CA bishops call for death-penalty moratorium.
Two days before California was going to execute Albert Greenwood Brown, a convicted rapist and murderer, the California Conference of Bishops issued a statement calling for an end to the death penalty and clemency for the state’s death-row inmates. Today that execution was stayed by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, who ruled that the court did not have enough time to review the state’s new lethal-injection procedures. Catholic San Francisco reports:
At the Archdiocese of San Francisco, George Wesolek, director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns, noted that fear reigns in our communities because they are permeated with violence. “I think many people think that the execution of criminals will stop some of that violence,” he said. “We know that instead of stopping violence, state-sponsored killing of criminals only serves to increase the atmosphere of revenge and retribution.”
He added, “Our Catholic social teaching calls for protecting the innocents in our community, but doing so by keeping the offender locked up and the community safe. Our principle of the dignity of every human life extends to even the most heinous of criminals. All of us, sinners that we are, are offered the hope of repentance, change and forgiveness.”