Catholics and the Death Penalty: Lawyers, Jurors & Judges: Foreword
Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, Vol. 44, p. 277, 2005
6 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2007
Since the mid-1990s, official Catholic Church teaching has increasingly advocated for the severe limitation or abolition of the death penalty, finding occasions in which it would be required for society's self defense rare or "practically non-existent."
For Catholic lawyers, jurors and judges who aim to be both faithful to the teachings of their Church and respectful of their roles within the legal system, capital cases may raise difficult questions and decisions.
Fordham's series on Catholics and the Death Penalty set out to explore some of those questions, including the doctrinal weight to ascribe to the teaching, and how to navigate potential conflicts between one's beliefs and one's duties within the legal system.
The collection includes an introduction by Art C. Cody, a member of the New York City Bar Committee on Capital Punishment; a conversation between New York Capital Defender Kevin M. Doyle and Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes about the roles of Catholic lawyers in capital cases; and an essay by Gerald F. Uelmen on the questions that arise for Catholic jurors in this context.
Keywords: religion, death penalty, capital punishment, ethics, legal profession
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