Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fwd: Urgent Action Alert - Stop Dec. 3 Execution by Washington State

Received from

At a time when respect for the sanctity of human life is undermined in many ways, the Church's opposition to the use of the death penalty is an important witness in support of a culture of life.

Attached you will find a flier asking people to write Governor Christine Gregoire to commute the death sentence of Darold Stenson. Mr. Stenson is scheduled to be executed at the Washington State Penitentiary at 12:01 a.m. on December 3rd, thus the urgency of this request. The Bishops of Washington State are sending a letter to the Governor, requesting her to commute his sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

The flier has been sent to all pastors and pastoral coordinators along with a request to place this flier in Sunday's (Nov 23rd) bulletin and the bulletin for Nov. 30th. Please pass on this alert to other members of your parishes and ask them to contact the governor as well.
If you would like background material on the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty, please refer to the following USCCB website:

Thank you for your help in building life, justice and peace,
Jim Thomas
Director of Adult Faith Formation for Catholic Social Teaching and Family Life
Archdiocese of Seattle

As per Human Life Policy, I have sent the following message to the Governor:

Washington State is planning to execute Darold Stenson on Dec. 3rd, 2008.  In our view,  respect for all human beings from conception to natural death compels us to oppose the death penalty.  Human Life of WA has opposed the death penalty since the 1970's - (see policy statement below.  Therefore, we urgently plead that you commute Mr. Stenson's sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Human Life of WA Policy:

HUMAN LIFE has as its basic goal the protection of the right to life of all persons, from conception to natural death, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.  Sensitive to the issue of the protection of society and the need for a system of criminal justice that affords all people that basic protection, we must deal with capital punishment as a basic moral issue involving the right to life.  The question of guilt or innocence of any act is not the central issue, for without previously establishing guilt no punishment is ever considered.  Once guilt has been established, the question of penalty must be determined.  Penalty, then, is the basic issue.

Consideration of one's physical and mental state may weigh heavily as to the guilt or innocence of an individual, but cannot be the basis upon which we deny any person the right to life.  No act or combination of acts causes one to lose his/her personhood.  Our obligation to protect society and impose just penal sanctions dictates that we reject as a morally sound penalty, the destruction of life through capital punishment.

Whatever steps we take to assure a just and well-ordered society must be based upon the fundamental principle of the sanctity of life.
Dan Kennedy, CEO
Human Life of Washington 
14400 Bel-Red Rd Suite 207
Bellevue, WA 98007-3952  

Affiliate of National Right to Life 
V-425.641.9345    F-425.641.9635
Human Life of Washington 
Center for Life Principles - A Project of Human Life Ed. Foundation 
National Right to Life 

"We cannot talk about human rights without the right to be human."