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New Haven, Connecticut -- Death Penalty on 6 Counts of Murder
The verdict was handed down from the jury along with the sentencing - 6 counts of murder against Steven Hayes - But it took three and a half years and untold amounts of money from the victim's family to hear this verdict rendered.

Although Dr. William Petit Jr. said he felt a sense of justice when a jury sentenced the killer of his wife and two daughters to death Monday, he was also critical of the way the state handles capital crimes.


Petit called that time frame "absurd," and noted that Virginia, Florida and some other states routinely take capital cases to trial in half that time in instances where defendants are caught at the scene or shortly after.

His wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and daughters Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17, were murdered July 23, 2007. Steven Hayes was sentenced to death 40 months later. Both Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky were caught outside the Petit home, and both confessed.

"Fortunately, in this case, justice delayed was not justice denied,"
Petit said of Monday's verdict.


State Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee, said that Petit raises a fair point, but doubted that there was a reliable legislative solution.

Lawlor, an opponent of the death penalty, said the state could pass a law mandating that capital cases come to trial within 18 months, "and then you'll find out, on appeal, after the prosecution and conviction, whether that law is constitutional.''

Lawlor, a former prosecutor, said that death penalty cases simply take a long time because the stakes are so high and a mistake by the prosecution could result in an appeals court's overturning the sentence.

Petit also said that he would like to see more money channeled into support for the families of homicide victims. He said that if he didn't have the financial means, he couldn't have devoted the amount of time he did to the case. A victim's family with fewer financial resources would be shortchanged by the system, he said.


Petit's comments were part of his emotional remarks from the courthouse steps after the jury returned the verdict of death on six counts against Hayes.

Petit, with family members and friends pressed in around him, said he wasn't looking for closure.

"I don't think there is ever closure,''
Petit said as a chilling wind whipped up Church Street. "Whoever came up with that … is an imbecile.''


Asked if he can start to heal, he said, "It is helpful that justice has been served with the appropriate verdict.''


The horrific crime affected the town of Cheshire in a fundamental way. On Monday, residents of that town and others reacted -- most positively -- to Hayes' death sentence.

"I think that it would have been a waste of taxpayers' money to keep [Hayes] alive,"
said Kim Abate as she wheeled her grocery cart to her car in the Stop & Shop parking lot about a mile from the Petit home.


Abate said of Hayes' sentence, "It's the greatest thing I've heard in a while, even though I'm usually against the death penalty. But this shook our town to its core."

But what does Islam say? For that matter, what does the Bible say?
Here is what we find from the "experts"(?) on Islam --

Does Islam support the death penalty?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The Qur’an, in a 1983 translation by M.H. Shakir and hosted online by the University of Michigan (accessed July 25, 2008), contains the following two references to a death penalty:
"Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for anarchy in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land. Chapter 5, Verse 120 "The Table"

"...do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand." Chapter 6, Verse 165: "The Cattle"

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wrote in its fact sheet "Islam and Capital Punishment" dated June 23, 2005, that:

"Muslim countries vary in the extent to which they practise capital punishment, though all retain it at present.

Islamic countries that practise a very strict Sharia law are associated with the use of capital punishment as retribution for the largest variety of crimes.

At the other end of the spectrum are countries such as Albania and Bosnia, which still retain the death penalty as part of their penal system, but are abolitionist in practice."


June 23, 2005 - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, President of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, wrote in his Nov. 6, 2001 article “Timothy McVeigh and the Death Penalty” published on www.islamonline.net, that:

“The views of American Muslims on the death penalty vary somewhat, but the range is narrow compared to the enormous disagreements among Christians. All Muslims accept the permissibility of the death penalty because it is addressed in the Qur'an. However, our views range from those who would apply it for a moderately short list of crimes (short compared to the enormous list of capital crimes in the old testament) to those who would apply it to a somewhat shorter list still, and finally, to those who would call for a moratorium on the death penalty in America altogether.”


Nov. 6, 2001 - Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD

Does Islam support the death penalty?

