Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Action on the death penalty

Earlier this year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a background paper ( here) on the death penalty. In case you did not know, they are against it. With a death penalty bill under discussion in the state Legislature, this is a good time to review the matter. Perhaps you can use the material in the backgrounder to draft a letter to the editor (see our previous post on ten tips for writing letters).

The New York State Catholic Conference has more information available here, where they note:
In 1995 Pope John Paul II specifically addressed the death penalty issue in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae. He said, “[T]he nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”