Frankfort, KY (June 8, 2001)
Catholic bishops are releasing a statement rejecting the use of the death
penalty, even in the case of the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh.
The bishops’ statement reaffirms the Church’s teaching
that all human life, in all its conditions, must be respected. According to
Scott Wegenast, policy analyst for CCK, "Executing citizens, even those who
have committed horrible crimes, demonstrates that our government fails to
recognize the most basic human right, the right to life. The Church’s
opposition to executions serves to reaffirm our humanity in the face of inhumane
Calling for a day of prayer and reflection for the bombing
victims, their families, McVeigh and our Nation, the bishops hope that citizens
will recognize the violence of the death penalty and support its repeal. The
bishops supported legislation in the 2001 Kentucky General Assembly to abolish
the death penalty. House Bill 122, sponsored by Representative Tom Burch
(Louisville), would have repealed the death sentence in place of life in prison
without possibility of parole.
Fr. Pat Delahanty, a policy analyst for CCK, stated,
"The federal government, as well as Kentucky, must abandon the death
penalty as have all developed nations. Twelve U.S. states and the District of
Columbia have abandoned the death penalty, including our neighbor West
Virginia." CCK will again seek legislation to abolish the death penalty in
the 2002 General Assembly.