Religion and capital punishment have a long history together. The problem with history in our country is that we look at ourselves as being so "progressive" that we never look at what history teaches us. The dead have a right to be heard - they give us faith in humanity and faith in ourselves. They also point out our mistakes. Any time religion and government combine in any way, it has been a major mistake. The souls who have gone through being burned at the stake or even died in the electric chair can tell you a lot about how religion played a big role in their execution.
Here is how the Death Penalty plays in the religions of the U.S.:
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations has called for a moratorium on executions since 1961.
Southern Baptist Convention
In 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution in support of the fair and equitable use of capital punishment.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)
Since its first official statement on the issue in 1959, reaffirmed again in 1977 and 1978, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has opposed the death penalty.
Since its 1972 and 1973 resolutions on the issue, the National Association of Evangelicals has continued to support the use of capital punishment in cases involving premeditated murder as well as crimes such as hijacking and kidnapping where people are physically harmed.
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
In 1976, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod asserted "that capital punishment is in accord with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions."
Other religions and churches:
Judaism - Against
Mormons - No stance
United Methodist Church - Against
National Council of Churches - Against
Evangelical Lutheran Church - no stance
Catholicism - nominally For
Buddhism - Against
Hinduism - No stance
Islam - For, but in Islamic countries only
Just three of the above "fors" comprise the majority of church-goers who support the death penalty in the United States. Because of the power of the Religious Right in this country we are one of the few countries that still carries the death penalty!
PEW Research Forum on Religion:
McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. As a U.S. senator from Arizona, he has voted to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and to ban the death penalty for minors. He has also supported legislation to allow the death penalty for acts of terrorism and has said he would consider further expansion of capital punishment laws for other crimes.