Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contacting usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

 
April 23 2012 | UNITED STATES

USA - Catholic activists pushing politicians to turn tide against the death penalty. The letters from Sant'Egidio to the Senate of Connecticut before voting

 
printable version

Soon, probably next week, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy will sign into a law a bill that abolishes the death penalty in his state. When he does, Connecticut will be the fifth state to enact such legislation in as many years — and the third with a governor who was raised Roman Catholic.

   As a younger man, Malloy supported the death penalty. But after working as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, he saw the possibility for human error in the justice system and changed his mind.

  “I don’t want to overemphasize my Catholicism here,” the governor, who grew up in a family of eight children and went to Jesuit-run Boston College, told me. “But I know my religion. I know religions in general. In the New Testament, the one place where Jesus talks about the death penalty, he says, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ When I’ve reflected on the death penalty, the reality is I frequently ponder that passage.”

Powerful, vocal Roman Catholics have been much in the news of late, mostly for their hard-line positions on abortion and birth control, and their self-serving rhetoric on the subject of religious rights in the health-care debate. But Catholic activists are playing another political role, too — under the radar — on an issue that hasn’t made the same sorts of headlines.
They are helping to turn the tide of public opinion in the United States against the death penalty. (According to a Pew poll earlier this year, about a third of Americans now oppose capital punishment, up from 18 percent in the mid-1990s.) And they are appealing to the consciences of Roman Catholic politicians to do it.

The sanctity of human life is central to Catholic theology, and for death penalty opponents, this sanctity extends as much to living men and women convicted of capital crimes as it does to embryos and fetuses. Malloy’s change of heart is reflected in the opinion of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, for 30 years ago, popes and bishops were not so clearly emphasizing their opposition to capital punishment.
In November, a delegation of international death-penalty opponents was invited to a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI. There, the pope praised and encouraged “the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty.”

In 2011, on Ash Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that abolished the death penalty in Illinois. Quinn attended Catholic schools as a child and went to Georgetown University but had long supported capital punishment.

After the bill passed in the Illinois legislature, he pondered his decision for months — for, as he puts it, “there are people of great conscience on both sides of this debate.” During that time, he received a visit from Sister Helen Prejean, the author of “Dead Man Walking,” and a call from the Catholic death-penalty opponent Martin Sheen. For guidance, he read Scripture, and on the morning he signed the bill, he read from the writings of the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Afterward, news reports said he “looked drained.”  
“I felt it was one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life,” he says now. The archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, called to thank him, he says.

He has since become part of the country’s informal network of prominent Catholic death-penalty opponents. He phoned Malloy to offer his congratulations on the passage of Connecticut’s bill and has told California Gov. Jerry Brown — who had at one time considered becoming a priest — that he supports anti-death-penalty efforts in his state.

Before the vote in Connecticut, the Society of St. Egidio, an international group of lay Catholics based in Rome, sent letters to key Catholic members of the state Senate, appealing to their consciences. “I am sure that it will be possible,” the letter said, enticingly, “to create a special event at the Coliseum in Rome to tell the world that Connecticut has taken the lead to abolition. . . . The world will be able to love your state even more than now.” Mario Marazziti, St. Egidio’s spokesman, said the letter helped to swing undecided votes in support of abolition.

Malloy isn’t interested in such appeals to vanity or legacy. He wants to work on education reform. “Nobody remembers who the governor of Wisconsin was when Wisconsin outlawed the death penalty in 1853.”  But on the morality of death as punishment for crimes, Malloy believes the Gospels contain something like the first word. “Jesus Christ — he laid out what the standard was.”
 

By Lisa Miller, Published: April 19
The Washington Post Company

RELATED NEWS
November 29 2016
BELARUS

Death convict Ivan Kulesh executed

November 29 2016

On November 30th join the World Day of the Cities for Life against the death penalty


How, when and where to join all over the world. The map of the cities, latest news, video. Visit this page for updates and share it! The hashtag is #nodeathpenalty
November 29 2016
UNITED STATES
Join the lay Catholic Community of Sant'Egidio

Various locations throughout the Florida dioceses will again participate in the International Day of Cities for Life


You are invited to attend an event in your area! Cities for Life, Against the Death Penalty
November 21 2016
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
The results at the Third Committee of the General Assembly, the committee regarding issues relating to human rights, show momentum against the death penalty in the world

Death Penalty: the yes vote increases at the Third UN Committee, reaching a total of 115


Its resolution is debated and voted every other year
November 8 2016
KENYA

Death penalty: Sant'Egidio in Nairobi. From commuting sentences to humanizing society

November 5 2016
ZIMBABWE

10 death row inmates freed

all related news

ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 28 2016
AP

High court to examine mental disability, death penalty issue
November 12 2016
Internazionale

Si rafforza la pena di morte negli Stati Uniti
November 11 2016

Al liceo classico “Socrate” di Bari, conferenza “Non c’è giustizia senza vita”
October 24 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
all press-related

VIDEO PHOTOS
4:04
Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
4:14
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
3:01
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

72 visits

232 visits

49 visits

53 visits

61 visits
all the related media