Religion News Service Interviews CMN Executive Director

August 11, 2013

By Michael O’Loughlin
Religion News Service
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August 11, 2013 –

Karen Clifton is the executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, a Washington, DC, based Catholic group that seeks to apply the Catholic Church’s pro-life mission to the abolition of the death penalty in the US.

Michael O’Loughlin: Your group, Catholic Mobilizing Network, fights to end the use of the death penalty. How does this fit in to the Catholic Church’s very active pro-life movement?

Karen Clifton: The death penalty is a pro-life issue. By educating Catholics on the death penalty, we close the loopholes on all of the life issues. If we can come to believe that those who have done heinous crimes have the right to life and redemption, it is logical to believe the innocent have a right to life. Abolishing the death penalty is a means of changing the mindset of our culture from using violence to solve problems.

MO: Federal authorities may seek the death penalty against the alleged Boston marathon bomber, accused of killing 4, including a child, and injuring hundreds. Why should this person, and those who commit heinous crimes, be spared?

KC: Putting the Boston marathon bomber to death is not going to bring any of the four people who were sadly killed back to life. Two wrongs are not going to make a right, and using the death penalty just increase the violence. His death would just teach that killing justifies killing. Another way to think about it is, how does killing someone show that killing others is wrong? As a Catholic, I believe in redemption, which is all in God’s time.

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