We, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, strongly oppose the death penalty as contrary to the Gospel and to our particular Franciscan call to peacemaking and justice for the poor.
We affirm that all lives, both innocent and guilty, are sacred and worthy of protection. We know that the state’s use of capital punishment adds to the violence within our society. We hold that its use falls disproportionately on the poor, the uneducated, and the mentally disabled, and is marked by the racism and prejudice which pervades our society.
We commit ourselves to prayer and action for the abolition of the death penalty wherever it exists. We pledge ourselves to prayer, support, and appropriate action for those whose loved ones have been victims of violent crimes, for those who commit such crimes, and for their families. We promote effective and humane alternatives to the death penalty.
June 24, 2001