Monday, March 21, 2005

U.S. bishops advocate death-penalty ban

Published March 21, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is initiating a political and public-relations campaign to eliminate the death penalty in the United States.
    The bishops were outspoken in their criticism of those who support abortion rights as "cooperating in evil" during the 2004 presidential campaign. But the bishops were silent on the hundreds of executions carried out by federal and state authorities each year.
    Twenty-five years after it last issued a major statement on capital punishment, the conference now believes public opinion is shifting against the practice, largely because DNA evidence often exonerates convicts on death row, the Washington Post reported.
    "I think the DNA evidence has really shaken up people. I think this is a moment, a very special moment, where we can talk about this and people are ready to listen," said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington. World Peace Herald

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