wrong must be punished, but this system is flawed.
From John Moore of Charlotte, on behalf of the Charlotte Cooperation Circle of
the United Religions Initiative. The URI is a global organization composed of
persons of diverse religions and spiritual traditions dedicated to interfaith
cooperation and peace:
Now that Gov. Bev Perdue is free to follow the better angels of her nature, we,
the Charlotte Chapter of United Religions Initiative, urge her to declare a
moratorium on capital punishment and urge the N.C. legislature to change the
Criminal Code to abolish capital punishment as a penalty. In the words of
Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, "the death penalty diminishes all of us,
increases disrespect for human life, and offers the tragic illusion that we can
teach that killing is wrong by killing."
We acknowledge that in a society that values both order and liberty, those who
do wrong must be punished with penalties severe enough to deter others who are
on the path of lawlessness. We acknowledge that the threat of capital
punishment is a powerful weapon in the prosecutor's arsenal when negotiating
with alleged criminals to accept a plea agreement instead of a trial. We fully
support the power of the court to hold the convicted person fully responsible
for the crime. We acknowledge the feelings of loved ones of victims of brutal
crimes, and can only imagine the anguish they have suffered. Some of us have
experienced this anguish as well.
All of us need to take a new and closer look at the practice of capital
punishment itself. Just what is its purpose and what does it accomplish? Can
the system be fixed to always convict the right person and to administer the
death penalty by a truly objective standard? Are there any benefits to be
gained which would outweigh the horror of the execution of an innocent person?
Until these questions are answered, we support a moratorium on the death
Respect for justice is lost
We would further state that the institution of capital punishment not only
hurts those who die at the hands of the government, but also harms the
community. Respect for justice is lost when the state sponsors violence. We as
a society must not allow human life to be subject merely to administrative
efficiency or to long-standing tradition. Capital punishment is wrong
regardless of how it is imposed, what alleged advantages it provides the state,
how much it costs to impose, or how long it has been practiced. Let us never
again discover innocence too late. Let us never again see a picture of laughter
at a gallows.
We call all people of this state to contact our governor and their elected
state representatives to ask for the abolition of capital punishment from the
laws of North Carolina. This will not happen until our elected leaders realize
that abolition of the death penalty is the will of the electorate. We must join
together with one voice: loud enough, numerous enough, and persistent enough
that our elected leaders will choose to end state-sponsored violence. North
Carolina needs to join other states and countries that have taken this action
to uphold justice.
(source: Editorial, Charlotte Observer)