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More than 300 Faith Leaders Unite Against ‘Electric Chair’ Bill in Virginia

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2016


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, 202-735-7123

Allison Walter, awalter@faithinpubliclife.org, 913-375-7730

More than 300 Faith Leaders Unite Against ‘Electric Chair’ Bill in Virginia

Richmond, VA — More than 300 faith leaders, including 50 Virginia clergy and women religious, are calling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe to veto HB 815. The prominent group of interfaith clergy believes that the death penalty is wrong, ineffective, born of a mistaken conception of justice, and they stand morally opposed to the ‘electric chair’ bill.

Pope Francis has vigorously expressed the Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty, calling it “inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed,” and proclaimed 2016 the “Year of Mercy.” Faith leaders are urging McAuliffe to honor the teaching of his Catholic faith that says execution by the state violates the sanctity of life and human dignity.

To view the complete list of signers, click here.

Father Gerry Creedon, Holy Family Catholic Church, Dale City, VA:

“Catholic teaching about mercy and the sanctity of life is crystal clear. As a Catholic, Gov. McAuliffe knows that our savior was executed in exceptionally brutal fashion. Reintroducing similar cruelty into the justice system he oversees is incompatible with our faith.”

Richard Cizik, President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, Fredericksburg, VA:

“At the heart of the Christian faith is a belief in redemption and a rejection of cruelty. Resurrecting a brutal killing machine such as the electric chair violates these values. Gov. McAuliffe has no moral choice but to veto this bill.”


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