It always amazes us that the politicians running for political office in the United States and even for the presidency avoid the important ethical issue of capital punishment. Mario Marazziti is co-founder of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and is known internationally as the spokesperson for the Community of Sant'Egidio, a progressive Catholic movement devoted to peacemaking and human rights, based in Rome and active in 70 countries. In 2012, he was elected to the lower house of Parliament in Italy, where he pursues a broad human rights portfolio.

Marazziti presents a substantive and rounded case against this cruel and unusual punishment with material on current Death Row inmates, a Death Row chaplain, families of murder victims, and wrongfully convicted Death Row inmates who have been released from prisons. In a chapter devoted to "Between Life and Death: Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity," he explains the philosophical and religious views those who oppose capital punishment on moral grounds of a reverence for life.

Marazziti shares the fact that more and more nations are opposing the death penalty and that this topic is being seen as a powerful human rights issue. The book concludes with "13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty" including the following points:

  • "Work to create a society that is not enslaved to revenge and fear."
  • "Recognize that the death penalty has not made us any safer and that no one executed by the state can be said to have 'gotten what they deserve.' "
  • "Try to identify with the victims of the death penalty as an act of compassion."