Abolition of the Death Penalty

Corporate Stance on the Abolition of the Death Penalty

We, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, are committed to a stance of nonviolence. We hold a vision which reverences and affirms the inherent dignity of every person and work to transform attitudes and systems which deprive people of dignity. Therefore, we declare our opposition to the death penalty.

  • We support a consistent ethic of life that is Gospel-based, viewing all life as sacred and all persons as loved by God and redeemable. We stand in solidarity with Pope John II, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and people of all traditions who have called for the abolition of the death penalty on religious, moral or humanistic grounds.
  • We recognize the need to reach out in compassion to families of both victims and perpetrators, supporting them in their loss and pain.
  • We recognize the culture of violence in the world in which we live. To assure the safety of society, we hold that life in prison without the possibility of parole is an effective and viable alternative to the death penalty for perpetrators of heinous crimes.
  • We also recognize the necessity to address the roots of violence, to challenge the inequities in our justice system, and to reform our prison system.

Joining our voices to those who call for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty, we take our stand on the side of life and pledge ourselves to do what we can to see that the death penalty is abolished in our land.

– Adopted January 2000

Sister Joanna lighting a candle at a vigil prior to an execution at San Quentin