The history of inquisitions shows that Christians, represented by the papacy, have applied the capital punishment for apostasy and heresy for centuries. In the Inquisition, Edward Peters states as following. When faced with a convicted heretic who refused to recant, or who relapsed into heresy, the inquisitors were to turn him over to the temporal authorities – the “secular arm” – for animadversio debita, the punishment decreed by local law, usually burning to death.(1)Of the most popular executions carried out as a consequence of those inquisitions was that of Giordano Bruno, who was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and astrologer, known for his cosmological theories. He was found guilty of heresy by the inquisitors, and burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600 CE.
The last case in Spain, for instance, was in 1826 when Cayetano Ripoll, a school teacher, was executed by garroting for allegedly teaching Deism.(2)
(1) Peters, E. (1989). Inquisition. University of California Press, p. 67.
(2) Law, S. (2011). Humanism: A Very Short Introduction . Oxford University Press, p. 23