Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis and the Catholic Bishops

Noticeably absent from the public outcry over the travesty of Troy Davis's execution was any audible protest from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as Andrew Sullivan lamented today in The Dish. While Georgia's bishops requested clemency in a letter to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I can't find any other protest of note from the U.S. Bishops. This is quite an omission for such a high profile controversy surrounding capital punishment, a practice they have roundly denounced in the past.
   I have no idea whether Troy Davis was guilty or not. Nor does anyone else. This patent uncertainty is exactly why Davis' killing so flagrantly offends the principle of respect for life. Even conscientious advocates of the death penalty should be offended by its use in a case like this. The bishops cannot be expected to speak out in every instance of injustice, but given the international spotlight this story directed at the death penalty in the United States, our bishops' voices would have been a welcome voice in the large, world-wide chorus crying for justice.

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