To the Editor:
Pope Francis recently declared, “For believers and non-believers alike, every life is good and its dignity must be guarded without exception.” This is reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states that “The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” with the addition that the church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
All people should know that our death penalty system is tremendously flawed: it is unfair, racially biased and costs taxpayers more than life imprisonment. In addition, the death penalty does nothing to keep our families safe, is not a deterrent to crime and its funding comes at the expense of proven criminal justice strategies that actually decrease crime. It is time for a more enlightened and honest conversation about capital punishment and to move our nation towards abolition of the death penalty.
The documentary film, “In the Executioner’s Shadow” casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories — the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to decide what justice really means; and the parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer. As wrongful convictions, botched executions and a broken justice system inch further into the spotlight, we must consider: What is justice? What part should the death penalty play?
The Franciscan Peace Center will host a free screening of “In the Executioner’s Shadow” on Thursday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at The Canticle, home of the Sisters of St. Francis, 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton. For more information, visit www.ClintonFranciscans. com or call (563) 242-7611.
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton