Let’s Be Honest…It Doesn’t Work

"With the Catholic Bishops we believe that ‘the death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.‘" -US Catholic Conference Administrative Committee –3/24/99 quoted in SNDdeN Corporate Stance against the Death Penalty-4/2000.

Why the Death Penalty Doesn’t Work

  • "I oversaw four executions at San Quentin. I can tell you as a law enforcement officer with 34 years of experience, those executions did not make anyone of us safer. What they did do was consume millions of dollars in resources what would be better spent on solving crime." Jeanne Woodford, former warden at San Quentin State Prison, former undersecretary and director of the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

  • 2012 statistics indicate that since 1973 when the death penalty was reinstated in the US, over 130 people have been released from Death Row with evidence of their innocence.

  • Statistics show that that there is a high percentage of those on death row who are people of color or poor; that in relation to % of population, more blacks are on death row.

  • Although the mentally retarded and those poorly represented are less likely to be on death row than was earlier the case, the mentally ill still may not be identified as incapable of death penalty crimes.

  • 17 states, the latest Connecticut, have discontinued executions.

One worrying reported by the San Jose Diocese a year ago is that among all religious groups in California, public opinion polling showed that, contrary to Church teaching, Catholics registered the highest support for the continuation of the death penalty.  Santa Clara University has responded to this concern with education through a new website directed by SCU School of Law professor Gerald F. Uelmen. It is worth a visit.