On March 3rd, Archbishop Hartmayer released the following statement in support of Georgia House Bill 485, a bill to repeal the death penalty in Georgia:
I wholeheartedly support an end to the death penalty in Georgia. House Bill 485, which awaits a hearing in the Georgia House of Representatives right now, would do just that. The death penalty is contrary to Catholic teaching. It fails to recognize the dignity and sanctity of human life and has no place in a system of restorative justice. Here in Georgia, as in many places, the death penalty has a history of being unjustly and disproportionately used against minorities as well as people with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. We cannot participate in this kind of blatant injustice.
The death penalty does not provide opportunity for prisoners to hopefully reconcile with God, the victims and the families of the victims. We must give the men and women on death row the opportunity for conversion and penance.
I call upon Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and all Georgians to support an end to the death penalty. Ask your representative for a hearing for House Bill 485 and help us bring criminal justice reform to our state.
Georgia Catholics Against the Death Penalty (GACADP) exists to promote a spirituality of respect for life that encompasses victims of violent crime as well as those at risk of execution for capital offenses.