In 2006, North Dakota Bishop Samuel Aquila made a strong statement from the Catholic Church opposing the first death penalty case in 100 years in North Dakota. Here is a summary of Bishop Aquila's statement:

"Bishop Samuel Aquila heads the Fargo diocese and says the church recognizes the government has the right to take a life, however Aquila says those cases are rare and that the church believes that life in prison is preferred to the death penalty. Aquila says he hasn't met with Sjodin's family but he realizes the family wants justice.

"I would always try to do in that kind of situation is to really help the person understand that vengeance, or the taking of another human life is not going to return the life of the other person nor is it going to ease a lot of their suffering," says Aquila."

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