The death penalty
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The Death Penalty . Historical and present facts:. As of 2010, more than two thirds of the world have abolished the death penalty Most of all known executions take place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.A .

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The Death Penalty

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The Death Penalty

Historical and present facts:

  • As of 2010, more than two thirds of the world have abolished the death penalty

  • Most of all known executions take place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.A.

  • The U.S.A, the most developed of those countries, has the death penalty in law in 35 of their 50 states.

  • Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976 and contrary to what death penalty supporters assumed would happen, the homicide rate in Canada did not increase.

  • Since 2000, of all countries that still carry out the death penalty, executions have been carried out by the following methods: beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection (most common method used in the U.S.A), shooting and stoning.

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A few of the reasons the death penalty challenges the culture of life:

  • The death penalty does not deter crime! According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the country's top academic criminological societies in the U.S.A, 88% percent of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. (Radelet & Lacock, 2009)

  • There is evidence of discrimination in the practice of the death penaltyIn 96% of the states where there have been reviews of race and the death penalty, there was a pattern of either race-of- victim or race-of-defendant discrimination, or both. (Prof. David Baldus report to the ABA, 1998).

  • For those who believe it’s cheaper to execute prisoners vs. keeping them in prison, they are wrong!In the U.S.A., studies conducted in California, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas show that the death penalty costs taxpayers more than keeping them in prison. An average death penalty case in Maryland and Florida, for example, costs approximately 3 million dollars. It costs more than 6 times the cost of imprisoning someone for 40 years in maximum security.

Restorative vs. Retributive Justice

  • Retributive Justice has an emphasis which seeks to hurt or harm an offender for a wrong committed.

  • Restorative Justice, which the Catholic Church supports, has more of a focus on repairing the sin that was committed. It takes into account consequence but also protects the life of the offender. It provides opportunities for dialogue and shows concern for all parties involved. This can be a very difficult but healing process.


As a class, let’s come up with a list of 3 things we can do to build a culture of life in each of the following:

  • Our schools

  • Our families

  • Our community

  • Our world

    Let’s Discuss…

  • What are some of the challenges you believe we can encounter while trying to build a culture of life?

  • Does the media support our stance in building a culture of life and defeating the culture of death? (Explain)

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