Monday, May 4, 2009

Ritter and the death penalty

Under the Dome the bill to end executions in Colorado is moving forward. Notably without any public statement from the Governor,

The Colorado Senate was preparing Monday to take an initial vote on a proposal to eliminate the death penalty.

House Bill 1274 would take the $1 million now being spent to prosecute death penalty cases each year and use it to investigate cold cases instead...

Gov. Bill Ritter, a former Denver district attorney, hasn't publicly said whether he would sign the bill if it passes.

As district attorney, the Democrat unsuccessfully sought the death penalty seven times. Before becoming DA he expressed personal doubts about capital punishment.

As a Catholic (Jesuit educated I might add) I find it interesting that Governor Ritter uses his faith as a shield on the issue of abortion but, apparently, doesn't apply the same standard to the death penalty. He's pro-life because he's a devout Catholic and his religious convictions have led him to oppose a woman's right to choose. Pro-choice Democrats were asked to respect Ritter's position on abortion as one borne out of religious conviction and we've done that.

Now Ritter is faced with an issue that his Church is as clear on as abortion and he refuses to give a public position. Governor if you are such a devoutly religious man as you claim to be when discussing abortion then you should have no problem stating publicly your support for this legislation.

Why are you duty bound to the Church's teaching on abortion but not on the death penalty? Can you explain to the voters why you seem to pick and choose when your faith is the ultimate arbiter of your policy positions and when it's not? Can you articulate some standard here governor or are you merely a Catholic when it's politically expedient? It sure as hell looks that way from where I'm sitting.

Relatedly, has anyone heard a peep out of Archbishop Chaput on this legislation?

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