To the Editor,
Teresa Mottet’s letter (2/5) was much appreciated and one sentence in it was especially significant: “ . . . many Catholics are unaware of this teaching of the church [on capital punishment].”
An excellent book on Catholic opposition to the death penalty, “Where Justice and Mercy Meet,” was published by Liturgical Press in 2013. The three editors cover topics from statistical history of the death penalty in the United States to Catholic Church teaching on capital punishment and the economics of the use of the death penalty. Today more than 3,000 men and women languish on death row in this country. Some have been there for 30 years or more.
I have had a death row pen pal in Raleigh, N.C., for three years. We correspond weekly.
All 150 men on death row in Raleigh have been convicted of murder, and some have committed numerous horrific crimes. I send each a birthday card and am in awe of the responses I get from some of these men. Most of them acknowledge their offenses and know they will never leave prison but hope to be transferred to the general prison population where they can take classes, get a little job, earn a GED, etc. On death row, their major complaint is boredom.
Since this country still has 32 states that use the death penalty, we have much to do to abolish capital punishment. We hear and read about the evil of abortion, but what about the evil of a state intentionally taking the life of a human being? Do we still believe in “an eye for an eye”? I hope and pray not.
Sister Dolores Schuh, CHM