In the context of my rereading the book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, by Sister Helen Prejean, the leading force in the American movement to abolish capital punishment; some polls shows support for capital punishment has dropped in California.
The abolitionist arguments are built on emotional stories of brutal childhoods, the court economics of capital cases and the horror of death row housing.
The capital punishment supporter arguments are built on the recognition of evil, the recognition that there are crimes that cry to heaven and it is only through taking the life of the evil doer, through proper judicial action and in our name, that evil is truly confronted and true justice rendered.
I wrote a book about capital punishment which is a defense of the scriptural and traditional Catholic position of support for capital punishment in response to calls for its abolition. Based on scripture and tradition, calls for abolition are premature, though, in a positive sense, the call has generated a renewed focus on not only the magisterial history of this most ancient of teachings, but also its theological resonance within the expression of that teaching by the Fathers of the Church-ancient and modern-who most deeply reflected on it. While Catholic social teaching has always supported capital punishment, it has been opposed by some in the Catholic hierarchy as an unnecessary criminal justice tool, with current criminal justice technology being presented as providing adequate protection of the innocent against the aggressor.