In his encyclical The Gospel of Life , Pope John Paul II told us that we have an inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life .18 This Catholic campaign brings us together for common action to end the use of the death penalty, to reject a culture of death, and to build a culture of life. It poses an old and fundamental choice: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live. (Dt 30:19)
—USCCB, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death
Some people think the death penalty is a good thing, and others think it is a bad thing. Many people on both sides of the argument have very strong feelings. One side says the death penalty is good because it scares people away from doing things that could get them killed, the other side says there's a potential of executing an innocent man; one says justice, retribution, and punishment; the other side says that execution is murder. Most people know the threat of crime to their lives, but the question lies in the methods and action that should be used to deal with it.