The following is a combined statement against the death penalty from the following communities of religious women from California and a number of other states:
- Daughters of Charity: Province of the West
- Daughters of Mary and Joseph
- Daughters of the Holy Spirit
- Dominican Sisters and Associates of Tacoma
- Dominican Sisters of San Jose
- Dominican Sisters of Oakford
- Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
- Immaculate Heart Community
- Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Religious Sisters of Charity
- Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
- Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
- Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
- Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community
- Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of California
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
- Trinitarians of Mary
Death Penalty Statement
Our society tends, all too often, towards a culture of death. In a real sense our society’s dysfunctions breed criminals through poverty, fatherlessness, discrimination, injustice, lack of opportunity and hopelessness. How much of the gang violence linked to the drug trade is occasioned by the addiction of the whole society to illegal drug use? Many of our social pathologies make us more prone to crime and violence.
We oppose the death penalty not just for what it does to those guilty of horrible crimes but for what it does to all of us as a society. Increasing reliance on the death penalty diminishes us and is a sign of growing disrespect for human life. We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders.
The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.
We urge all people of good will, particularly Catholics, to work to end capital punishment. At appropriate opportunities, we ask pastors to preach and teachers to teach about respect for all life and about the need to end the death penalty.
Para ver la versión en español de la declaración, clic aquí.