Nashville, Tenn., May 6, 2019 / 12:57 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The bishops of Tennessee have requested that the new governor halt four executions planned for this year, reiterating the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.
“It is within your power to establish your legacy as a governor of Tennessee who does not preside over an execution on your watch,” the bishops wrote April 23 to Governor Bill Lee.
The letter was published May 3, and was signed by Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville, and Bishop David Talley of Memphis.
The letter welcomed Lee's Republican administration and asked him to reconsider a recent plan from the state to fast-track death sentences.
The bishops said the death penalty is both unneccesary and faulty, stating that “nationally, we have seen many people released from death row after they have been found to have been innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. Based on a human system as it is, there is always the chance that the state executes an innocent person.”