Death penalty repeal is on the horizon for Louisiana! The 2018 legislative session began on Monday, March 12th, and bills to repeal the death penalty have been introduced in both the House (HB 162) and the Senate (SB 51). In anticipation of the legislative session, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans has recorded a video encouraging all Catholics to join the work to end the death penalty.
As Catholics, we are called to live with justice and mercy and uphold the value of all life. Our Catechism states that in a modern society where the death penalty is not needed to maintain public safety, punishment must “correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and [be] more in conformity to the dignity of the human person,” (2267). The death penalty violates both the Church’s pro-life teaching and the teaching on the inherent dignity of the human person as created in the image and likeness of God. Not only does the death penalty target innocent life, but also those with mental illness, intellectual disability and people of color. It also redirects funds that could be used to help victims families harmed by violence heal.