Minute on the Death Penalty
Agate Passage Worship Group shares the long-established Quaker conviction
that, “there is that of God in each of us.” The imposition of the death
penalty reflects a spirit of vengeance, rather than justice. This prompts us in
our faith and practice to reject the death penalty. Therefore, we call for an
immediate moratorium on the death penalty in the United States.
Our meeting affirms these concerns:
The death penalty is unfair.
- The United States Courts have routinely imposed the death penalty
primarily against the poor and under-represented
- The frequency of mistaken assignment of guilt is well documented and
established as a matter of fact
- The Commission of the Human Rights of the United Nations has declared
the death penalty of the United States abusive of human rights
The death penalty is unnecessary.
- The United States is the only Western industrialized nation that imposes
the death penalty
- The science of crime prevention and treatment has revealed successful
methods of violent crime reduction
- More effective ways protecting the general population from injury by
chronic and egregious offenders are available
The death penalty doesn’t work.
- The death penalty is a reactive, not a proactive response to crime
- There is no evidence that the imposition of the death penalty has been
effective in reduction of capital crimes in any jurisdiction, as
demonstrated by the failure to reduce capital crime in those states
wherein the death penalty has most liberally been applied
Members of the Agate Passage Worship Group intend to:
- Avail themselves of opportunities to protest implementation of the death
- To collaborate with other religious and secular organizations to seek a
moratorium or elimination of the death penalty
- To support initiatives opposing the death penalty that are feasible and
approved by our Meeting for Business
We will inform University Friends Meeting of this decision and collaborate
with their efforts to address this serious issue.
This Minute has been approved by consensus of the Agate Passage Worship Group
Meeting for Business on November 19, 2000.
Lee W. Watson, Clerk