Background of the Episcopal Church’s Opposition to the Death Penalty.

In 1958 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church articulated an opposition to capital punishment on a the basis that the life of an individual is of infinite worth in the sight of Almighty God, and that the taking of a “human life falls within the providence of Almighty God and not within the right of man…”

1979-D004 Reaffirm Opposition to Capital Punishment. Concurred As Substituted and Amended The 66th General Convention reaffirms its opposition to capital punishment and calls on all dioceses and individual Church members to work actively to abolish the death penalty.

1991-D056 Reaffirm Opposition to Capital Punishment. Concurred As Amended The 70th General Convention reaffirms its position opposing capital punishment. It deplores the expansion of capital offenses by federal legislative action and supports initiatives to establish alternatives to incarceration and to reduce recidivism.

2000-A082 Reaffirm Opposition to the Death Penalty and Call for a Moratorium. Concurred as Amended The 73rd General Convention reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty and calls for a moratorium on the use of capital punishment.

2000-A083 Urge Parishes and Dioceses to Study the Death Penalty and Explore Reasons for Opposition. Concurred as Substituted The 73rd General Convention urges parishes and dioceses to study the death penalty and explore the reason for the Church’s opposition.

2015-D025 Abolish the Death Penalty State by State. Concurred that the 78th General Convention reaffirms its longstanding call to put an end to the death penalty, encourages governors to submit and support legislation for abolition, encourages bishops to appoint task forces of clergy and lay persons to develop a witness around the death penalty, and requests that these bishops report back on their actions to the Standing Commission on Justice and Public Policy prior to the 79th General Convention.

2018-D077 Reaffirms the longstanding principle espoused by The Episcopal Church that the Death Penalty in the United States of America should be repealed; and calls for all persons sentenced to Death in the United States have their Death Sentences reduced to a lesser Sentence or, if innocent, granted exoneration.