The Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University will host a panel discussion on the death penalty at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Gerber Institute 2013-2014 focus on the theme of Race and Reconciliation. The lecture will feature Josh Papsdorf, associate professor of theology at Newman University; Michael Birzer, professor of criminal justice and director of the School of Community Affairs at Wichita State University; and Carolyn McGinn, state senator from the 31st District in Kansas.
Jamey Findling, associate professor of philosophy at Newman and director of the Gerber Institute, commented that "The right of a state to take life in the name of justice has a long, but I would argue not exactly distinguished, history in human affairs. With legislation to abolish the death penalty being introduced in both legislative houses, the state of Kansas is currently considering the legitimacy of this right. While still supported by many, the death penalty increasingly finds opposition from across the political spectrum, and the Catholic Church has made clear its opposition to the practice. This panel discussion, made timely by the legislative debate now under way, will offer the audience a range of perspectives and information to consider as they weigh their own views."