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Jewish Groups Hail Death Penalty Ban by U.S. Supreme Court

The American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America–which filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief in the case–have hailed the US Supreme Court’s decision barring capital punishment as “consistent with Jewish tradition” and “a clear triumph for the standards of civilization and humaneness” inherent in the US Constitution.

In a joint statement, the Congress and the Synagogue Council–which represents the major Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbinical and congregational bodies in the US–declared: “We have long and consistently believed, as Americans and as Jews, that capital punishment represented a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against ‘cruel and unusual punishment’….The Supreme Court has expressed its agreement with that view. Moreover, in so doing, it has supported the Talmudic concern with human fallibility and the irreversible nature of capital punishment.”