Loading
Top Vatican official condemns execution of Troy Davis
By David Kerr
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson.
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson.

.- The president of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace has condemned the execution of inmate Troy Davis by the state of Georgia on Sept. 21.
 
“My wish in the case of Troy Davis was that it would be a case that aimed at saving life and working on conversion, reintegration and change, rather than elimination. So I wish it had not happened,” Cardinal Peter Turkson told CNA in the hours following the execution.

The execution of 42-year-old Davis was delayed for hours while the U.S. Supreme Court considered an eleventh-hour appeal for clemency, a plea that was ultimately rejected.

Davis maintained his innocence in the 1989 fatal shooting of policeman Mark MacPhail until the end. “I am innocent. I did not have a gun,” he told the slain officer’s family.
 
“For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls,” he said before being executed by lethal injection.

“I’m not playing down the effect of crime on victims – the pain and the sadness and its ability to destroy society – but should we not aim at healing and also causing a change in somebody’s life?” asked Cardinal Turkson.
 
“When we do that (execute a person), it is society which is diminished. The human society less one person is still a reduction of the human society.”
 
Cardinal Turkson had already spoken out earlier in the week against the execution of Davis. His voice was joined by, among others, former President Jimmy Carter and the former FBI director William Sessions.

Cardinal Turkson said he believed that a system of justice that offers the chance for repentance and change would also be welcomed by victim’s relatives.

“I think the person who has been offended would find a greater satisfaction if the offender was able to come and say, ‘I am sorry for what I did.’ I think the restoration effect will be far greater than just seeing the disappearance of that person,” he said.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the traditional teaching of the Church “does not exclude,” recourse to the death penalty, “when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.” It adds, however, that today such cases are “very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

Cardinal Turkson said the type of justice system that would work best is one that “no matter how tedious and difficult it may be, rehabilitates and integrates people into society through conversion and a change of heart.”

He urged everyone to pray for the souls of all those who have died as a result of this incident.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: