The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends Chief Justice O’Connor for establishing a task force to study Ohio’s death penalty. We strongly agree with Chief Justice O’Connor’s comment that this is an extremely important task for courts and society. We welcome a thorough and unbiased study regarding the application of this penalty. We believe such a study will confirm that there are serious flaws and systemic disparities within any application of the death penalty.
The Catholic Bishops of Ohio consistently have advocated for an end to the death penalty. All persons have human value and dignity, regardless of their actions. Today, given the means available to the State for dealing with crime, cases where it is absolutely necessary to use the death penalty are practically nonexistent. In other states and countries, life imprisonment has shown itself to be a fair, safe, and effective alternative.