(CT Politics Blog) After Troy Davis: The Religious Belief Breakdown on the Death Penalty

The execution of Troy Davis last night in Georgia has reinvigorated public debate over the death penalty. Davis was convicted in the 1989 murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail. The execution made headlines because there were questions raised about the evidence in the case, including recantations by seven of the nine witnesses against Davis.

The execution was condemned by Pope Benedict XVI, former president Jimmy Carter, and governments around the globe. In the U.S., most Christians support the use of the death penalty to punish murders. Unlike Catholics and mainline Protestants, evangelicals support for capital punishment remains high even among those who say their views are shaped most by their religious beliefs.

Public opinion on the death penalty has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. According to polls by Gallup, support for the death penalty was highest in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. At that time, 80 percent of Americans said they favored executing murderers. Since then, support has dropped to 64 percent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Capital Punishment, History, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

4 comments on “(CT Politics Blog) After Troy Davis: The Religious Belief Breakdown on the Death Penalty

  1. MargaretG says:

    The death penalty is one of those areas where the rest of the world’s Christians wonder what on earth Americans are thinking – and that is regardless of whether they are liberal, conservative, evangelical or pentecostal.

  2. CBH says:

    I wish more people would read Judge Moore’s 75+ pages of opinion in this case. I have read so many different accounts of recantations, none of which bear factual information. What shall we do when we no longer respect the judicial system and take our misinformed voices to the street? I would love to oppose the death penalty if the system would protect civil society and those who defend civil society from evil. I commend Judge Moore’s to those interested. He was thorough and IS a Christian.

  3. CBH says:

    p.s. Troy Davis has had 20 years (generously provided him by our Constitution) to make his peace with God which one deeply hopes he took advantage of. His street name was RAH, meaning Rough as Hell.

  4. Charles52 says:

    Unlike Catholics and mainline Protestants,

    Opposition to the death penalty is not a defined Catholic doctrine. Many Catholics do oppose capital punishment, but not all. For an encyclopedic review of the history and arguments from one point of view, you can’t beat Avery Cardinal Dulles: