• Finality in Capital Punishment
  • Capital punishment also has great flaws.
  • In the USA capital punishment costs a great deal.

Capital punishment is a way of punishing a convict by killing him or her because of the crime he or she committed.

There include several different forms of capital punishment....

In the United States only 38 states have capital punishment statutes.

Most countries will use capital punishment without justifying the cause.

NCADP, 2016
Is It Completely Thought Through?
Capital punishment is almost always determined according to the emotions felt at the time instead of reasoning (i.e.

A few reasons why capital punishment is still legal in the U.S.

Capital Punishment is one of the most controversial topics in the history of the U.S.
But this is simply irrelevant to the that is at issue between Fastiggi and me. Yes, some of the Fathers were strongly opposed to the use of capital punishment in . But I never denied that. What I said is that they were unanimous that capital punishment is wrong, that it can be legitimate at least . And . This unanimous judgment includes Fathers like Tertullian and Lactantius, who – in other passages that Fastiggi does quote (but which Joe Bessette and I quote in our book) – allow that capital punishment can at least in theory be legitimate.


Many people say that the top level possible is capital punishment.

Indeed, even E. Christian Brugger – who has written the most significant Catholic theological work , and who maintains that the practice is always and intrinsically wrong and not just ill-advised in practice – concedes that there was a “consensus” among the Fathers on the legitimacy in principle of capital punishment, and that this consensus was grounded in Scripture.

For Fastiggi to cite the passages he does as evidence against the claim that there was such a consensus is to commit a – the fallacy of trading on the ambiguous use of words. Were some of the Fathers opposed to capital punishment? If we mean “opposed in ,” the answer is Yes. But if we mean “opposed even in ,” the answer is No. The texts Fastiggi cites seem to show what he claims they do only if we ignore this crucial distinction.

Capital punishment has been a way of punishing people for many years.

In response to this, Fastiggi alleges that “Feser’s claim of a unanimous consent of the Church Fathers on capital punishment is mistaken,” and notes that some of the Fathers had a “strong aversion” to its use. He quotes passages from Tertullian, Lactantius, and others which show that in their view the high moral standard to which Christians are called excludes the resort to capital punishment.

Scripture and the Fathers on Capital Punishment

Now, one of the key considerations I have been emphasizing is that the Church maintains that Scripture is divinely inspired and cannot teach moral error. The Church also teaches that where the Fathers of the Church are unanimous on some question of Scriptural interpretation, Catholics are obliged to follow them. But the Fathers of the Church unanimously teach that Scripture sanctions the legitimacy of capital punishment at least in principle. The unavoidable logical implication is that Catholics are obliged to hold that the legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is a divinely inspired and thus infallible teaching. That alone suffices to show that no pope can reverse it. (Again, whether capital punishment is advisable in practice is a separate issue, which I am not addressing here.)

There is no reason for capital punishment. It doesn’the make sense.

What Fastiggi does not seem to realize is that by conceding that “the Bible provides some passages that support the death penalty,” he has already conceded the main point at issue between us. His other claims about Scripture, even if they were true, are completely irrelevant. For the Church maintains that Scripture cannot teach moral error. It follows that, since (by Fastiggi’s own admission) at least passages in Scripture support the death penalty, it cannot be wrong to resort to capital punishment. End of story.

The recidivism rate for capital punishment is zero.

There are two fundamental theological questions that arise in Catholic discussions of capital punishment. First, is capital punishment legitimate at least ? Or is it wrong? Second, is capital punishment advisable ? Or are there moral or other reasons for the state to refrain from inflicting the death penalty, even if in theory it has the right to do so?