California bishop slams execution of 76-year-old inmate

The execution of 76-year-old Clarence Ray Allen in California on Tuesday "undermines society's commitment to respect the God-given dignity of every human person" and fails to meet its purported goal of making society safer, according to the head of the San Francisco Archdiocese.

Catholic News Service reports that Auxiliary Bishop John Wester, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese until Archbishop George H. Niederauer is installed next month, said that because of Allen's age and various illnesses "life in prison without the possibility of parole would have been a just and exacting punishment."

Bishop Wester said in a statement, "We must ask ourselves and our fellow citizens whether the violence of state-ordered executions ... does not itself contribute to a culture of death in which respect for the dignity and precious worth of every human life is diminished."

He also asked Californians "to ponder carefully whether the use of the death penalty makes our society safer."

California bishop criticizes execution of 76-year-old inmate (Catholic News Service 17/1/06)22

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of San Francisco | Statement of the Most Reverend John C. Wester Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on the occasion of the execution of Clarence Ray Allen
Clarence Ray Allen (Wikipedia)
Community of Sant'Egidio

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19 Jan 2006