The fourth guiding criminal justice principle of the Lampstand Foundation is:
4) Capital punishment is an appropriate response to the criminal evil of murder, rape, and pedophilia.
Capital punishment is often the only effective social method available to protect the innocent and applied with dispatch after legal review of the crimes charged and determining the fitness of its application, should be considered an appropriate sentence for murderers, rapists, and pedophiles; who, knowing the time of their death, are able, with certainty of their remaining time to do so, seek God's forgiveness.
From the Vatican Catechism (2007):
"2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor."
Lane (2010) notes: "During the decade beginning in 1997, five states enacted the death penalty for rape of a child--though the Supreme Court struck those laws down in 2008." Lane, C. (2010). Stay of execution: Saving the death penalty from itself. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (p. 66)
The Lampstand article, Capital Punishment and the Constancy of Catholic Social Teaching, is available at Social Justice Review.
A recent survey by Rasmussen Reports finds high support from the American public for capital punishment.
An excerpt, with links at the jump.
“Support for the death penalty remains high, and adults are a bit more confident that capital punishment helps deter crime than they were a year ago.
"The latest Rasmussen Reports national survey shows that 63% of American Adults favor the death penalty, while 25% oppose it. Another 12% are undecided.
“The number of adults who support the death penalty is virtually identical to surveys conducted last June and in November 2009.
“Forty-seven percent (47%) of adults believe the death penalty helps deter crime, but 39% disagree. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure. Still, Americans are more confident that the death penalty helps deter crime than they were last June, when they were evenly divided on the question. The latest results are similar to those found in late 2009.
“The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 25-26, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.”