2001-01 Opposes the Use of the Death Penalty Especially Against Those Who are Diagnosed as Mentally Disabled

The National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry is a movement of those who minister in the criminal justice system. For the past twenty-two years our membership has been composed of people from around the nation who struggle to integrate direct service, advocacy and education. We work in a religious tradition to move from a retributive to a restorative criminal justice system. We oppose the death penalty for moral, justice and economic reasons. We are alarmed at the return to executions in the United States and the rapidly increase in use. We are particularly distressed that persons have been condemned to death and executed even though they were diagnosed as mentally disabled.

Our opposition to the death penalty is rooted in our belief that all life is sacred and that any execution by a Federal or State Government violates this God given right to life. We do recognize the seriousness of certain offenses against society and the need for society to feel safe from such offenders. We believe that there are alternatives to the death penalty such as LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE, which can be used to rehabilitate offenders while protecting society from possible reoccurrence of an offense.

Members of the National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry are urged to contact their Federal and State legislatures and request that they enact laws that will prevent the execution of any person diagnosed as mentally disabled in their respective States and within the Federal Judicial System.