Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Massachusetts Catholic Bishops Issue Letter Opposing Death Penalty For Marathon Bomber

In Boston, as the jury in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is about to begin its deliberations, the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts issued a letter (full text) setting out the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty for Tsarnaev:
The Church has taught that the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are “rare, if not practically nonexistent.”.... The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm. Because of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the death penalty.
WCVB News reports on the Bishop's letter. The jurors in the case are not sequestered. (Background).  The letter, dated April 7, was in fact released yesterday ahead of the start of jury deliberations this morning. While the religious make-up of the jury does not appear to have been publicly reported, Massachusetts in almost 45% Catholic. (Background).