William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


Thomas C. Berg


With the increased fervor surrounding the death penalty, many religious sects have re-examined their position on this issue. New statistics concerning possible discrimination in the application of the death penalty prompted several religious groups to call for a moratorium on the death penalty. In this Essay, Professor Thomas C. Berg examines how religious conservatives, especially Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants, have dealt with the recent concerns over the death penalty. Part I of the Essay documents how Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants traditionally approach the death penalty. In this section, Professor Berg concludes that critics of the death penalty can use theological arguments, as well as practical concerns about the death penalty, to persuade both groups to oppose the death penalty. Part II analyzes the particular theological arguments and practical concerns that will be most effective in persuading religious conservatives to oppose the death penalty.

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