Archive for

August, 2009



New Report Shows Texas Executed a Man in 2004 Who Was Most Likely Innocent


Some of us are already familiar with the tragic story of Cameron Todd Willingham. In fact, a few years ago, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty published a resource called “Innocent and Executed” that featured the stories of four men who were most likely innocent and executed–three in Texas and one in Missouri.

A new investigative report shows that Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004, was almost certainly innocent. The report comes three years after the Innocence Project released analysis from some of the nation’s leading forensic experts. These experts found that the core evidence against Willingham was not valid. The Innocence Project also obtained public records showing that Texas officials ignored this evidence in the days leading up to Willingham’s execution.

Willingham was convicted of arson murder in 1992 and was executed in February 2004. His three young children died at a fire in the family’s home. At Willingham’s trial, forensic experts testified that evidence showed the fire was intentionally set. A jailhouse informant also testified against Willingham, and other circumstantial evidence was used against him.

Read more about this troubling case here.

What more evidence do we need to demonstrate that the death penalty system cannot be trusted to always get it right. It is tragic enough that this man lost his children in a fire but then to be convicted of their murders and executed for killing them? It is beyond tragic, and in fact, was completely unnecessary.

What would have happened if Willingham had received a sentence less than death? He would be alive and perhaps, if represented by an attorney with the time and resources to commit to discovering the truth, would be getting out of prison today.

Of course, any wrongfully convicted person spending time in prison for something that he/she didn’t do is a travesty of justice, but if a person is still alive, the injustice can be remedied. There is no remedy for Cameron Todd Willingham.

Why with harsh sentences like life without parole do we continue to insist on death? Here is one result of the death penalty in this country–the execution of an innocent man by the very government which was supposed to protect him.

We can do better than this, and we must. Read the story about Willingham in The New Yorker here

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying soundness conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile malfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Jury Gives Cobbins Life Without Parole

Last night, a jury sentenced Letalvis Cobbins, the first of 4 defendants to stand trial for the carjacking, rapes, and murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Read more here.

In the sentencing hearing, the jury heard a Knoxville psychologist describe Cobbins’ history of neglect, abuse, homelessness, beatings, brain injury, substance abuse, and trauma. Cobbins had one period of his childhood until about about age 10 in which he lived with his aunt, upon whose death he lost the only stable figure in his life.

Sadly, I was not surprised by any of the testimony I heard about Cobbins. Tragically, there are many others like him living in our communities all over Tennessee. My parents are both life-long public school teachers, and they have often spoken of children throughout their careers, and sadly more so in the last 10 years, who are on a similar path.

And, my mind begins to spin as I ask myself where we were as a society for all the time Letalvis Cobbins was barely surviving physically and mentally, for all those years when he was developing into a person who could perpetuate such ghastly acts on other people. I am in no way removing responsibility from Cobbins but am saying that if we as a society refuse to acknowledge our own responsibility in this nightmare, then we are not only losing an opportunity, but are also setting ourselves up to reap more painful consequences down the road. Our lack of awareness and inaction about the circumstances of the most “at-risk” in our communities will only lead to more violence and instability if they do not receive the care, attention, and resources necessary for them to learn how to function in society.

When are we going to get serious about dealing with these troubled kids before it is too late, and people like the Christians and the Newsoms are faced with the horrible reality of burying theirs?

I understand the outrage about these crimes. I feel that outrage myself. My hope is that we can channel that outrage into finding the common will to invest our time and our resources into those measures that will help prevent such crimes from happening instead of devoting ourselves to demanding more violence and death.

Life without parole is a very difficult sentence. As a young man, Cobbins will spend the rest of his life locked up in a cage, told what to do and when to do it, with no hope of ever being free. He will die there. No one should be fooled that his is somehow a “light” sentence.

And as I stated before in an earlier posting, we could do to him what he did to Channon and Christopher over and over again, and it would do nothing to change the situation or bring those two young people back. Herein lies the illusion of revenge…that somehow an eye for an eye will even the score. It won’t. Nothing will. But instead, as Gandhi reminds us, “An eye for an eye only leaves the world blind.”

