WHEREAS: Capital punishment is not a solution to crime but an avoidance of needed reform in our criminal justice system, and

WHEREAS: vengeance is not an acceptable basis for criminal law in our society, and

WHEREAS: historical evidence does not support the proposition that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder, and

WHEREAS: those murderers for whom the death penalty is most often proposed — hired killers, political assassins and killers of police officers — are rarely apprehended and more rarely convicted, and

WHEREAS: the uniform application of a death penalty, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court, can cause a jury to be reluctant to return a guilty verdict and can also place the “life or death” decision in the hands of the prosecutor who determines the nature of the criminal charge against an individual, and

WHEREAS: the possibility of error is too high to warrant a penalty that is irrevocable, and

WHEREAS: execution is killing accomplished with premeditation and deliberation and thus has a brutalizing effect on all who participate in it, lowering the moral standard of the whole community,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that The [First] Unitarian Church of Honolulu opposes the enactment of a death penalty law in any form and under any circumstances in the State of Hawaii.


Passed: June 10, 1976   Reaffirmed: Nov.18, 2012 Edited and Proposed: Nov. 6, 2017