PRO (yes) CON (no)
Understanding Islam, a website dedicated to educating the public about Islam, stated the following in its article, “Regarding the Death Penalty,” published on www.understanding-islam.com (accessed July 29, 2008):

"According to the Islamic injunctions, death penalty can be administered in two cases only. Firstly, if a person is physically harmed or injured by another, Islam directs the state to provide justice to the individual (or his relatives) by letting him/them harm or injure the guilty to the same extent, as he himself was guilty of harming his victim, in the first place. This concept of punishing the guilty is known as 'Qisaas', which means 'to follow suit' or to deal with the criminal in a manner similar to the act originally committed. In other words, the criminal is to be killed or injured in the same way as he himself killed or injured his victim...

Secondly, the death penalty may be administered if the criminal is guilty of 'Hiraabah' or 'Fasaad fil Ardh'. 'Hiraabah' and/or 'Fasaad fil Ardh' include crimes committed against the community, rather than an individual or crimes that are of the nature of religious persecution or crimes committed with the objective of spreading a wave of terror through the community or crimes committed against the state..."

 

[Editor's Note: The above quote states that only "two cases" exist for which the Qur'an allows the death penalty. The first case is for murder.  The second case applies to "crimes committed against the community" which, depending on who is interpreting the Qur’an, may include: treason, apostasy (when one leaves the faith and turns against it), terrorism, piracy, rape, adultery, and homosexual activity.]


July 29, 2008 - Understanding Islam

Shahid Athar, MD, President of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, wrote in his article “Capital Punishment - A Faith Issue in an Islamic Perspective,” published on www.islam-usa.com (accessed July 25, 2008):

“There are three crimes [see Editor's Note above] for which the death penalty is justified: (a) In lieu of an unjust and proven murder, life for life; (b) adultery (zina) committed by a married person, either confessed by him or her four times, or if the act is witnessed by four people; and apostasy from Islam after willingly accepting it, declaring an open revolt against Islam, threatening the solidarity of the Muslim community…

The emphasis in Islam is not on punishment itself but the reform of the criminal as well as a reminder to those who are witnesses to the punishment. We believe that after receiving the due punishment in this world, the murderer in the life hereafter will not be questioned about it, and will receive his due share of rewards for the good he might have done in this life.”


July 25, 2008 - Shahid Athar, MD

Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi, former Professor of Islamic Creed at Al-Azhar University (Cairo, Egypt), issued a fatwa, published on www.islamonline.net (accessed July 25, 2008) that stated the following:

“Death penalty is not a recent legislation, so it should not be subject to different views on whether to impose, lift or cancel it. It has been ordained a long time ago...

All lawmakers legalize self-defense, and they say it is permissible for one to kill a person who attacks him, if there is no other way. So in resisting the attack, man is compared to the society as it fends off aggression. That is, a murderer deserves death penalty because he has trespassed against the whole society by killing one of its members. So, when the society calls for death penalty for such a criminal, it is really in a state of self-defense.”


July 25, 2008 - Sheik Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi

Tariq Ramadan, PhD, Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University, wrote in his Apr. 5, 2005 article, “An International Call for Moratorium on Corporal Punishment, Stoning and the Death Penalty in the Islamic World,” that:

'[W]e launch today a call for an immediate international moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in all Muslim majority countries. Considering that the opinions of most scholars, regarding the comprehension of the texts and the application of hudud, are neither explicit nor unanimous (indeed there is not even a clear majority), and bearing in mind that political systems and the state of the majority Muslim societies do not guarantee a just and equal treatment of individuals before the law, it is our moral obligation and religious responsibility to demand for the immediate suspension of the application of the hudud which is inaccurately accepted as an application of 'Islamic sharia'."


Apr. 5, 2005 - Tariq Ramadan, PhD

Rabia Terri Harris, Coordinator of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, wrote in her article “Islam and the Death Penalty,” published on www.amnestyusa.org (accessed July 25, 2008):

“An Islamic opposition to the death penalty must begin by acknowledging that the Qur'an may clearly be read as giving special exemption (from the general prohibition on killing) to the taking of a murderer's life…

Those who favor the death penalty therefore cannot be considered as beyond the pale: we must accept the faithfulness and validity of their opinion...

[T]he responsibility of a Muslim is justice. Will the killing of a murderer produce justice...

