The South Dakota Legislature will consider legislation during the 2016 Legislative Session to repeal the death penalty. In 2012 we, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the Dioceses of Rapid City and Sioux Falls issued a statement on the Death Penalty. We re-issue that statement for consideration of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of our government, its teaching being timeless. We do so mindful that Pope Francis in his address to the US Congress called on us to do the same so “that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.1” As we have previously encouraged, at present is a time for us all to prayerfully reflect on the role of the state as an agent of death.
Statement from SDCC Director Michael Pauley