The Separation of Church and State

Looks at the interpretation of the First Amendment to the Constitution and how it affects the laws on capital punishment.

This paper looks at the arguments put forth by those who favor and those who oppose the death penalty, with particular focus on how religious arguments view capital punishment. The paper argues that, while the First Amendment was designed to keep the functions of the state independent from those of the church, religion and government often overlap when considering issues governing the welfare of mankind and that this is particularly true with regard to the death penalty.
“The First Amendment to the US Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” has come to be taken as the constitutional separation of the church and state. Although a deeper analysis may show that no such distinct separation was intended by the phrase, it should be understood to mean that the federal government was prohibited from establishing a religion to which the states must pay homage. Religious affairs were to be separate from state affairs.”