"LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued a statement on capital punishment on Dec. 2, shortly after the death of the 1,000th person executed in the United States since 1976.
Kirkpatrick, noting that the PC(USA) and its predecessor denominations “have long been opposed to capital punishment,”said: “Capital punishment is wrong because it is impossible to know that a person who has murdered can never be redeemed or restored. As a matter of faith and faithfulness, this possibility must be left open for every human being.”
The statement was mailed to the governors of all states that still have capital punishment...."
Follow the above link to read the full text of Kirkpatrick's letter.
My feelings on capital punishment have evolved over the past 35 years from full support as a college freshman in 1970, to starting to have doubts in the mid-1980s, to believing that it is morally indefensible in any circumstances.
I do not use the rhetoric of some who say it is murder -- murder is defined as the unlawful taking of a human life. It is, however, killing, and I tend not to use euphemisms to describe it. By the same reasoning neither can abortion be called murder.
I do not always agree with what Kirkpatrick says (or what he has leaves unsaid), but here he says what needs to be said, and I am thankful for his witness.