Nebraska did it! This past week, the Nebraska legislature has voted 30-19 to override the Governor’s veto and abolish the death penalty. With this vote, Nebraska has become the first Red state since North Dakota (1973) to abolish the death penalty, and the 7th in the past 8 years. This law marks a historic chapter in the national repeal movement according to the Catholic Mobilizing Network, becoming the 19th state to end the use of the death penalty. Republicans, Democrats and Independents reached across the aisle worked together and their bipartisan success demonstrates growing recognition the death penalty is a broken and morally bankrupt public policy. We can thank Catholic lawmakers, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, the Bishops and Catholic citizens for advocating for the sanctity and dignity of all life. Their voices were integral to this victory.
These two acts of hope inspire us in our struggle to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and Missouri. I encourage our Missionaries and Companions in Kansas to call your senators and representatives: Kansas is getting close to abolishing the death penalty. In Missouri, we also need to continue with our efforts. Please pray for Richard Strong who is scheduled to be executed on June 10th. There will be a vigil at the corner of Belt & Frederick in St. Joseph on June 9th at 4:30pm.
This past week, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men denounced the decision to execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He was found guilty of murdering four innocent people and harming more than 250 in the Boston Marathon bombing. CMSM stated that only with true restorative justice can we interrupt the increasing networks and systems of violence, and better prevent future violence. They encourage us to move towards healing and initiate the process where forgiveness may arise.
Daryl Charron, C.PP.S.