California bishops support death penalty repeal, prison rehabilitation ballot propositions
September 19th, 2016
California’s bishops recommend two yes votes and a no vote on three of the 18 California propositions on the Nov. 8 ballot. They have taken no official position on the remaining propositions but offer analysis at www.cacatholic.org/take-action/election-2016.
Proposition 62: Repeal of the Death Penalty
Proposes a repeal of the state death penalty and replaces the maximum punishment for murder with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
California bishops support Prop. 62 (vote YES): “All life is sacred – innocent or flawed – just as Jesus Christ taught us and demonstrated repeatedly throughout His ministry.”
Proposition 66: Death Penalty Procedures Initiative
Proposes amending state law in an attempt to speed up the judicial review of death penalty cases.
*California bishops oppose Prop. 66 (vote NO): “The search for a fair and humane execution process and protocol has failed for decades.Any rush to streamline that process will inevitably result in the execution of more innocent people.”
Proposition 57: Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act
Proposes parole consideration for nonviolent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education. Juvenile court judge, not prosecutors, will decide whether juvenile will be prosecuted as adult.
*California bishops support Prop. 57 (vote YES): “A Catholic approach leads us to encourage models of restorative justice that seek to address crime in terms of the harm done to victims and communities, not simply as a violation of law.”
From September 22, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.