatives trust government to carry out the one punishment which, when shown to be in error, can never be righted?
Serving with the Kairos Prison Ministries, I have seen men with life sentences surrender their lives to Christ. They have helped build Christian communities within prisons, which has lowered the recidivism rate among participating inmates.
Conservatives have every reason to believe the death penalty system is no different from any politicized, costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation, which we conservatives know are rife with injustice. But here the end result is the end of someone’s life. In other words, it’s a government system that kills people.
I’m opposed to the death penalty not because I think it’s unconstitutional per se—although I think it’s been applied in ways that are unconstitutional—but it really is a moral view, and that is that the taking of life is not the way to handle even the most significant of crimes…Who amongst anyone is not above redemption? I think we have to be careful in executing final judgment. The one thing my faith teaches me—I don’t get to play God. I think you are short-cutting the whole process of redemption…I don’t want to be the person that stops that process from taking place.
I believe that support for the death penalty is inconsistent with libertarianism and traditional conservatism.
On the core issue — yes or no on capital punishment — I’m with the opponents. Better to err on the side of not taking life. The teaching of the Catholic Church, to which I belong, seems right to me: The state has the legitimate authority to execute criminals, but it should refrain if it has other means of protecting people from them. Our government almost always does.
I used to support the death penalty, but I oppose it now. It gives the state too much power, it actually cost more money than life in prison without parole, and the government sometimes sentences innocent people to death. There are hundreds of people in the U.S. that have been wrongfully convicted and eventually released after serving time on death row. Others have still been executed after evidence was introduced that strongly supports their innocence. If the government kills someone and later finds out they were innocent, there’s not much you can do.
The death penalty is too perilous to risk to human error.
The government’s culture of death–including capital punishment–must be opposed by everyone who loves freedom and life.
Government has no business in the taking of life that is not strictly related to national defense. The same people who don’t believe that government can efficiently deliver health services or regulate the economy believe it can execute people without a mistake. Government should have no authority to make decisions where a mistake could mean the taking of an innocent life. I would rather see 100 guilty men go free, than to see one innocent person executed.
Are some crimes so heinous as to be worthy of the ultimate earthly punishment? Yes. Are some who commit those crimes capable of remorse, redemption and restitution? Yes, but not if they’re dead. Is government guilty of sloppiness and error in its judgments? Oh my God, yes! Add to that the proven fact that capital punishment in our clunky court system costs more than life without parole and you arrive at an inescapable conclusion: the right alternatives to capital punishment offer more hope, more deterrence and more justice.
My own story is one of redemption. I vehemently oppose the death penalty because it perpetuates the illusion that certain individuals are beyond redemption. Regardless of someone’s past actions, their life always has value. For all who are pro-life, we are called to oppose all threats to life from conception to natural death – including the death penalty.
The state’s right to kill you is the final demonstration of its power. The death penalty isn’t about justice; it is about the supremacy of the rulers over the ruled.
The death penalty runs a dangerously high risk of killing innocent people, siphons billions of dollars from the public, and gives the government power it cannot be trusted to carry out fairly.
The United States government has perverted the relationship between the citizen and the State. We now have warrantless surveillance, militarized police and indefinite detention. How can a government that so easily disregards the fundamental principles that created it (and limited it) be trusted with questions of life and death? It can’t, and that is why I support Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty.
The most important reason to oppose capital punishment was eloquently stated by Marquis de Lafayette, who wrote, “I shall ask for the abolition of the penalty of death, until I have the infallibility of human judgment demonstrated to me.” Our courts, judges, prosecutors and police are NOT infallible, by a long shot.