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Death Penalty Advocacy

Death Penalty Resolutions

Adopted by the Missouri East and West Annual Conferences
Missouri East Annual Conference June 5, 2000
Missouri West Annual Conference on June 10, 2000

Subject: A resolution regarding use of the death penalty in Missouri

Whereas the Social Principles (Discipline) of the United Methodist Church state, "we oppose capital punishment and urge its elimination from all criminal codes," and

Whereas recent revelations of the flaws of our judicial system have resulted in many persons being freed from death row because their innocence has been proven, especially in our neighbor state of Illinois, and

Whereas technology has advanced which should require a re-examination of the cases where the death penalty has been assessed,

Therefore be it reolved that the members of the Missouri East/West Annual Conference and their local congregations be encouraged and resourced to follow our Discipline in any or all of the following ways:
1. Praying for those condemned to death, for their families, and the families of those persons against whom crimes were committed, especially on the day of an execution.
2. Learning about the fairness of the death penalty`s application, especially as it affects those who are mentally retarded, members of minority groups or the poor, and supporting a moratorium on the use of the death penalty while such a study is being conducted in Missouri.
3. Working with our Ecumenical partners through Missouri IMPACT to educate Missouri`s General Assembly and Governor about the United Methodist Church`s position and urging those persons to support elimination of the death penalty as an option of punishment under Missouri`s legal system.

Further be it resolved that this Annual Conference respectfully request Governor Mel Carnahan immediately place a moratorium on all executions in the state of Missouri. We further request the Governor appoint a special task force to conduct an in-depth study of capital punishment in light of its fairness to all persons, its effect as an alleged deterrent, and its ability to fulfill the law of God to live with love, justice, mercy, and forgiveness.

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Links to National Groups