We do have a choice though. We can choose to act in ways that are in keeping with who we are as civilized human beings, as children of God, and not act toward the perpetrators as they acted toward Channon and Christopher. That is our choice.

And as the news reporter noted, the reality of the death penalty is that it would take years for the sentence to be carried out–years of agonizing waiting, of court appearances, of reliving the crime in the media, years of attention for the perpetrator. With life without parole, it is over. He is in prison, and there will be no parole, no cameras, no attention–just the rest of his life to perhaps come to some kind of realization of the pain he has caused and to seek to become a different person, even if it is behind bars.

There is no good ending to this tragedy. I simply pray that all the hurting, devastated people involved will find some measure of peace–peace which passes all our understanding. That is and will be my prayer.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be so dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Reflecting on a Tragedy

By now, I imagine that most Tennesseans are aware of the trial underway in Knoxville for one of the four people charged in the carjacking, rape, and murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a young Knoxville couple, in 2007.

Every aspect of this case is horrific. And frankly, a case such as this keeps the fervor for the death penalty strong as the details are so gruesome and ghastly that one can hardly read or hear about them.

I read the story in the Tennessean yesterday about the first defendant currently on trial, Letalvius Cobbins, who recently took the stand in his own defense. Cobbins pled guilty to rape but not to murder. Though he did apologize for his participation, it was too little too late for the victims’ families. Some of his comments, which I won’t go into here but you can read about, caused Channon Christian’s father to come out of his seat and call Cobbins “a liar.” I cannot imagine what that man is going through as he sits in that courtroom everyday and hears the details of this crime over and over again.

I am sure that my blog posting concerning this case will receive many comments–some supportive and others very angry. I get that. Besides all the problems with the death penalty system as a whole including fairness, cost, and accuracy, the core of my opposition to the death penalty actually comes from my faith.

What tends to happen in cases such as this one is that all the energy becomes focused on the perpetrators and what they deserve. The hard truth is that we as a society could do to them exactly what they did to Channon and Christopher over and over again, and it will never bring those wonderful, young people back.

However, I, for one, condemn the behavior of these four perpetrators and never want their terrible actions to dictate my own. Instead, I want to respond in the way I believe that God calls me to, a way which chooses to treat them differently than they chose to treat Channon and Christopher.

Does this mean that there should be no accountability for these four? Absolutely not. Tennessee has life without the possibility of parole and a hard life sentence of 51 years minimum before a person is even eligible for parole. These are real consequences but consequences that don’t make me into a killer like them.

TCASK recently made the decision to officially change our organization’s name. We will be sharing more about this decision in the days ahead, but the TCASK Board voted on August 15 to change our name to Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. We chose this name for many reasons, one of which is that we want the public to understand that our opposition to the death penalty does not mean that we don’t think people need to be held accountable. We believe that those who commit horrible crimes must face up to them. However, we do not think that killing perpetrators solves our problems or truly addresses how or why such things happen.

The questions that come to me over and over as I read about this trial is, “What happened in the lives of these four young people that made them capable of such vile acts? What could we have done as a society to address the warning signs much sooner?” Sadly, I fear such questions may never be addressed in the clamor to see them executed.

Regardless of the outcome of this trial, my prayer is that all the families involved in this nightmare can find some peace and that there will come a day when we no longer need or want the death penalty for anyone.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Troy Davis Gets New Hearing

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to consider and rule on the claim of innocence in the murder case against Troy Anthony Davis. The Court told the District Court to “receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis’] innocence.” Only two judges, Scalia and Thomas, dissented.

Read more here.

Congratulations to all those in Georgia and around the world who have worked tirelessly on Davis’ behalf.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Yes…The System is Broken

I recently read a story that appeared as a news report from Channel 6 WATE in Knoxville. The title of the story, “Many Say Tennessee Death Penalty System Broken.”

