Amnesty International reports that in 2005 there were at least 2,148 "legal" executions world wide. The United States contributed 60 to that total.
We need to reach within ourselves and bring forth what is within us, the spark of the divine that makes us most fully human, to respect and honor the life given to each person by God, and the potential for developing the divine spark that is inherent in each individual life.
The anecdote of Jesus having an accussed adulteress dragged before him is valuable. The story is included in most Bibles in the book of John (I say most because its placement/authorship is a matter of dispute among Bible historians). When challenged by those who would stone the woman for breaking the law, Jesus says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." This statement serves multiple purposes. It first punctures the arrogance of the accusers. It also serves as a reminder to those accusers that, despite their sins, they still retain the hope of God's grace, as does the woman who is their target. If they have sinned, and yet still consider themselves to be servants of God, why is the accused woman beyond the reach of God?
Failing to use capital punishment does not forsake justice. It leads to a more humble, human, and humane justice, one that recognizes our human limitations and respects that which God has placed within all humans- that quality, which, if nurtured, can lead to their salvation. We must bring forth this quality to save ourselves from the sin of capital punishment, and to save the potential victims of vengence disguised as justice.