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February 13, 2015

STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP.
REGARDING THE REPRIEVE OF PENNSYLVANIA DEATH ROW OCCUPANTS




Today Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a reprieve for all Pennsylvania death row occupants until current commonwealth studies of the death penalty are complete and he has had time to study the data.

I'm very grateful to Governor Wolf for choosing to take a deeper look into these studies and I pray we can find a better way to punish those who are guilty of these crimes.

Turning away from capital punishment does not diminish our support for the families of murder victims. They bear a terrible burden of grief and they rightly demand justice. But killing the guilty does not honor the dead nor does it ennoble the living. When we take a guilty person's life we only add to the violence in an already violent culture and we demean our own dignity in the process.

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