[W]e can measure whether it does or not by examining the state of public trust. In the US, the following facts have been established…Nearly 90% of persons executed for murder were convicted of killing whites, although people of color make up over half of all homicide victims nationally…[and] 90% of the people US government prosecutors currently seek to execute are black or Latino…

There is no justice here. No needs are met, no fear is alleviated. This idea does not work. The hallmark of truth is that it works…

 

It is a far more serious error of Islamic ethics to demand a human death in circumstances when there are doubts about guilt or innocence, where the bereaved are not consulted about their wishes, and when the penalty is selectively applied based on the pernicious fantasy that some lives have more value than others.

Islamic law, and Islamic taqwa, demand that we dissent from such a travesty of justice.”


July 25, 2008 - Rabia Terri Harris

Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law, in a Jan. 25, 2002 conference hosted by the Pew Forum, titled "A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty," stated:

"In the Koranic discourse, beyond the story of Cain and Abel, we find that there are various articulations and pronouncements directed at murder and punishment, but not necessarily mandating execution or the death penalty as a recourse...

When it comes to talking about the ultimate punishment, capital punishment, it talks about intentional murder, and it says that in the case of intentional murder there are three options. One option is that the family of the victim would demand compensation... a sum of money in compensation...The second possibility is that the family of the murderer demand exaction, i.e., then the offender would be killed. And third is to forgive... And it’s quite interesting here, the Koran goes on to say, in the same verse in which it endorses the three part structure, it says, and those who forgive are higher in the sight of God.

Because God has decreed this area to be God’s own, the area of life and what happens when a life is taken away, if you, in fact, punish with the ultimate punishment, the death penalty, you must prove the case per the ways that God has decreed that you prove these cases. Otherwise, you cannot implement the death penalty. And what this amounts to was effectively saying that what is required in order to implement the death penalty is a level of certainty, of evidence, that is quite impossible to fulfill."


Jan. 25, 2002 - Khaled Abou El Fadl, PhD

Does Christianity support the death penalty?

 

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated in the "Public Issues" section of the Church's official website (accessed July 25, 2008):

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment."


July 25, 2008 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

The Assemblies of God (USA), one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the United States, in an article on its website titled "Capital Punishment" (accessed July 28, 2008) and written by the church's General Council, stated:

"Opinion in the Assemblies of God on capital punishment is mixed. However, more people associated with the Assemblies of God probably favor capital punishment for certain types of crimes such as premeditated murder than those who would oppose capital punishment without reservation. This consensus grows out of a common interpretation that the Old Testament sanctions capital punishment, and nothing in the New Testament negates maximum punishment as society's means of dealing effectively with serious crimes...

There is room in the church for honest differences of opinion concerning the use of capital punishment. However, all believers should seek to apply biblical principles in reaching their conclusions...
"


July 28, 2008 - Assemblies of God (USA) 

Does Christianity support the death penalty?

PRO (yes) CON (no)
Billy Graham, Evangelical religious leader, in an article titled "The Power of the Cross," published in the Apr. 2007 issue of Decision magazine wrote:

"God will not tolerate sin. He condemns it and demands payment for it. God could not remain a righteous God and compromise with sin. His holiness and His justice demand the death penalty."


Apr. 2007 - Billy Graham 

Southern Baptist Convention, in a June 13-14, 2000 meeting in Orlando, Florida, approved a resolution that stated:

"Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention...support the fair and equitable use of capital punishment by civil magistrates as a legitimate form of punishment for those guilty of murder or treasonous acts that result in death."


June 13-14, 2000 - Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) 

Carl F. H. Henry, ThD, PhD, an American evangelical Christian theologian and the first editor-in-chief of the magazine Christianity Today, in his 1988 book Twilight of a Great Civilization, wrote:

"The rejection of capital punishment is not to be dignified as a 'higher Christian way' that enthrones the ethics of Jesus. The argument that Jesus as the incarnation of divine love cancels the appropriateness of capital punishment in the New Testament era has little to commend it. Nowhere does the Bible repudiate capital punishment for premeditated murder; not only is the death penalty for deliberate killing of a fellow human being permitted, but it is approved and encouraged, and for any government that attaches at least as much value to the life of an innocent victim as to a deliberate murderer, it is ethically imperative."


1988 - Carl F. H. Henry, ThD, PhD 

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), a coordinating agency of evangelical denominations in the US, in a 1973 statement on capital punishment, stated:

"If no crime is considered serious enough to warrant capital punishment, then the gravity of the most atrocious crime is diminished accordingly...

