Catholic leaders pushing Proposition 62

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by Surabhi B. and Jennifer P., AMHS MAP students

With the fall general election coming up, it is important to
consider some of the pressing issues; one of them is the death
penalty. This is a government-sanctioned practice where a person is
put to death by the state as a punishment for crimes such as murder,
terrorism, and drug trafficking.
The need for the death penalty is something that has been heavily
debated for years, and the most recent propositions of legislation in
California, detailed in the November ballot, are major deciding
points. Proposition 62 removes the death penalty, while Proposition 66
conversely, facilitates and expedites the implementation of the death
penalty. Currently, the No on 66 movements has raised about $5.2
million more than the Yes on Prop 66 movement. No on 66 is working to
defeat Proposition 66 and approve Proposition 62. Every vote counts,
because if both propositions pass, the one with the higher amount of
“yes” votes will be enacted.
Prop 62 has many benefits over Prop 66, including great financial
savings. The California’s voter’s guide official argument states:
“Prop 62 will save $150 million per year. A death row sentence costs
18 times more than life in prison. Resources can be better spent on
education, public safety, and crime prevention that actually works.”
Morally speaking, A vote for prop 62 means less innocent lives are
lost. Since a convicted person is never surely 100% guilty, there is
the chance that the death penalty will be imposed upon a blameless
human. In addition, no life is ever worth death. Pope Francis, during
this Year of Mercy, hopes to remove the death penalty completely, and
has long voice these sentiments, saying “It is an offence to the
inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it
likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his
merciful justice.”

The Conference of Catholic Bishops has echoed
similar sentiment: “No matter how heinous the crime, if society can
protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so.”
Ultimately, our efforts should be focused on improving mental health
treatment and prison environment, reforms that can actually better the
individual and the society, rather than the unnecessary death penalty.
For more information, on the Diocese of San Jose’s stance on this
issue, you can check out their informative video (link:
http://www.dsj.org/blog/catholics-speak-true-justice-prop-62-prop-66/).

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