Over 600 lay and clerical delegates at their 2015 Annual Convention passed, without dissent, a resolution against Arizona’s continued use of the death penalty. The “Whereas” clauses included the usual secular rationales to end the death penalty (too expensive, discriminates against the poor and people of color, error prone, not an effective deterrent, etc).
Also included was “WHEREAS when Jesus encountered a woman about to be stoned to death, He instructed the crowd: “Let
anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” [John 8:7]
The three action steps in this resolution are detailed as follows:
- THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Diocese of Arizona declares its opposition to capital punishment in Arizona and that this declaration be communicated to each parish, to the media and to legislators;
- AND BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, in considering what would Jesus do, that Diocesan staff, convention attendees, clergy, and individual Arizona Episcopalians are urged to bear witness, to demonstrate and to speak out in private and in public against Arizona’s continued use of capital punishment;
- AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the entire Arizona Episcopal church actively support (thru gathering signatures and campaigning for passage) the initiative # I-16-2016 which would repeal Arizona’s death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life in prison without the option of parole.