Resolution on Capital Punishment

Whereas, the Torah teach­es that all human beings are cre­at­ed in God’s image;

Whereas, Jewish tra­di­tion upholds the sanc­ti­ty of life;

Whereas, both in con­cept and prac­tice Rabbinic lead­ers in many dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal peri­ods have found cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment repugnant;

Whereas, no evi­dence has been mar­shalled to indi­cate with any per­sua­sive­ness that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment serves as a deter­rent to crime;

Whereas, legal stud­ies have shown that as many as 300 peo­ple in this cen­tu­ry have been wrong­ly con­vict­ed of cap­i­tal crimes;

Therefore, be it resolved that The Rabbinical Assembly oppose the adop­tion of death penal­ty laws and urge their abo­li­tion in states that have already adopt­ed them;

That the Rabbinical Assembly urge the enact­ment of laws that man­date that some cap­i­tal crimes be pun­ish­able by life impris­on­ment with­out parole;

That the Rabbinical Assembly offer sup­port and speak out on behalf of the vic­tims of vio­lent crime and their families;

That the Rabbinical Assembly encour­age its mem­bers to send this res­o­lu­tion to their appro­pri­ate elect­ed officials.

*referred from 1995 Convention Plenum

The Rabbinical Assembly 

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