D077 Reduce Death Penalty Sentence

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church reaffirms the longstanding principle espoused by The Episcopal Church that the Death Penalty in the United States of America should be repealed; and be it further

Resolved, That all persons who have been sentenced to Death in the United States of America have their Death Sentences reduced to a lesser Sentence or, if innocent, granted exoneration; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of this 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church transmit, forward or send this Resolution to the Governors in all States where the Death Penalty is legal and to the President of the United States of America, encouraging them to reduce the Death Sentence to a lesser Sentence for all persons who are on Death Row in each of their jurisdictions and to submit and support legislation to repeal and abolish the Death Penalty; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of this 79th Convention of The Episcopal Church transmit, forward or send this Resolution to all Bishops in States and Federal Jurisdictions where the Death Penalty is legal, encouraging them to appoint task forces of clergy and lay persons within each of their jurisdictions to develop a plan to repeal the Death Penalty, to be witnesses in the name of Jesus Christ, and to request that these Bishops report on their actions to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church annually prior to the 80th General Convention, on or before June 30, 2019, June 30, 2020, and June 30, 2021, all of which reports shall be available to lay communicants and clergy of The Episcopal Church.

Explanation

The Death Penalty remains legal in thirty-one (31) States and in Federal Jurisdictions, with more than 3,000 persons awaiting execution. Some Governors have ordered moratoria in regard to the Death Penalty. The Death Penalty is disproportionately applied to the poor and to minorities. The Death Penalty is arbitrarily imposed in many States. Many innocent persons have been sentenced to Death. The Death Penalty is in direct opposition to the witness of Jesus Christ.

Many persons who have been sentenced to Death have demonstrated redemption, rehabilitation and/or habilitation. For example, in one State a Death Row Inmate has this year been ordained as a Minister in a Christian Church and serves as a Chaplain to other Inmates. Also, in one State several Death Row Inmates have completed a course of study which is required of Attorneys at Law to be certified as Mediators. The Death Row Inmates who have completed the course of study have formed a Mediation Team and mediate conflicts among the Inmates who are on Death Row in that State. One Inmate who completed the course of study was found by a Judge to have been rehabilitated, and his Death Sentence was reduced to a Life Sentence.

Explanation: The mother Church of the Anglican Communion is the Church of England. There is no Death Penalty in England or in any nation of the European Union.

This Resolution can save lives now in the name of Jesus Christ and can support the ongoing efforts of many Bishops, Chaplains, and Laypersons working to repeal the Death Penalty in the United States of America until the day when a Death Sentence becomes a sin of the past.


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