The Cherish Life Circle, a group founded by the Sisters of Mercy, provides support for a circle of friends opposed to the death penalty. The group began in 1993 during New York’s gubernatorial race, when religious sisters, a few priests and lay people came together to pray and expand the dialogue by presenting a faith-based perspective on the death penalty. To reveal their position, the group developed the “Declaration of Life,” a non-legally binding document that shares a personal belief in the sacredness of all life. In the event of death by murder, those closest to the deceased are expected to provide the document for the court’s consideration. The document proclaims: “I hereby declare that should I die as a result of violent crime, I request that the person or person found guilty for my killing not be subject to, or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumstances, no matter how heinous their crime, or how much I have suffered.” Available below the document is meant to be notarized before witnesses and filed with appropriate papers. For more information, email Cherish Life or call (718) 366 0966.
This item first appeared in CMN’s February 2013 newsletter.