Of course, I was hopeful that the story would cover a number of the many problems highlighted by the Tennessee Study Committee including the lack of adequate defense attorneys and services for those on trial for capital murder, the lack of recorded interrogations, the lack of open file discovery procedures, the disproportionate numbers of those with severe mental illness on death row, the lack of more reliable eyewitness identification procedures, the lack of preservation and proper storage of biological evidence, etc.

Instead the story focused on only one problem the Committee addressed: the length of time that people await execution in Tennessee, an average of 20 years. I am the first to admit that delay is problematic for everyone, particularly for victims’ families forced to endure this process as well as for citizens whose tax dollars are spent in years of litigation.

In the report, U.T. Law Professor Dwight Aarons points out that if we were dealing with the issue on the front end when determining whether or not to seek death and sought it less frequently, the time and money saved would be substantial. The reality is that the bulk of the cost with the death penalty comes, not from all the appeals but from the costs of the inital trial, with many defendants getting life sentences anyway after all the money is spent on seeking the death penalty

However, I was bothered by former Sevier County District Attorney General Al Schmutzer’s comment “If putting someone in jail deters some people from committing crimes, obviously putting someone to death would deter that many more.” Whoa there.

Here is where opinion and fact get confused. Such an assumption is neither obvious nor accurate. The fact is that a recent survey of the top criminologists in this nation released in June of this year show that a full 88% reject the idea that the death penalty is a deterrent to homicide (“Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologis,” Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Cimrinal Law and Criminology by Professor Michael Radelet and Tracie Lacock.)

And, in a brand new study just released by Columbia Law School called, “Execution and Homicide: A Tale of Two Cities,” Professors Franklin Zimring, Jeffrey Fagan, and David T. Johnson compare homicide rates in two similar cities, Singapore and Hong Kong, cities whose use of the death penalty is radically different. The bottom line of that study is that over the past 35 years with Singapore executing a high number of people and Hong Kong with no executions in a generation, the homicide rates in both cities were almost the same.

The fact is that the majority of reliable studies on deterrence have shown no deterrent effect.

Here is another fact not mentioned in the article: in the modern era, though Tennessee has only executed 5 people, our state has also released 2 men from death row who were wrongly convicted, Paul House and Michael McCormick, both of whom spent over 20 years each fighting their convictions. What would have happened to them if we sped up the process? Is killing some innocent people just the price we pay for the death penalty? And if so, how does that make us any different as a society than those who we are condemning?

To date, 135 people have been released from death rows nationwide when evidence of their innocence emerged. It seems to me when you are talking about deciding who lives and dies, with these kind of mistakes, speeding things up is a recipe for disaster. With alternatives like life without parole, why do we take such horrible risks with the death penalty.

So, actually General Schmutzer and I do agree: the death penatly system in Tennessee is broken.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile malfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

North Carolina Legislature Takes a Stand for Justice

Yesterday, North Carolina’s General Assembly approved making the state the second in the country, following Kentucky, to allow attorneys to use statistical data to demonstrate how racial bias factors into the decision of prosecutors to seek or jurors to impose the death penalty.

The Senate voted 25-18 for a measure that the NAACP and other advocates said was needed in a state that has released three black men from death row. Gov. Beverly Perdue is expected to sign the legislation.

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, in partnership with other advocates, worked tirelessly to get this bill passed.

Stephen Dear, executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty stated:

This is a great spiritual victory for North Carolina, the South, and our whole country. We have passed through the horrors of Jim Crow, through the racial politics of Jesse Helms, and now we have come to acknowledge that racial bias infects our courts over one of the greatest powers citizens give to government, the power to take human life. This is a victory brought by nonviolent social activism, the indomitable spirit and hard work by thousands of people including a scrappy, underfunded, but disciplined coalition of citizens’ groups, and some legislators who decided to stand empowered and do the right thing despite pressure from their political bosses and all in the face of misinformation and additional pressure from some district attorneys

About 700 clergy throughout North Carolina recently called for passage of the NC Racial Justice Act.

