Michigan Catholic Conference ready to oppose death penalty resolution

The Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) is urging the Michigan Legislature to vote against a constitutional amendment that would reinstate the death penalty in the state.

In a press release yesterday, the MCC expressed its firm opposition to the proposed legislation, stating that: “On the issue of capital punishment, as with abortion or assisted suicide, the Catholic Church has consistently advocated against the use of lethal means to solve social issues.”

MCC vice-president for public policy Paul A. Long said his organization “will vigorously oppose legislation that attempts to establish a culture of death in Michigan.

“We do not challenge society's right to punish the serious and violent offender,” he said. “But, to serve as an effective deterrent to crime, any punishment must be swift, sure and even-handed. Capital punishment fails in all these categories."

The proposed legislation comes in response to two Detroit police officers who were gunned down during a routine traffic stop recently.

Similar legislation had been proposed previously, but it had been defeated in 1999.

In statement, released by the MCC in 1999, the conference said they believe “a principled and consistent rejection of death-dealing as a policy instrument is required to uphold the dignity of human persons and the value of human life.

“Such a position does not ignore the reality of human sinfulness in the world. On the contrary, we recognize that, given human sinfulness and selective compassion, lethal means will appeal to some people as a solution to one or another social problem, be it those of unwanted pregnancies, burdensome patients or remorseless killers," the 1999 statement continued. The MCC maintains the same position on the issue in 2004.

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