Archives For Capital Punishment


Demands of the Dead - Katy Ryan, EditorAre We Demeaned by the Death Penalty?

A Feature Review of

Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism in the United States

Katy Ryan, ed.

Paperback: U of Iowa Press, 2012.
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Reviewed by Caitlin Michelle Desjardins.

All Western Democracies, and most countries in the world, have abandoned the Death Penalty for even the most egregious of crimes. The United States, however, persists with the practice. The only countries today where children can be sentenced to death are Saudi Arabia, the Congo, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria and the United States. And in the United States, the death penalty is deeply rooted in our history of slavery, racial oppression and violence. The rate for imprisonment of black men in America is determined to be five times the rate for imprisonment of black men in South Africa, during apartheid.

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The End of Sacrifice - John Howard YoderA Brief Review of

The End of Sacrifice:

The Capital Punishment Writings of John Howard Yoder.

John C. Nugent, Editor.

Paperback: Herald Press, 2011.
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Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith

John Howard Yoder’s work is well known for its emphasis on non-violence, and yet until recently little was known about his writings on the important issue of capital punishment. He had written a number of pieces on the topic, but they were scattered in Mennonite publications with limited distribution, in a section of an evangelical book on the issue and in unpublished papers.  Thankfully, Yoder scholar John Nugent – the author of The Politics of Yahweh, one of our 2011 Englewood Honor books – has collected these writings in one new book entitled, The End of Sacrifice.  The book’s title is drawn from Yoder himself, as Nugent notes in the introduction:  “It is the clear testimony of the New Testament, especially of the epistle to the Hebrews, that the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant find their end – both in the sense of fulfillment and in the sense of termination – in the high-priestly sacrifice of Christ.”

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