TCASK congratulates our colleagues in North Carolina for this monumental step in ensuring that the death penalty system in that state is applied more fairly. However, Dear acknowledged what abolitionists nationwide already know–that though this is a good step, the death penalty system can never be totally fair nor accurate and should be repealed.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile disfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be so dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Faith statement: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Call to End Capital Punishment

Presbyterians, guided by Scripture, believe that God has deep concern for those who are held captive or imprisoned. Throughout the Hebrew texts and New Testament, the prophets, and later, Jesus, call attention to those who are languishing in prisons and jails—encouraging followers to visit them, to advocate for them, and to share in their suffering. Presbyterian General Assemblies have demonstrated concern for the imprisoned and those who have been sentenced to death by enacting policy statements over the past forty years beginning in 1959 and continuing in 1977, 1978, and 1985.

Capital punishment is an expression of vengeance which contradicts the justice of God on the cross
–190th General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

In 1959, the 171st General Assembly issued the statement, "believing that capital punishment cannot be condoned by an interpretation of the Bible based upon the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ," the Assembly called on Christians to "seek the redemption of evil doers and not their death," and noted that the "use of the death penalty tends to brutalize the society that condones it."
In 1977, the General Assembly went farther, calling upon its members to "work to prevent the execution of persons now under sentence of death and further use of the death penalty; work against attempts to reinstate the death penalty in state and federal law, and where such laws exist, to work for their repeal; and to work for the improvement of the justice system to make less radical means available for dealing with persons who are a serious threat to themselves and to the safety and welfare of society."

The Presbyterian Church has held a long-standing belief that capital punishment is wrong because it is contrary to God’s plan for humanity, it cheapens the value of human life, and it is not an effective way to reduce crime and violence.
—Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

In 1985, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reaffirmed these earlier positions, declaring, "its continuing opposition to capital punishment." The 212th General Assembly (2000) also reaffirmed the position of the prior assemblies; called for an immediate moratorium on all executions in all jurisdictions that impose capital punishment; and directed the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly to communicate the call for an immediate moratorium and continuing opposition to the death penalty to the President of the United States, representatives in Congress, as well as to governors and legislators of the 37 states with persons awaiting execution.

What You Can Do

  • Pray for victims of crime and their families, those who have been wrongly convicted, and those on death row and their families.
  • Educate people in your congregation and community about the Presbyterian Church’s teachings on capital punishment. Talk to your pastor about your church’s involvement.
  • Advocate by contacting your elected officials and joining together with Presbyterian and other religious and social justice groups.

Groups and resources

Death penalty facts

  • Approximately 3,300 people are on death row in the US; 89 of them in Tennessee.
  • Since executions were reinstated in 1977, over 130 death row inmates have been exonerated; 2 in Tennessee.
  • 90% of Tennessee’s death row inmates could not afford to hire their own defense at trial.
  • Inmates convicted of murdering a white person are more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death than those convicted of murdering an African-American.
  • Capital punishment is a far more expensive system than one whose maximum punishment is life without parole, diverting resources from real crime prevention efforts.
  • At least 5-10% of those on death row suffer from severe mental illness while at least 100 of those executed since 1977 suffered from some form of mental illness.
  • A recent survey of former and past presidents of top U.S. academic criminological societies show that 88% of these experts reject the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual appeal among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile malfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile malfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be highly dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Faith Statement: Catholic Campaign to End Capital Punishment


Catholic teaching and the death penalty

“I renew the appeal… for a consensus to end the death penalty.”
– Pope John Paul II
St. Louis, MO
1/27/99

Catholic teaching offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment. It begins with the recognition that the dignity of the human person applies to both victims and offenders. It affirms our commitment to comfort and support victims and their families, while acknowledging the God-given dignity of every human life, even those who do great harm.

Catholic teaching on human life begins with the belief that life is a gift from God that is not for us to take away. As it is applied to the death penalty, this teaching is both complicated and clear. The Church has long acknowledged the right of the state to use the death penalty in order to protect society. However, the Church has more and more clearly insisted the state forego this right if it has other means to protect society. Our fundamental respect for every human life and for God, who created each person in His image, requires that we choose not to end a human life in response to violent crimes if non-lethal options are available. Pope John Paul II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, and statements from U.S. Bishops are all clear and consistent that the use of the death penalty ought to be abandoned in our the use of the death penalty ought to be abandoned in our nation because we have alternative means to protect society.

