Claysburg Pennsylvania – Echoing Pope Francis’ recent call to abolish the death penalty world-wide, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) has urged all diocesan bishops in the 31 states where capital punishment is legal to work toward abolishing the death penalty.
EPF’s Death Penalty Abolition Action Group has mailed resource packets they compiled to 75 bishops. General Convention 2015 passed the DO25 Resolution that affirms the Episcopal Church’s long-standing opposition to the death penalty and calls upon bishops to create a task force of clergy and lay persons to develop a witness to eliminate the death penalty.
“DO25 requests that dioceses report their actions to the Standing Commission on Social Justice and Public Policy prior to our 79th General Convention in 2018,” said the Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles, executive director of EPF.
“Today more than 3,000 people live on death row in this country and the failure to eliminate the death penalty in the 31 states where it remains legal will result in the death for most of these prisoners – many of whom are innocent. In the last four decades, more than 150 prisoners have been exonerated from death row due to evidence surfacing that proves their innocence – including nine from North Carolina,” said Liles.
“Jesus calls us to a life of love, mercy and redemption. As his followers we must reject state-sanctioned retribution and collective vengeance as reasons for taking human life,” she said.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has advocated for peace since its founding on Armistice Day 1939. EPF website – http://epfnational.org/
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