Perth Archbishop condemns new talk of death penalty
Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth has criticised moves to reintroduce the death penalty for serious offenders in Western Australia.
The Sunday Times reported that the State Opposition's police spokesman said that murderers and terrorists should be "executed or flogged by victims' families".
The spokesman, Rob Johnson, re-ignited the debate over the death penalty and corporal punishment for criminals, saying the views of West Australians should be canvassed in a referendum.
But Archbishop Hickey said society should not revert to capital punishment because it would represent a "serious retreat from our standard of respect for human life".
Neither Opposition Leader Matt Birney nor Labor Justice Minister John D'Orazio believed a referendum should be held on the issue.
Mr Birney said he was worried that innocent people would die if capital punishment was re-introduced in WA, while Mr D'Orazio said present punishments were adequate.
In 1984, WA was the last state to abolish capital punishment. The last WA execution was in 1964 when Eric Edgar Cooke was hanged at Fremantle Prison.
Execute killers, says Lib (Sunday Times 16/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Helen Prejean CSJ Official Website
Living the Gospel on death row (Catholic Leader 6/3/05)
Cardinal repeats Vatican opposition to all forms of killing (CathNews 19/5/05)
Pell to consider appeal for clemency (CathNews 22/4/05)
Death row movie nun set to visit Australia (CathNews 14/2/05)
Death Penalty: Life For A Life? (Vatican Radio English Features 13/10/05, audio - requires Real Player)
17 Oct 2005