A MESSAGE FROM MARY SLOAN, DIRECTOR OF THE KANSAS COALITION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

January 14, 2015

kansas

  • The Kansas Legislature returns in mid-January.
  • Legislators who seek repeal of the death penalty will introduce a bill in the Kansas House to end it and replace it with a maximum sentence of life without parole.

As repeal legislation is introduced, we ask supporters to pray for all who will be involved in the legislative process.  The expected course through the legislature is that the bill will start in the House with a hearing.  If a House committee vote advances the bill, it will move to full House for a vote and then on to the Kansas Senate.  We anticipate close votes in both chambers of the Statehouse.

This is a significant public policy decision – not only for Kansas, but nationwide, as well.  Abolition in Kansas would demonstrate that this is a truly non-partisan issue.  We know this because the Kansas Coalition is a “big tent” organization whose constituents come from all over the state, from multiple faith traditions and from three political parties.  Abolition of the death penalty is not a “red” state or “blue” state issue; instead it is an issue of high importance for people of faith.  In his December 19th article in The Leaven, Michael Schuttloffel of the Kansas Catholic Conference, writing about the death penalty, reminded us what Romans 12:19 says – “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”    We must bear that in mind, and know that we can put dangerous criminals in jail for the rest of their lives to keep the public safe.  A sentence of life without parole (instead of the death penalty) allows for safety without violating the teaching that it is God who gives life and He is the one who decides when our last day in this life will be.

So as we move ahead, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  We are close to a historic decision.

Visit The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty for updates on upcoming legislation and opportunities to take action in the coming weeks.