Archbishop Chaput urges end to capital punishment

PHILADELPHIA (CNA) — Ahead of the possible execution of three convicts on Pennsylvania’s death row, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia has called for an end to the death penalty.
“As children of God, we’re better than this, and we need to start acting like it. We need to end the death penalty now,” he said in his Sept. 10 weekly column. He said capital punishment “doesn’t work” as a deterrent, nor does it satisfy justice. The death penalty does not heal or redress wounds – “only forgiveness can do that.”

Even justly convicted murderers “retain their God-given dignity as human beings,” he wrote. “When we take a murderer’s life … we demean our own dignity in the process.”

Archbishop Chaput said the death penalty cannot be justified “except in the most extreme circumstances” and should have “no place in our public life.”