Last updated on: 8/3/2009 | Author:

J. Budziszewski, PhD Biography

Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin
Pro to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“The normal moral reason for upholding capital punishment is reverence for life itself. Indeed, this is the reason why scripture and Christian tradition have upheld it, a fact which suggests that, if anything, it may be the abolition of capital punishment which threatens to cheapen life, not its retention.

[I]f you look at the Latin roots of the word [rehabilitation], it really means restoring him [the killer] to his former condition, and that includes to his former moral condition… Killing him obviously does not promote his reintegration into earthly society, although it may promote his moral healing before his death, because of the prospect of death looming on him…

we should not assume that it’s impossible for the prospect of death to make its own contribution to moral healing, to restoration.”

“A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty,” Pew Forum, Jan. 25, 2002 [Editor’s note: Transcript corrected by author via email to ProCon. org, July 25, 2008]

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Government and Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin
  • Advisory Board Member, Catholic Education Resource Center
  • PhD, Political Science, Yale University, 1981
  • MA, Political Science, Yale University
  • BA, University of Florida
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should the Death Penalty Be Used for Retribution for Victims and/or Society?