Bishop Paul J. Swain, Bishop of Sioux Falls, and the Very Reverend Michel Mulloy, Diocesan Administrator of Rapid City.

Pursuant to a Warrant of Execution, today the state of South Dakota intends to execute inmate Charles Rhines. On this occasion, as the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Rapid City, we repeat once more the Church’s perennial call for a culture of life, founded upon a firm insistence that the life of every human person is of inestimable value, whether young or old, ill or well, rich or poor, prisoner or free. Consequently, in light of the legion attacks on human life in the modern era, the Church’s awareness of the urgent need to proclaim the full truth of human dignity as given by God, and considering the advances and professionalism found in contemporary systems of criminal justice, follows the conviction that capital punishment unduly affirms a false view of the disposability of life and therefore should not be used.

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