Capital Punishment and Religious Arguments: An Intermediate Approach

By Samuel J. Levine / William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 9(1), 179-190, on 1 January 2000

Determining the place and use of capital punishment in the American legal system is a challenging affair and one that is closely associated with and determined by religion’s role in American legal decision-making. Both capital punishment and religion are controversial issues, and tend to challenge legal scholars and practitioners about whether they should function together or alone as valid parts of the legal system in the United States. Professor Levine argues that religious arguments should be employed to interpret and explain American legal thought when the need or proper situation arises. He uses capital punishment as an example of how to properly reconcile a controversial legal issue with religious thought. Professor Levine suggests that religion acts as a comparative law model and provides another valid and instructive way of viewing capital punishment. Religious thought serves to provide explanation and insight into controversial American legal issues, and helps legal scholars and practitioners toward forming permanent solutions.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Religion ,