One May Be Opposed to the Use of the Death Penalty and Still Not Terribly Cheered by the Vote of the United Nations General Assembly in Favor of a Global Moratorium against It

By Neuhaus, Richard John | First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, March 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

One May Be Opposed to the Use of the Death Penalty and Still Not Terribly Cheered by the Vote of the United Nations General Assembly in Favor of a Global Moratorium against It


Neuhaus, Richard John, First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life


One may be opposed to the use of the death penalty and still not terribly cheered by the vote of the United Nations General Assembly in favor of a global moratorium against it. John Allen writes that it may be too much to say the vote was "a victory for the Catholic Church," but it is "difficult to imagine without the Catholic contribution." The campaign for the vote was pressed and coordinated by the Community of Sant'Egidio, a movement within the Church, and greatly assisted by the Holy See mission at the U.N. and by key players in mainly Catholic countries. A nonbinding resolution of the General Assembly is, well, very nonbinding. But supporters of the resolution say it "establishes a new moral consensus among nations" and puts nations who use the death penalty on the moral spot. The vote was 104 nations in favor, 54 (including the United States) opposed, 29 abstaining, and 5 not present. So 104 voted for the resolution and 88 did not. I suppose it depends on the meaning of consensus. As it happens, 90 nations have already officially abolished capital punishment and 43 are said to have done so "de facto" by virtue of not executing anyone in at least ten years. So it seems that the 104 countries favoring the moratorium are 29 fewer than those that have officially or unofficially abolished capital punishment. Allen interviewed a spokesman for Sant'Egidio who said the campaign got a big boost from Renato Cardinal Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who said in a public statement, "The death penalty is homicide." The spokesman notes, rectly, that "that has never been said at such a high level before.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

One May Be Opposed to the Use of the Death Penalty and Still Not Terribly Cheered by the Vote of the United Nations General Assembly in Favor of a Global Moratorium against It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?