We strongly reaffirm our resolution of 1972 concerning capital punishment, and we call upon congress and state legislatures to enact legislation which will direct the death penalty for such horrendous crimes as premeditated murder, the killing of a police officer or guard, murder in connection with any other crime, hijacking, skyjacking, or kidnapping where persons are physically harmed in the process.

We urge that legislation which re-establishes the death penalty also include safeguards to eliminate any inequities.
"


1973 - National Association of Evangelicals 

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, the second largest Lutheran church body in North America, during a 1967 church convention, adopted a resolution that stated:

"Whereas, The Lutheran Confessions support capital punishment:

...God has delegated His authority of punishing evil-doers to civil magistrates in place of parents; in early times, as we read in Moses, parents had to bring their own children to judgment and sentence them to death. Therefore what is forbidden here applies to private individuals, not to governments.

Therefore be it Resolved, That The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod declare that capital punishment is in accord with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions."


1967 - Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod 

The Catholic Church, in the June 21, 2001 "Declaration of the Holy See to the First World Congress on the Death Penalty," wrote:

"The Holy See has consistently sought the abolition of the death penalty...

Where the death penalty is a sign of desperation, civil society is invited to assert its belief in a justice that salvages hope from the ruin of the evils which stalk our world. The universal abolition of the death penalty would be a courageous reaffirmation of the belief that humankind can be successful in dealing with criminality and of our refusal to succumb to despair before such forces, and as such it would regenerate new hope in our very humanity.
"


June 21, 2001 - Catholic Church 

The Presbyterian Church (USA), in a statement on its website titled "A General Guide to the Facts about the PCUSA" (accessed July 28, 2008), stated:

"Presbyterian General Assemblies have been concerned not only for the issue of capital punishment, but also for those imprisoned...

In 1959, the 171st General Assembly, 'believing that capital punishment cannot be condoned by an interpretation of the Bible based upon the revelation of God's love in Jesus Christ,' called on Christians to 'seek the redemption of evil doers and not their death,' and noted that 'the use of the death penalty tends to brutalize the society that condones it...'

The most recent statement was made in 1985 by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), reaffirming these positions and declaring 'its continuing opposition to capital punishment.'
"


July 28, 2008 - Presbyterian Church (USA) 

The United Methodist Church, in its "Opposition to Capital Punishment," a resolution adopted in 2000, stated:

"The United Methodist Church declares its opposition to the retention and use of capital punishment and urges its abolition. In spite of a common assumption to the contrary, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' does not give justification for the imposing of the penalty of death...

Studies conducted over more than sixty years have overwhelmingly failed to support the thesis that capital punishment deters homicide more effectively than does imprisonment...

The death penalty falls unfairly and unequally upon marginalized persons including the poor, the uneducated, ethnic and religious minorities, and persons with mental and emotional illnesses.
"


2000 - United Methodist Church 

The United Church of Christ, in its July 1999 Twenty-Second General Synod resolution "Call for Abolition of the Death Penalty," stated:

"WHEREAS, Jesus challenged the death penalty of his culture, calling on those without sin to cast the first stone..."


July 1999 - United Church of Christ (UCC) 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church, in an Aug. 28-Sep. 4, 1991 Churchwide Assembly meeting in Orlando, Florida, voted by two-thirds majority to adopt a policy that stated:

"Executions harm society by mirroring and reinforcing existing injustice. The death penalty distracts us from our work toward a just society. It deforms our response to violence at the individual, familial, institutional, and systemic levels. It perpetuates cycles of violence...

Since human beings are fallible, the innocent have been executed in the past and will inevitably be executed in the future. Death is a different punishment from any other; the execution of an innocent person is a mistake we cannot correct.

It is because of this church's concern regarding the actual use of the death penalty that we oppose its imposition."


Aug. 28-Sep. 4, 1991 - Evangelical Lutheran Church 

Does Judaism support the death penalty?

 

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The BBC, in a July 20, 2006 article titled "Judaism and Capital Punishment" in its Religion and Ethics section, wrote:
"Someone who reads the Old Testament list of 36 capital crimes might think that Judaism is in favour of capital punishment, but they'd be wrong. During the period when Jewish law operated as a secular as well as a religious jurisdiction, Jewish courts very rarely imposed the death penalty. The state of Israel has abolished the death penalty for any crime that is now likely to be tried there...

