I wonder how many Catholics really agree. I wonder if the Catholics on the Supreme Court agree. I wonder if the Pope brought up the death penalty with the former Texas governor and prominent supporter of the death penalty. Good for Rep. McCollum.
Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the death penalty Wednesday in part to coincide with the visit of Pope Pope Benedict XVI, the world's most well known death penalty opponent. In addition, McCollum's proposal comes the same day the U.S. Supreme Court found lethal injection to be a constitutional method of capital punishment, thereby ending a 7 month moratorium on capital punishment in the United States.
"Criminals who are found guilty of committing heinous acts should be sentenced to life in prison as a punishment and for the wellbeing of society," McCollum said in a press release. "The death penalty, by contrast, does not serve society's interests - it is damaging and harmful. Fighting crime, achieving justice, and elevating human dignity are all damaged by state-sponsored executions. We know the death penalty is more expensive to implement than regular sentences, it does not reduce crime, and it imposes a shared societal responsibly for killing another human being on behalf of a justice system that is clearly not perfect."
...Given the lack of support for ending the death penalty in the United States, McCollum's amendment will likely be a symbolic gesture intended to generate a discussion on an issue in which Catholics and progressives agree. "The Supreme Court's decision today was painful for those of us who believe the death penalty is immoral," said McCollum. "No one can respond with greater moral authority or spiritual wisdom on this subject than His Holiness."
Update: On the Christianity Today blog report on the Supreme Court decision today affirming the constitutionality of the method of lethal injection used, we learn:
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guidelines say use of the method to put down animals is unacceptable.Makes you proud to be an American in this "Christian" nation.