TCADP is partnering with Texas Impact, Texas’ oldest and largest statewide interfaith network, to help Texas faith leaders voice their beliefs and concerns about the death penalty. Nationally and in Texas, faith communities play a critical role in public discussions about the future of capital punishment.
We invite all ordained clergy, retired clergy, deacons, nuns, rabbis, monks, and leaders of peace or humanist churches who live in Texas to sign the Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty. Please complete the form below or fill out the second page of the statement and mail it to TCADP.
We invite Jewish faith leaders to sign both the Interfaith Statement and a separate Statement from Texas Rabbis and Cantors.
On March 9, 2015, TCADP and Texas Impact released a list of signatories on the Interfaith Statement and Rabbis’ Statement to elected officials, the media, and the public in conjunction with our first Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. To date, more than 550 faith leaders across Texas have endorsed the Interfaith Statement, while more than 20 Jewish leaders have signed the Texas Rabbis’ and Cantors’ Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty. We continue to collect endorsements and maintain a running list of signatories.
Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-441-1808.
Text of Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty
Dear Texas Legislators, Governor Abbott, and other elected officials,
We, the undersigned faith leaders, reflecting the rich diversity of faith traditions observed in this great state, stand together in expressing our deep concerns about the death penalty in Texas. Our concerns are both moral and practical and are rooted in our religious traditions. We write to you today to call for the end of the death penalty in Texas in the belief that this practice is not in the best interest of our State, our justice system, or the safety of our people.
We join with many Texans in questioning our state’s death penalty system, which has consistently been shown to be unfair and inaccurate. Texas leads the nation in the number of executions carried out each year. In fact, our state is a significant outlier in this regard, accounting for more than one third of all executions nationwide since 1976. Well-documented evidence suggests that often it has not been the crime itself but rather such factors as race, socioeconomics, geography, or politics that have determined the application of the death penalty. Another grave concern is the number of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and spent years on death row for crimes they did not commit.
As faith leaders, we are greatly disturbed by the presence of violence in our communities. We believe that instead of allocating scarce resources to fund an irrevocably flawed capital punishment system, the State of Texas should invest in victim support services, effective law enforcement, drug treatment programs, child and family services, and mental healthcare – all measures that hold potential for preventing future acts of violence. We should do all we can to make sure our state’s resources are directed towards the improvement of life, not its destruction.
We firmly believe that those who commit terrible crimes should be held accountable for their actions and we advocate for a justice system that is both humane and restorative. It is particularly important to us to support the victims of violent crimes and their family members in their grief and suffering and promote measures that will facilitate their healing. In responding to one of our greatest societal problems, we believe the state must consider solutions to violent crime that address our communities’ need for safety and healing, not retribution.
As people of faith, we take this opportunity to reaffirm our opposition to the death penalty and to express our belief in the sacredness of human life and in the human capacity for redemption. It is this respect for all life that prompts us to join the diversity of voices across the state calling for repeal.
We urge you, our elected officials, to take a closer look at the reality of capital punishment in Texas and ask that you seek alternative ways to achieve healing and justice for all those who suffer in the wake of violent crimes. We thank you for your leadership and we pray for the time when our state is led away from this unnecessary, arbitrary, and outmoded form of punishment.