To really understand Jewish law one must not only read the Torah but consult the Talmud, an elaboration and interpretation by the rabbinical scholars of the laws and commandments of the Torah...

The rabbis who wrote the Talmud created such a forest of barriers to actually using the death penalty that in practical terms it was almost impossible to punish anyone by death...

The result of this is that there are very few examples of people being executed by Jewish law in rabbinic times...

In 1954, Israel abolished capital punishment except for those who committed Nazi war crimes.

In the 54 years that Israel has existed as an independent state, only one person has been executed. This person was Adolf Eichman, a Nazi war criminal with particular responsibility for the Holocaust."

July 20, 2006 - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 

Louis Jacobs, PhD, Former Rabbi of the New London Synagogue in London, in "The Death Penalty in Jewish Tradition" chapter of his 1995 book The Jewish Religion: A Companion, wrote:
"According to the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 1:4) the death penalty could only be inflicted, after trial, by a Sanhedrin composed of twenty-three judges and there were four types of death penalty (Sanhedrin 7:1): stoning, burning, slaying (by the sword), and strangling. A bare reading of these and the other accounts in the tractate would seem to suggest a vast proliferation of the death penalty. Yet, throughout the Talmudic literature, this whole subject is viewed with unease, so much so that according to the rules stated in that literature the death penalty could hardly ever have been imposed."

1995 - Louis Jacobs, PhD 

Does Judaism support the death penalty?

PRO (yes) CON (no)
Steven Plaut, PhD, Associate Professor of Finance and Business at Haifa University, in an Apr. 23, 2004 article for JewishPress.com titled "Judaism's Pro-Death Penalty Tradition," wrote:
"...[T]he preservation of human dignity requires capital punishment of convicted murderers. The position of Judaism is opposite of the position espoused by liberals. It is precisely because of man's creation in God's image that capital punishment is declared justified and necessary. Human dignity requires execution of murderers, not compassion for their souls.

Moreover, capital punishment is regarded in Judaism as a favor for the capital sinner, a form of atonement and redemption. Ordinary murderers are allowed to achieve atonement for their souls in their execution. Only especially vile murderers - such as false witness whose lies are discovered after the person who was framed has been executed, or a man who sacrifices both his son and his daughter to the pagan god Molokh - are denied execution because they are regarded as beyond redemption through capital punishment. Again, execution preserves human dignity, it does not defile it."

Apr. 23, 2004 - Steven Plaut , PhD 

Shraga Simmons, Rabbi and Editor of Aish.com, in a response to "What are the Jewish views on the death penalty?" posted in the "Ask Rabbi Simmons" section of About.com, accessed on July 25, 2008, wrote:
"Judaism supports the death penalty, but only when there are at least two eyewitnesses who fully corroborate their testimony, and also that the criminal was warned beforehand that committing this crime could result in the death penalty."

July 25, 2008 - Shraga Simmons 

The Tanakh, the five books of Moses in the Torah, explain the need and procedures for the enforcement of capital punishment in Deuteronomy Chapters 17-19:
"...At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you...

And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

- Tanakh (50KB) 

Nathan Diament, JD, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in a June 5, 2001 appearance at the Pew Forum's event "Religious Reflections on the Death Penalty," stated:
"...[I]f you look through the Bible,  there are scores of instances in which the death penalty is prescribed for a variety of transgressions, both ritual and criminal... In the ritual context, they include violating the Sabbath; they include cursing God. In the criminal context... you are liable for the death penalty if you engage in incest, if you hit one of your parents... And, of course murder...

[M]urder, is actually singled out in rabbinic teaching from all those other scores of transgressions and sins where the death penalty is proscribed...

[B]ecause murder is a grievous offense, both against God and against society. And when you punish a murderer through the death penalty, you are not only affording that person penance for his or her crime, in all of the contexts of death penalty transgressions or other penalties that are imposed upon criminals in traditional Jewish law, the punishment is viewed as a component of the transgressor's penance. But in the context of murder, because it's also a crime against society, it's critical for the welfare of society. This is a traditional Jewish understanding of why it is imposed...

[W]e're not about to take the position of abolition [of the death penalty], because the teaching that, again, the need for implementing justice, particularly with regard to crimes of murder, for society, is a critical component of Jewish teaching as well."

