“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also in order to improve prison conditions, with respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom” - Pope Francis #Pledge4Mercy
The state in which noted anti-death penalty speaker and activist Sr. Helen Prejean began her ministry to those on death row, Louisiana, has executed over 650 people, and nearly 30 since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1973 following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 decision which struck down prior laws as unconstitutional. Previous statue provided for the death penalty in cases of aggravated rape for a minor under the age of 12, but this provision was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008.
Louisiana is one of the few state where the jury appointed to a capital crime case determines whether or not the person is intellectually disabled, rather than trained and professional medical personnel.
Since 1976, eight innocent people have been freed from this state’s death row, most recently, Manuel Ortiz (August 19, 2011) and nearly 80 persons are presently awaiting execution under Louisiana’s lethal injection protocol.
For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:
The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church, is an agency of the Roman Catholic bishops of the state who constitute its board of directors. The Conference serves to coordinate teaching through joint pastoral statements; to promote collaboration in shared projects among Catholic dioceses and other entities; and to communicate… MORE
We are a grassroots coalition dedicated to finding practical and compassionate alternatives to the death penalty. We recognize that Louisiana’s death penalty is socially, racially and fiscally unjust. We advocate for the fair allocation of resources away from the death penalty and into local communities to alleviate poverty, prevent crime and increase support for families.