The Death Penalty Essay

2110 Words Dec 20th, 2016 9 Pages
In September 2015, Pope Francis urged the United States to abolish the death penalty during an address to Congress. Similar to the previous pope, Pope Francis advocated abolition because “every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes” (“Address of the Holy Father”). Although the Roman Catholic Church now opposes capital punishment, their strong stance for abolition is fairly recent, starting around the 1980s. Almost all religious groups and denominations have a passionate view on the morality and the legality of death penalty. This fervor incited an abundance of political and religious debates, spurring both religious leaders and parishioners into action to defend their beliefs. The main argument deals with the question of whether an individual still has the right to his or her own life after committing a heinous crime, such as taking the life of another. Policy makers must attempt to solve this moral dilemma as they create and enforce laws regarding the death penalty. Religion is playing a more influential role in this discussion and helping society move closer to progress. Progress can be defined as expanding the circle of moral concern and providing equal rights to every member of society. In terms of death penalty legislation, progress means extending the right to life to all criminals regardless of their crimes. Because of the morality of the issue,…

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