June 5, 2001 - Nathan Diament, JD 

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a center for social justice and legislative activity mandated by the Union for Reform Judaism, in a section on its website about The Jewish Perspective, "The Death Penalty and Jewish Values" (accessed on July 28, 2008), wrote:
"Biblical law mandates the death penalty for 36 offenses...

The Reform Movement, however, has followed rabbinic interpretations that effectively abolished the death penalty centuries ago. Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 stresses the importance of presenting completely accurate testimony in capital cases, for any mistakes or falsehoods could result in the shedding of innocent blood...

P]revailing Jewish thought in every movement has followed the previous opinions, which either oppose the death penalty outright, or allow for it only in the most extreme - once in seventy years -- circumstances. Following this line of thinking, the major Jewish movements in the United States all have specific policy supporting either abolition of the death penalty, or a moratorium on its use."

July 28, 2008 - Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 

The Rabbinical Assembly of America, an international association of Conservative rabbis, in their May 1996 "Resolution on Capital Punishment" stated:
"Whereas, the Torah teaches that all human beings are created in God's image;

Whereas, Jewish tradition upholds the sanctity of life;

Whereas; both in concept and practice Rabbinic leaders in many different historical periods have found capital punishment repugnant;

Whereas, no evidence has been marshaled to indicate with any persuasiveness that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime;

Whereas, legal studies have shown that as many as 300 people in this century have been wrongfully convicted of capital crimes;

Therefore, be it resolved that The Rabbinical Assembly oppose the adoption of death penalty laws and urge their abolition in states that have already adopted them..."

May 1996 - Rabbinical Assembly of America 

The Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA), an organization promoting a progressive Jewish presence in campaigns for social justice, in an online "Policy Statement on the Death Penalty" (accessed on July 25, 2008), wrote:
"The Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) opposes the death penalty, and supports the call for a moratorium on executions as a step towards abolition. PJA believes that the death penalty is antithetical to progressive Jewish values.

The capital punishment apparatus of our criminal justice system is deeply flawed. Capital defendants are often provided with inadequate legal counsel, resulting in unfair and inequitable trials. The death penalty disproportionately impacts the poor and people of color. There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime. A significant danger exists that innocent people have been and will be executed because of errors in the criminal justice system"

July 25, 2008 - Progressive Jewish Alliance 

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, a professional association of Reconstructionist rabbis, in Apr. 2003 adopted the following resolution on the death penalty:
"Whereas both in concept and in practice, Jewish leaders throughout over the past 2000 plus years have refused, with rare exception, to punish criminals by depriving them of their lives;

And whereas current evidence and technological advances have shown that as many as three hundred people... have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes in America in the last century, which underscores the Jewish concern over capital punishment since all human systems of justice are inherently fallible and imperfect -

Therefore, we resolve that the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association go on record opposing the death penalty under all circumstances, opposing the adoption of death penalty laws, and urging their abolition in states that already have adopted them."

Apr. 2003 - Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association 

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 February 2013 03:23)

 

Comments  

 
#12 Saadsarguroh 2014-06-14 13:56
Islam is all about non violence. There are some extremists who misinterpret Islam and rely on terrorism to bring forward Islam. But that is not the truth god has said in the Quran that any innocent person tortured shall see the flames of hell fire. People take Islam in its wrong sense. Just because terrorists everywhere are Muslims doesn't mean all Muslims should be termed under the category of terrorists. Islam doesn't give anyone the authority to kill unless he under the aayahs or statements of the Quran has violated it. For example murder,apostasy etc.
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#11 Yusuf Estes 2013-02-12 18:40
To: Mr. Bing Bong
You are like me in some ways. I used to be against Islam (without even knowing was Islam was all about.
Please take some time and watch our video on www.WhatsIslam.com
Then please get back to me please.
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#10 Bing Bong 2013-02-12 18:09
Surprise to me! I thought, Islam supports the death penalty 'cause it's a violent religion.
But I was way off - Look what I found in my Bible - I could not believe it:
The sword of (God) is bathed in blood...Their land will be drenched with blood...For (God) has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution. Bible Isaiah 34:6-8
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Bible Numbers 31:17-18

When you go to war against your enemies and (God) delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head...After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.
Bible Deuteronomy 21:10-13

Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin. They found...four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp...they were given the women who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them...

