Sunday, June 23, 2024
News

Louisiana's Catholic Democratic governor calls on his 'pro-life state' to end the death penalty

119views

(OSV News)—Govt. John Bel Edwards, D-La., called for an end to the death penalty in Louisiana during his final State of the Union address on April 10, prompting lawmakers to adopt legislative proposals reflecting his identity as “pro-life”. made a passionate call for the state.”

“For the first time, I am calling on the legislature to abolish the death penalty,” said Edwards, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election to a third consecutive term at the governor’s mansion.

Edwards, a pro-life Catholic Democrat who signed off on the state’s six-week abortion ban and other strong protections for unborn children, told lawmakers that while he was “on the subject of being a pro-life state,” he He wanted to “look at the death penalty in Louisiana in 2023 with a fresh and open mind.”

Edwards told lawmakers that while he was “on the subject of being a pro-life state,” he wanted them to “look at the death penalty in Louisiana in 2023 with a fresh and open mind.”

“In short: It’s difficult to administer—one execution in 20 years. It’s very expensive—millions more spent prosecuting and defending capital cases, and millions more spent maintaining death row in those same 20 years.” spent in,” he said. “Our criminal justice system is far from perfect. In those same 20 years there have been six remissions from the death penalty and over 50 overturning of sentences and/or convictions.

He said, ‘This does not curb crime. “It is not necessary for public safety; And more importantly, it is completely inconsistent with Louisiana’s pro-life values ​​because it literally promotes a culture of death.

At the start of a new legislative session, the governor also tasked lawmakers to be “good and faithful servants of this session”, arguing that being a pro-life state includes paid family leave.

[The America Profile: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the pro-life Catholic Democrat]

“One thing we can all agree on is that Louisiana is a pro-life state,” he said. “It is something that I am proud of, and I know many of you are proud of it as well. But we have to ask ourselves what does this mean? Are the policies that we have put in place support the position that we have taken? Do we really support families? What does it mean if we allow mothers and fathers to work full time without being able to feed and house their children?”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Louisiana is one of 27 US states that still has the death penalty at the state level. According to Louisiana State University’s Department of Sociology, southern Louisiana also has the largest Catholic population in the South.

Edwards for calling on the Louisiana Legislature to end the culture of death and finally abolish the death penalty.

Chrisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, a group that opposes the death penalty, told OSV News, “We are committed to calling for the Louisiana Legislature to end the culture of death and finally abolish the death penalty. Appreciate the government for

Vaillancourt Murphy said, “Her public appeal is an important reminder that governors have an influential role to play in preventing the death penalty in their states and urging the repeal of the death penalty.”

Vaillancourt Murphy said that the use of the death penalty in Louisiana “has gone down over the past decade.”

“The last lethal injection in Louisiana was in 2010,” she said. “It is long past time for Louisiana to take the death penalty off its books.”

Vaillancourt Murphy said Virginia would become the first Southern state to abolish the death penalty in 2021.

“Louisiana could be the second to do so, sending an important signal to other Southern states that the death penalty is an archaic and inherently flawed relic,” she said.

“There is growing awareness in the South that the death penalty is not consistent with pro-life values; It does not provide justice and healing,” said Vallancourt Murphy. “As Catholics, we believe that each person is endowed with God-given dignity, regardless of the harm one may have suffered or suffered. Revoking Louisiana’s death penalty would be an important step toward protecting that sacred dignity of life.”

OSV News has contacted the Louisiana Catholic Conference for comment.

Louisiana’s next gubernatorial election is set for October 14, 2023. Unlike Edwards, the Democratic nominee, Shawn Wilson, has shied away from running on a pro-life platform. He faces an increasingly crowded Republican field. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan group that analyzes state, federal and presidential elections, ranked that race as “Lean Republican” as of March.