In his encyclical “The Gospel of Life,” the Holy Father challenged followers of Christ to be “unconditionally pro-life,” willing to “proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Gospel of life in every situation.” He reminds us that “the dignity of the human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform.” The cases in which society could not defend itself, according to the Pope, “are very rare if not practically non-existent.”

We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.
– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty”

In response to the Holy Father’s call to end the death penalty during his January 1999 visit to the U.S., the bishops issued A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty. They reiterated the Pope’s challenge to “end the death penalty which is both cruel and unnecessary.” They concluded that their opposition to the death penalty is about not only the act of killing a guilty person, but also the detrimental effect of institutionalizing violence in our society.

Abolition sends a message that we can break the cycle of violence, that we need not take life for life, that we can envisage more humane and more hopeful and effective responses to the growth of violent crime.

– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Death penalty facts

  • Approximately 3,300 people are on death row in the US; 89 of them in Tennessee.
  • Since executions were reinstated in 1977, over 130 death row inmates have been exonerated; 2 in Tennessee.
  • 90% of Tennessee’s death row inmates could not afford to hire their own defense at trial.
  • Inmates convicted of murdering a white person are more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death than those convicted of murdering an African-American.
  • Capital punishment is a far more expensive system than one whose maximum punishment is life without parole, diverting resources from real crime prevention efforts.
  • At least 5-10% of those on death row suffer from severe mental illness while at least 100 of those executed since 1977 suffered from some form of mental illness.
  • A recent survey of former and past presidents of top U.S. academic criminological societies show that 88% of these experts reject the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.

What you can do

  • Pray for victims of crime and their families, those who have been wrongly convicted, and those on death row and their families.
  • Educate people in your parish and community about Catholic social teachings and capital punishment.
  • Advocate by contacting your elected officials and joining together with Catholic and other religious and social justice groups.

Groups and resources

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Albeit the erectile dysfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying health conditions that can be very much dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile disfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.

Faith statement: United Methodist Church Call to End Capital Punishment


The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church on the Death Penalty

We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.

The United Methodist Church cannot accept retribution or social vengeance as a reason for taking human life. It violates our deepest belief in God as the Creator and Redeemer of humankind.
- The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church, 2004

2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the call by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church for an end to capital punishment in the United States. Since its initial stance, the church has not wavered in its opposition to the death penalty. In opposing executions, the United Methodist Church has repeatedly recognized that the death penalty has no demonstrated deterrent effect and that it is, therefore, in place only for retribution. The church recognizes that such vengeance is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ and feels that “When another life is taken through capital punishment, the life of the victim is further devalued.” (Book of Resolutions) The Church calls on its members to take overt action to bring an end to capital punishment and guarantees the Church’s support for such efforts.

What You Can Do

  • Pray for victims of crime and their families, those who have been wrongly convicted, and those on death row and their families.
  • Educate people in your congregation and community about the United Methodist Church’s teachings and capital punishment. Talk to your pastor about your church’s involvement.
  • Advocate by contacting your elected officials and joining together with Methodist and other religious and social justice groups.

Groups and Resources

Death penalty facts

  • Approximately 3,300 people are on death row in the US; 89 of them in Tennessee.
  • Since executions were reinstated in 1977, over 130 death row inmates have been exonerated; 2 in Tennessee.
  • 90% of Tennessee’s death row inmates could not afford to hire their own defense at trial.
  • Inmates convicted of murdering a white person are more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death than those convicted of murdering an African-American.
  • Capital punishment is a far more expensive system than one whose maximum punishment is life without parole, diverting resources from real crime prevention efforts.
  • At least 5-10% of those on death row suffer from severe mental illness while at least 100 of those executed since 1977 suffered from some form of mental illness.
  • A recent survey of former and past presidents of top U.S. academic criminological societies show that 88% of these experts reject the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.

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