Showing posts with label Death penalty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death penalty. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Justice - Colorado is 22nd state to abolish capital punishment

From The Week on 03/24/20

Colorado abolishes capital punishment
Colorado became the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty on Monday. Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed legislation banning capital punishment in the state, and commuted the death sentences of death row inmates Robert Ray, Sir Mario Owens, and Nathan Dunlap to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Capital punishment was barred nationally in the 1970s before the Supreme Court reinstated it. Since then, there have been 1,517 executions nationwide. Colorado's last execution was in 1997. State Sen. Rhonda Fields (D), whose son was murdered by Ray, said commuting the sentences "hijacks justice." But Udi Ofer, deputy national political director of the ACLU, said it was good news that Colorado "will no longer kill people as punishment." [NBC News]
Editor's note:
Pope Francis has condemned Capital punishment with changes to the Catholic Catechism on May 11, 2018.
The Unitarian Univeralist Association has condemned the death penalty since 1974.
Where does your church and state stand on this issue?

Friday, January 24, 2020

Use of the death penalty decreasing in the United States

The report by the Death Penalty Information Center, based in Washington, highlighted state actions against the death penalty such as New Hampshire voting to abolish capital punishment, making it the 21st state to do so; California's decision to put all executions on hold; and Indiana's 10-year mark since its last execution.
The report said that all together, 32 states have now either abolished the death penalty or not carried out an execution in more than a decade, and it said this number directly contrasts with the federal government's announcement this year that it would resume executions after a 16-year hiatus.
Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
The America Magazine article reads: 
This past June (2019), the U.S. bishops voted to revise the death penalty section of the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, reflecting an earlier change made by Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2018. The Catechism of the Catholic Church now states that the "death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person."
As a Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalist I believe in the sanctity of human life and the possibility of human redemption. Every person is worth more than their worst act. Join us here at UU A Way Of Life to work for the end of the death penalty.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Evidence Based Social Policy Advocacy, Criminal Justice, Wrongful Convictions, Will Florida execute an innocent man based on informant testimony?

Editor's note:

I am a Roman Catholic Unitarian Univeralist. The Roman Catholic church has come against the death penalty as has the Unitarian Univeralist Association. Where does your congregation stand? Where do you stand? Where do the UU churches in Florida Stand?

As we have seen in our study of the 367 exonerations from DNA evidence obtained by the Innocence Project since 1989, 17% of wrongful convictions were due to incentivized informant testimony. Could this be such a case where there will be a miscarriage of justice?

The state of Florida has an unusually high number of exonerations. This raises questions about the criminal justice system in Florida.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Feds, under Trump, bring back practice of the death penalty.

From the Washintgon Post on 07/25/19
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it plans to resume executing prisoners awaiting the death penalty, ending almost two decadesin which the federal government had not imposed capital punishment on prisoners.
Attorney General William P. Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions for five inmates on death row. The prisoners were convicted of murdering children.
The Trump administration’s push to resume capital punishment in the federal system, while not surprising, goes against the recent trend of declining executions across the country.
The last federal execution was in 2003. In the years since, there has been an informal moratorium on executions of federal prisoners, as Justice Department officials reviewed its lethal-injection procedures. That practice was underscored during the Obama administration by then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s personal opposition to the death penalty, even while he approved prosecutors’ decisions to seek the death penalty in specific trials.
Editorial note:
Pope Francis declared last year that the death penalty was no longer permissable under Catholic teaching.
Back in the 1980s, Cardinal Joseph Bernadin popularized the concept of the "consistent life ethic" meaning that pro-life proponents to be consistent also should be against the death penalty, war, and euthanasia.
Republicans have always been very conficted and contradictory about the consistency of their pro life positions. This is very apparent now in the era of Trumpism as Republican states have passed legislation making abortion unavailable in their states but still promoting the death penalty and being "hawks" when it comes to war mongering.
The United States is the only first world country that still practices the death penalty.
Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. As Sister Helen Prejan, the author of Dead Man Walking, has said, "Every person is worth more than their worst act."

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Hampshire is 21st state to abolish the death penalty

From The Week on 05/31/19 Ten Things You Need to Know Today

 New Hampshire senators vote to abolish death penalty
New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday voted to abolish the death penalty in the state. The state Senate passed the measure, apparently with enough votes to override a veto by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who blocked a similar bill last year. The vote ended months of uncertainty by making New Hampshire the 21st state in the country to outlaw capital punishment. It was the last state in New England to do so. The decision was largely symbolic, as New Hampshire did not have an active capital punishment system and last carried out an execution in 1939. The state has just one prisoner on death row — Michael Addison, who was convicted of killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs more than a decade ago. Nine states now have abolished the death penalty since 2007. [The Washington Post]
Editor's comment:

UU A Way Of Life ministries has long been an anti death penalty advocate. Slowly the United States is catching up with other countries in the free world that have abolished the death penalty

Pope Francis has come out against the death penalty.

The second priniciple of Unitarian Universalism asks us to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Based in UU's first principle, the death penalty is indefensible and yet is still on the law books in 30 States.

America Magazine, in its April 29, 2019 issue, has an editorial entitled, "At its core, the death penalty is indefensible."

"In March, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California imposed a moratorium on the use of capital punishment in that state, which has the highest population on death row (737 inmates) in the Western Hemisphere. The Democrat also ordered the dismantling of the state’s gas chamber; any future governor who seeks to restart the execution process will have the grisly task of procuring the equipment to do it."

In another place it is written, "Mr. Newsom has recognized this futility. “Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure,” the governor said in March. “It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent.” Pope Francis went further when he revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this point last summer, declaring that the death penalty “is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Pope Francis has banned the death penalty as a legitimate criminal justice sentence and activity last year declaring that it violates the inherent worth and dignity of every person which is the first principle of Unitarian Universalism. Has the UUA and all UU congregations also taken a public stand againts the death penalty?

There are 30 states where the death penalty is still in their law books.

For more information about the death penalty click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pope Francis like John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have denounced the death penalty - pass the word

From Commonweal Magazine, March 20, 2015, "From Trastevere To Texas: Sant'Egidio's Campaign Against The Death Penalty" p. 15

In 2014 Francis followed John Paul II and Benedict XVI in denouncing the death penalty as a violation of civilized norms and our common humanity. It was the strongest statement against the death penalty the church has ever made.

Is the use of the death penalty against the first principle of UU, the inherent worth and dignity of every person? Should all UUs stand in solidarity with Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on this issue? If we remove the possibility of exoneration and redemption by killing a person what does that say about our faith? If Universalists believe in the unconditional love of God for all of God's creations no matter how heinous their behavior what does this belief call us to do when we are faced with atrocities?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Death penalty - U.S. far behind 95 other countries in the world.

Did you know that 95 nations in the world have banned the death penalty.

Not the United States. We seem to love to kill people.

Russia banned the practice of capital punishment on November 19, 2006.

Russia! The U.S.'s old arch enemy. The country of Stalin and gulags.

What's wrong with us, Americans? The most religious country, supposedly, on earth as compared to the atheistic, godless communists? Probably its the belief in the God of the Old Testament who loves killing people. Does it at the drop of a hat. Hey, if it's good enough for God, by golly it's good enough for us.

Unitarian Universalists do not support the death penalty, but we are a small minority in the United States.

Come on people, let's join the civilized world.
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