Friends United Meeting
Statement on Capital Punishment

Friends accept the Biblical teachings that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, that man need not remain in his sinful state but can repent and be saved, that God loves the sinner and takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” but longs “that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)

We oppose capital punishment because it violates the gospel we proclaim, and promotes the evils of vengeance and injustice through the agencies of government intended to advance righteousness and justice. We believe the Christian way to deal with crime is to seek the redemption and rehabilitation of the offender, promote penal reform and work more diligently at the task of preventing crime.

As capital punishment is abolished, we recognize that society must be protected against release from prison of those whose unredeemed spiritual life, or whose condition of physical or mental health, would endanger others.

We look with favor upon the renewed efforts in our time to abolish capital punishment, urge our members individually, and our Monthly and Yearly Meetings to unite with others in the task for removing the death penalty from the statute books of the various states, provinces and central or federal governments, and the United Nations.

Adopted July 21, 1960 by the Five Years Meeting of Friends (now Friends United Meeting)