In the United States only 38 states have capital punishment statutes.
Pataki and “The Death Penalty Should Not Be Abolished,” by David B.
What we need, it seems to me (and I am a nobody) it to get the world’s governments to accept the current teaching of the Church on the death penalty. If we could do that, then the death penalty would be practically non-existent. I believe it will be more difficult – not less – to get secular governments to accept a blanket “never.”
In the article titled “Does Death Penalty Save Lives.
My point is simply this: the current Catechism seems to appropriately address all these issues. There does not seem to be a pressing need to change the Church’s teaching on the death penalty. It seems imprudent to me to lay down a blanket prohibition since the Church has explicitly acknowledged that the death penalty maybe legitimately in the past (overturning this, in my view, risks the credibility of the Church) and since it is possible that societal conditions may exist somewhere in the world – either now or in the future – that would make such a blanket rule both practically untenable and highly unlikely to be accepted.
Edward Feser on Pope Francis’ recent statements on capital punishment
The resumption of capital punishment after a long moratorium, which began in 1967, is the result of a series of decisions by the United States Supreme Court. In the first of these decisions, Furman v. Georgia (1972), the Court held that the death penalty as then administered did constitute cruel and unusual punishment and so was contrary to the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Subsequently in 1976 the Court upheld death sentences imposed under state statutes which had been revised by state legislatures in the hope of meeting the Court's requirement that the death penalty not be imposed arbitrarily. These cases and the ensuing revision of state and federal statutes gave rise to extended public debate over the necessity and advisability of retaining the death penalty. We should note that much of this debate was carried on in a time of intense public concern over crime and violence. For instance, in 1976 alone, over 18,000 people were murder ed in the United States. Criticism of the inadequacies of the criminal justice system has been widespread, even while spectacular crimes have spread fear and alarm, particularly in urban areas. All these factors make it particularly necessary that Christians form their views on this difficult matter in a prayerful and reflective way and that they show a respect and concern for the rights of all.