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Use of death penalty does not follow Christ’s teaching Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Oct. 04, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

After reading the Inside Cover piece in the September 6 issue titled “The Church’s teaching on the death penalty,” I recalled from long ago the quote “you can use Bible quotes to justify anything, including murder,” which, it seems to me, Mr. John Joy does.

In my almost 20 years of Franciscan and Dominican education, I never heard that the Church endorsed the death penalty.

In the Bible, it says that Christ said, “It used to be an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (a life for a life). But now it is ‘turn the other cheek.’” Many in our Church do not know what to do with this teaching.

What my understanding of Church teaching always was and is that because there was no other way to keep society safe from murderers, the death penalty was allowed.

Mr. Joy uses several quotes from the Bible and implies from these quotes when we cannot stay true to the words, “Thou shalt not kill.” And where Mr. Joy makes St. Peter the killer of Sapphira, I shake my head. The Lord brought this down on her. But he is who made the rule above.

What the development vis-a-vis the death penalty is that we have come to the point that we can keep society safe from killers, taking us closer to the words of Christ.

There is no doubt, since Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, we have the capability for revenge. But this is not what the Lord teaches, which is mercy, and this in no way ever made the death penalty morally legitimate.

Kenneth R. Studinski, Janesville