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US: Bishops Welcome California Moratorium on Death Penalty

Step Encourages Recognition of Dignity of Human Life

After California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on executions, Bishop FrankJ. Dewane of Venice, FL, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, on March 14, 2019, expressed gratitude for the decision as a step to further the recognition of the inherent dignity of all human life.

The full statement follows:

“We join the California Catholic Conference and all people of good will in welcoming California Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration issuing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in his state. We are grateful and urge California lawmakers to take the next logical step to repeal the death penalty to bring a permanent end to this practice.

“In his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis called for ‘the global abolition of the death penalty,’ as he explained, ‘I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. . . . [A] just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’ Today’s decision is a wise step in better orienting the criminal justice system to recognize the inherent dignity of all human life.”

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