Agate Passage Friends
A Quaker Worship Group
Bainbridge Island, Washington


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 penalty
  • 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