Late last week, Governor Jerry Brown cancelled plans to build a new $356 million facility at San Quentin State Prison to hold condemned prisoners. The new ‘death row’ would have housed more than a 1,000 men scheduled for execution. The state now has about 700 people condemned to die.
In his statement on the decision, the Governor cited costs: “At a time when children, the disabled and seniors face painful cuts to essential programs, the State of California cannot justify a massive expenditure of public dollars for the worst criminals.”
Blessed John Paul II, when he held the chair of St. Peter, repeatedly called for an end to the use of the death penalty. He called the death penalty “unnecessary” and a painful reminder that our “model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message.”
Visit USCCB’s webpage Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty or read more about the concept of Restorative Justice here. For more information, contact Debbie McDermott, firstname.lastname@example.org.