Seriously, what do I do now?
I never thought anything wrong in Bible but now I am confused...
If someone reads this please tell me what is happening here????
Helps me.
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#9 Bilal Ahmad 2013-02-09 19:05
I live in Australia unfortunatley the Goverment did away with capital punishment in 1966.I and many others say what a shame.
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#8 Mariam misran 2011-10-20 09:49
No proof muslims did it other than what the media reported. Even if its true n Allah know best, we ask Allah to accept the repentance. There a lone wolf in every beliefs and many act of terrorisms are also committed more by other faiths ie christianity drone attacks, bombings innocent civilians, unlawful invasions but blame it on muslims. Yet the masterminds of "islamic militants " wasnt brought to stand trial. Ignorance is a disease. Seek the truth.
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#7 Fergy 2011-06-19 07:42
Also lets not confuse culture and tradition with RELIGION 2 different things. I have just finished reading the Quran my first time ever and it was just beautiful. I will now be going through the Bukhari Hadith Book. Islam is the true religion and I hope to learn something everything and to better myself everyday. I hope God guides everyone to the right path. The media has a lot to answer for but people have brains. Anyone who relies on media is doing a huge disservice to themselves. EVERY country as a variation of propaganda, you conquer people by scaring them and those in power have a lot to answer for also, they treat their citizens like fools, telling them things that are not true, but the future will unravel a lot of things. Peace and blessings to all.
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#6 Fergy 2011-06-19 07:38
urujrtujrsjusry - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 07:02 ____You are an absolute tool. A huge generalisation with zero facts. You have typed out sentences which have nothing to do with Islam. You are a true terrorist, a horrible hateful person. You can't judge any religion by its people, judge it by its scripture. Go to the source. Your blatant disregard of facts and proof is astonishing to me and quite frankly you're doing yourself a disservice. Think for yourself, as history has shown us, right up until the present, not everything you are told is the truth. I don't go commit a crime and then say 'I did it on behalf of all brunettes', so all brunettes must be evil'. Just because someone says they are doing something on behalf of a religion does not make it so. Surely you are not that ignorant. And cutting off hands and other things you many want to use, pre date Islam, they have been there since the beginning during Biblical times. You can't be that undeducated surely, it is 2011. You need to check Americas track record and history, not a pleasent one at all. Their hands are bloody, especially those that run the country. Western countries are run by immoral warmongers. Gods true followers have always been used as scapegoats and ridiculed, history shows that. So before you start typing sentences which are 100% wrong, learn something. I guess you believe pigs fly also? A lot of what is wrong in this world stems from Western countries, you have a computer, I am sure you can go find credible factual sites which may teach you a thing or two. I feel sorry for you.
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#5 Ayla 2011-02-11 04:44
I would say that islam is accused unfairly. When we see the comparison study of these 3 religions then i dont see anything abnormal with islam. Infact, when i read quran, its not telling harmful things to humankind. Its beautifully presented n giving peaceful effect on me as reader.

I agree to study before judging something. People just believe what they hear from media. Challange myself to observe on myown by reading quran, n u can see sifferrence in tradition of culture from one country that has no relation to islam (in islamic countries). Islam is misinterpreted. I say because i read good things in quran.
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#4 warren reed 2010-12-02 20:35
This article offers so much prove and references that anyoone should see the truth and accept this as a turn around for the tv and newspappers who are always lying and casing troble for moslems without knowing what they are talking about either.
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#3 Lets see now - What kind of person lies about a religion he hates? 2010-12-02 20:31
Quran says - Islam means "voluntary submission to God, in peace"
Quran says - "There is no forcing in religion"
So, how could Muslims "force" someone to "voluntarily submit to God?"
DUH! (you are really silly man)

Quran also says, "Kill one innocent person and it is like you have killed all humans, but save one and it is like you saved all the humans"

Muslims are ACCUSED every day of being terrorists and acts o f violence. But only a few (very radical) Muslims have ever done anything like this or even thought about it.

And just for the record - We are Americans as much or more than you are (because we can't lie like you do)
And we don't scream 'death to Americans' (we don't even scream 'death to stupid liars' like you..

But, if you reaally think you have something better than true Islam - why not bring it and show us your proof?

I dare you....
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