Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City: A culture of life means an end to the death penalty

If we mean to build a culture of life, we must commit anew to emptying death row and abolishing capital punishment.

We are at a crossroads in the United States as we wrestle with the question of inherent human dignity—born and unborn, innocent and guilty, young and old, well and infirm. Amid the perennial debate over abortion and euthanasia, the use of the death penalty is often overlooked as a life issue.

The death penalty is an immoral and antiquated method of addressing serious crimes, and its use in the United States is irreparably broken. The church recognizes the grave harm done to victims and the need for healing and justice. It also understands that executions only perpetuate cycles of violence and often provide no measure of healing for families.

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