“… I renew the appeal… to end the death penalty which is both cruel and unnecessary.” – St. John Paul II, St. Louis, Missouri, Jan. 27, 1999

“I draw attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Benin, Nov. 19, 2011

“Opposition to the death penalty is part of the Church’s defense of the dignity of human life.” – Pope Francis, letter to a conference in Madrid, 2013

“Ending the death penalty would be one important step away from a culture of death and toward building a culture of life” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, from the document “A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, 2005

…human beings can experience conversion; they must never despair of being able to change their lives. I wish this to be a message of hope and confidence for all, even for those who have committed brutal crimes, for God does not wish the death of the sinner, but that he converts and lives” (cf. Ezekiel 18:23) – Pope Francis, 2014 World Day of Peace message

“I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every  human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeks, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” – Pope Francis, “Interview with Pope Francis”, 8/19/13

“We are all worth more than the worst thing we’ve ever done in our life. That’s why the death penalty is so morally bankrupt.” – Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, advocate for ending the death penalty in the United States

“The dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform.” – Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995

“It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor.” – Pope Francis, October 23, 2014