Repeal the Death Penalty Sign-On Letter
Abolish the Death Penalty
Faith Leader Letter
To the members of the Colorado Legislature:

We, the undersigned faith leaders, reflecting the rich diversity of faith traditions in Colorado, call upon our elected leaders to repeal the state’s death penalty. The public often seeks our guidance on tough issues, and we have concluded that the death penalty fails us.

We join many in Colorado who question capital punishment due to its record as an ineffective, unfair, and fallible response to violence. The death penalty applies disproportionately to the poor and minorities and puts innocent lives at risk of execution. Innocent people have been sentenced to death due to serious legal errors in the administration of capital punishment – 166 people have been exonerated and released from death row. For every nine people executed in this country, one innocent person on death row has been identified and exonerated. When a human life is at stake, there is simply no room for error.

As religious leaders, we often serve as resources to victims’ families in the aftermath of a murder. Given this responsibility, we have a special interest in advocating for policies that serve their needs and promote healing and well-being. There is growing evidence that the death penalty does the opposite: it prolongs victims’ pain and delays healing while appeals and reversals force families to relive their trauma.

Across our multiple traditions, there are many differences. However, we all hold dearly the sanctity and dignity of human life. As people of faith, we take this opportunity to reaffirm our opposition to the death penalty and to express our belief in both the sacredness of human life and in the human capacity for change. It is this respect for all life that prompts us to join with other death penalty opponents across the state now advocating for the abolition of Colorado’s death penalty.
Finally, we cannot ignore the millions of dollars it costs to prosecute a capital case. In light of the economic challenges facing our state and nation, the valuable resources expended on the death penalty would be better invested in programs to prevent violence and meet the needs of victims’ families.

We urge you, our elected officials, to examine the reality of Colorado’s death penalty and seek ways to achieve true healing for those who suffer because of violence. Please support the repeal of the death penalty. It is time for Colorado to move beyond this broken and harmful system.

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