Yes on 62

KILLING ISN'T JUSTICE

Vote Yes on 62

It is time for California to abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is unnecessary as a means of defense. It contradicts God’s plan for merciful justice and fosters a culture of revenge and unforgivingness.

Our Church teaches that every life is sacred and every person has dignity, the innocent and the guilty alike. Life belongs to God alone, and there is no one who cannot be touched by God’s mercy and changed by His love. The death penalty deprives the condemned person of the chance to have a change of heart and to make amends for his or her crimes.

In seeking an end to the death penalty, we never forget the victims of crime and their loved ones. We support them and pray that our Merciful Father grants them healing and peace. But we recognize that killing the criminal does not bring justice to the victims. Our country has far more effective ways to bring about justice and to keep society safe from violent criminals.

Join the bishops of California on November 8th in voting Yes on Proposition 62, to repeal the death penalty in California.

Videos

Catholics and the Death Penalty - 4:50

Kirk Bloodsworth: freed from death row for a crime he didn't commit - 0:30

Archbishop Gomez invites you to Vote Yes on Prop 62 - 2:12

El Arzobispo Gomez te invita a votar SI sobre la Prop 62 - 2:26

Pope Francis' Message on Death Penalty - 3:49

Pope Francis

Nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offense to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen to the prisoners on death row if Proposition 62 passes?

These prisoners sentences will be automatically commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

How many states have abolished the death penalty?

Twenty states, plus the District of Columbia, have ended the use of the death penalty: Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin. It is time for California to join this growing list of states.

What does the Church teach about the death penalty?

The Church teaches that capital punishment is no longer necessary to keep our society safe – something all three of our most recent popes have agreed upon. St. John Paul II said, “Modern society…has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform.” And Pope Francis said most recently, “Nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offense to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice.”

Why are there two ballot initiatives on the death penalty?

Proposition 62 would end the death penalty in California. Proposition 66 would shorten the appeals process and speed up the use of the death penalty in our state. The California Bishops are urging all Catholics to vote Yes on 62 and No on 66.

Pope Benedict XVI

I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty.

The Latest

September 28, 2016

California bishops urge voters to reject the death penalty

Source: Catholic News Service

Bishops in California and New Mexico have urged voters to resist attempts to reinstate the death penalty

The California Catholic bishops are urging voters to support a November ballot initiative that would outlaw the death penalty.

Proposition 62 would replace the maximum punishment for murder with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“It is time for us to end the death penalty – not only in California but throughout the United States and throughout the world,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H Gomez said in a commentary in Angelus, the online news outlet of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Read More »

September 22, 2016

The early Church and the death penalty

Source: Angelus News

How did the earliest Christians view the practice of capital punishment?

To borrow a phrase from social media: It’s complicated.

The issue arises in just a handful of documents from the first three centuries, and those few instances are sometimes vague, ambivalent or wavering. They resist the most ardent modern efforts to find consistency.

Read More »

September 21, 2016

The right to kill?: California Catholic Conference urges voters to end the death penalty in the state

Source: Angelus News

Kirk Bloodsworth had everything a young man could hope for in 1984. At 23 years old, he had served honorably in the U.S. Marines, was married, and had a good job on Maryland’s eastern shore.

But then “my entire world went sideways,” Bloodsworth recounted to Angelus News. Over a period of eight months, he was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the gas chamber for the brutal rape-murder of 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton — a horrific crime he never committed.

Read More »

September 21, 2016

End the death penalty in California

Source: Angelus News

On the ballot this Nov. 8 in California is Proposition 62.

This proposition would repeal the death penalty in our state and would make life in prison without parole the maximum punishment that could be imposed for crimes of murder.

My brother bishops and I in the California Catholic Conference are supporting this effort.

Read More »

September 21, 2016

History of the death penalty in the United States

Source: Angelus News

In 1980, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States called for an end to the use of the death penalty in our country. It was the judgment of the bishops that the use of state-sanctioned executions was no longer necessary and was, in fact, unjustified in our time and under current circumstances.

They wrote that our nation should forgo the use of capital punishment because executing people, when it is not necessary to protect society, violates our respect for human life and dignity. Its application is deeply flawed and can be irreversibly wrong, is prone to errors, and is biased by factors such as race, the quality of legal representation, and where the crime was committed. We have other ways to punish criminals and protect society, they asserted.

Read More »

July 20, 2016

‘Do they deserve death?’: Diverse coalition kicks off ‘Yes-on-62’ campaign

Source: Angelus News

“In 1978, my dad and I worked very hard to pass the Briggs initiative, which is today’s death penalty law here in California,” his son Ron Briggs, then a supervisor in El Dorado County, declared at an outdoor press conference at Grand Park near Downtown L.A. on July 14.

“We thought back then that we would deliver swift justice, that we would take care of the victims’ families and survivors and provide them closure. We thought we would save California money. We believed then a broad death penalty would act as a deterrent to crime,” Briggs explained.

Read More »

July 17, 2016

California bishops urge voters to reject the death penalty this fall

Source: Angelus News

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 16, 2016 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday, the bishops of California announced their support of a state ballot measure that would end the use of capital punishment in the state, replacing it with life in prison without possibility of parole.

“Our commitment to halt the practice of capital punishment is rooted both in the Catholic faith and our pastoral experience,” the bishops said in their July 14 statement in support of Proposition 62. The message also states the bishops' opposition to another ballot measure, Proposition 66, which is intended to expedite executions in California by limiting appeals.

Read More »

July 14, 2016

California Bishops Announce Support for Prop 62 to End the Use of the Death Penalty

Source: California Catholic Conference

SACRAMENTO, CA - During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we, the Catholic Bishops of California support Proposition 62 which would end the use of the death penalty in California. Our commitment to halt the practice of capital punishment is rooted both in the Catholic faith and our pastoral experience.

All life is sacred – innocent or flawed – just as Jesus Christ taught us and demonstrated repeatedly throughout His ministry. This focus on the preciousness of human life is fundamental to Christianity and most eloquently expressed in the two great commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart … love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mk. 12.30-31) Jesus makes clear that to love God we must love our neighbor. Each of us holds an inherent worth derived from being created in God’s own image. Each of us has a duty to love this divine image imprinted on every person. “Whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (I Jn. 4.20)

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June 21, 2016

Pope Francis calls for world ‘free of the death penalty’

Source: Crux Now

ROME- Pope Francis called for a world “free of the death penalty” in a video message supporting the sixth World Congress against capital punishment, currently being held in Oslo, Norway. He said the practice brings no justice to victims, but instead fosters vengeance.

“Indeed, nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person,” Francis said on the message released on Tuesday.

“It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice,” the pope said.

Read More »

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