An often overlooked flaw of capital punishment is that he transforms his supporters into de facto killers themselves, an opponent of the practice said at “Life Beyond the Death Penalty,” organized by Ohioans to stop the executions.
Chicagoan Gail Rice, whose police officer brother was killed in the line of duty in November 1997, added that state-sanctioned executions are revenge killings that have a moral consequence.
“May God help us. If I deny the humanity of a death row inmate, then I adopt an attitude that is not very different from the attitude that the killer had when he killed my brother. He does not certainly didn’t appreciate Bruce’s life.
The April 19 event in Ashland, Ohio, was the latest effort by death penalty abolitionists to pressure state lawmakers to approve bills ending capital punishment currently pending in the US. House and Senate.
“If I deny the humanity of a death row inmate, then I’m adopting an attitude that’s not much different from the attitude the killer had when he killed my brother.”
Rice said she spent nearly 20 years as a volunteer adult literacy specialist in Illinois jails and jails and through this experience many criminals have undergone major transformations over time.
“The death penalty cuts off the possibility of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption that Christ always wants me to work towards,” she said. “This is a violent act of retaliation and revenge. As a Christian, how can I accept these attitudes?
Executions also go against scripture, Rice said. “Because the death penalty is especially unfair to the poor and minorities, it mocks God’s preferential care for the powerless and most vulnerable that Micah always speaks of.”
Another disturbing fact about the death penalty is that innocent people are frequently sentenced to death, often due to racial bias, perjury or false testimony, prosecutorial and police misconduct, botched crime scenes or misrepresentation incompetent legal, she said. “As the sister of a police officer, I am outraged when I hear of police officers or prosecutors who knowingly participate in wrongful convictions.”
But the main reason Rice said she opposes capital punishment is simpler and much more powerful: “I think it completely violates my Christian faith and values.”
Terrie Bonfiglio, a resident of Ashland, Ohio, warned against the misconception that capital punishment deters violent crime and brings healing to victims’ families: “I’m here for you. say tonight that it is a mistake. Neither of those things work, and when the death penalty was imposed, we were led to believe that was a good thing.
Bonfiglio’s uncle was murdered in Tampa, Florida in 2000, devastating a church-going family filled with military and law enforcement personnel.
“So you’d think with this conservative past and what’s happening to our family, that of course I’d be for the death penalty – where’s the plug? Let me plug in Sparky. Well, the general truth, at because of the delays, because of all the things I saw my aunt and all my cousins go through, I thought there had to be a better way.
This better path came to her through prayer sessions in which she felt God was pointing out the hypocrisy of a pro-life Catholic for the death penalty.
“You can’t completely agree not to have an abortion, pro-life here on this side, and on this side of life, you have someone who did something wrong – and clearly has to pay for it – but is okay with their death .
Bonfiglio said she also came to see the moral damage that capital punishment causes to judges, prosecutors and police officers involved in death penalty cases, but especially to prison workers directly involved in the lethal injection process.
“I decided that I was going to defend absolute life at the beginning and at the end of life.”
“I decided that I was going to stand for absolute life at the beginning and at the end of life,” she said.
It was a similar shift in thought that, according to Demetrius Minor, transformed his beliefs about the immorality of the death penalty.
“I said there had to be consistency in my pro-life views and if I want to be pro-life I have to be pro-life all the way,” said Minor, national director of the Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
Since Jesus died for all mankind, Minor said he came to see that it was “spiritually negligent” to sentence murderers to death.
“We cannot determine in our finite wisdom when God has finished working on someone’s heart or when the expiration date has arrived for that particular individual,” he said.
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