By Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, Texas
While the Catholic Church has traditionally taught that the state has the right to use capital punishment under certain conditions, today it strongly urges that the state not exercise that right and advocates the use of other, more effective means to address serious crimes, namely life imprisonment without parole. In sum, it is very difficult morally to justify the use of the death penalty today.
My friends, I may be relatively new to Texas, but I am keenly aware that we lead the nation in the number of executions annually. We need to carefully consider anew what we are doing in this regard. Is the process “inherently flawed”? We need to build a society that respects the God-given gift of every human life — from conception to natural death.