From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The death penalty
2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.
Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,i and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
i FRANCIS, Address to participants in the meeting organised by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.
Death Penalty / Capital Punishment | USCCB
The Gospel of Life and the Sentence of Death: Catholic Teaching on Capital Punishment | USCCB