Featured today in Sojouners magazine is an op-ed by Richard A. Viguerie, the man whom The Nation once called “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement.” In it, Viguerie argues that his Christian faith and conservative values compel him to oppose the death penalty:
I’m a Catholic. Because of my Christian faith, and because I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I oppose the death penalty. I’m a conservative as well, and because my political philosophy recognizes that government is too often used by humans for the wrong ends, I find it quite logical to oppose capital punishment.
[…]The fact is, I don’t understand why more conservatives don’t oppose the death penalty. It is, after all, a system set up under laws established by politicians (too many of whom lack principles); enforced by prosecutors (many of whom want to become politicians—perhaps a character flaw? —and who prefer wins over justice); and adjudicated by judges (too many of whom administer personal preference rather than the law).
Conservatives have every reason to believe the death penalty system is no different from any politicized, costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation, which we conservatives know are rife with injustice.
But here the end result is the end of someone’s life. In other words, it’s a government system that kills people.