Capital Punishment

Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Capital Punishment

Adopted by the CCAR at the 90th Annual Convention of

the Central Conference of American Rabbis

Phoenix, Arizona, March 26-29, 1979

In 1958 and again in 1960, the Central Conference of American Rabbis stated its opposition

to all forms of capital punishment.         

We reaffirm that position now. Nothing which we have observed during the intervening

years has shaken our convictions that:

a. Both in concept and in practice, Jewish tradition found capital punishment repugnant,

despite Biblical sanctions for it. For the past 2.000 years. with the rarest of exceptions,

Jewish courts have refused to punish criminals by depriving them of their lives.

b. No evidence has been marshaled to indicate with any persuasiveness that capital

punishment serves as a deterrent to crime.

c. We oppose capital punishment under all circumstances.