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Christianity and Opposition to the Death Penalty: Late Modern Shifts


  • Christine E. Gudorf


This article sketches the shifts in Christian thought and denominations on capital punishment from the early church to today in the United States, and then examines the ethical issues in the administration of capital punishment both before and since the Supreme Count stopped executions in 1972. The conclusion of the article is that overwhelming evidence of the injustice of death sentences could not sway popular support for capital punishment, but evidence that switching to life sentences could save states millions of dollars is swaying many pro-death penalty voters and legislators.