WASHINGTON (January 16, 2003) -- The U.S. bishops' Domestic Policy Committee applauded Illinois Governor George Ryan's decision to grant clemency to all death row inmates in Illinois.
The statement was issued by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, chairman of the committee.
Cardinal McCarrick's statement follows.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
Chairman, Domestic Policy Committee
We welcome and commend Governor George Ryan's decision to grant clemency to all death row inmates in Illinois. His actions highlight once again the fundamental flaws in the use of the death penalty. We pray that this courageous act will lead to a renewed national dialogue on how the use of the death penalty diminishes all of us. We also pray for all of the families who have endured so much loss and pain. Further, we pray that this action moves our nation closer to a day where we no longer seek to defend life by taking life, to overcome violence by more violence.