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Home > Opinion > Nevada’s faith community stands against the death penalty (opinion)

Nevada’s faith community stands against the death penalty (opinion)

By ThisIsReno

Submitted opinions do not represent the views of This Is Reno. Have something to say? Submit an opinion article here.

Clergy leaders condemn government killings, call for an end to Nevada’s death penalty

Submitted by Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty

The Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty is hosting a virtual faith-led vigil and protest on Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. in response to the three federal executions scheduled this week on Jan. 12, 14 and 15 of Lisa Montgomery, Cory Johnson, and Dustin Higgs, respectively.*

Since July, the federal government has already executed 10 people, more than in any presidency since 1896. The federal spree took place in a year with a 37-year low in executions nationally, with all but seven state executions halted due to COVID concerns. Now, only a week before President-Elect Biden is set to take office, and despite serious concerns about the legality of proceeding with these particular executions, the current administration is pressing ahead with plans to kill these individuals.

“The horror and inhumanity of the death penalty cuts across all faiths and cultures. We know the death penalty is unfairly administered, biased against marginalized communities and rarely, if ever, delivers the closure prosecutors promise to victims family members,” commented Mark Bettencourt, Project Director for the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

Virtually all mainstream religious organizations have adopted positions in opposition to the death penalty and the Coalition will be joined by faith leaders from both Northern and Southern Nevada. Speakers will include Pastor Ender Austin, Fr. Chuck Durante, Canon Catherine Gregg, Rev. Leonard B. Jackson, and Rabbi Benjamin Zober, who will share their insights and opposition to these federal executions and to the death penalty in general.

They will be urging elected officials to use Nevada’s 81st Legislative Session to abolish the practice in Nevada.

The community can join the online vigil and protest via Zoom at the following link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0qcO2oqz0vEtcL9DINq_7vk6–BQbUThV7

*Stays have very recently been issued in all three cases, but litigation is pending before the Supreme Court which could overturn them.

The Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty is a statewide group of diverse communities and individuals working to end the death penalty in Nevada through public education, media outreach, coalition-building and grassroots organizing.

Submitted opinions do not represent the views of This Is Reno. Have something to say? Submit an opinion article here.

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