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The Catholic bishops of Texas Oct. 10 called for the abolition of the death penalty, denouncing its effects not only on victims and others immediately affected, but also on society. “Capital punishment vitiates our hearts’ capacity for mercy and love,” the bishops said in a statement released by the Texas Catholic Conference in Austin. “The death penalty not only does not correspond to the common good, it actually does great harm to it.” The statement, released on the World Day Against the Death Penalty, comes at a time when support of the death penalty among Americans — including Texans — is declining. Survey results released Sept. 29 by the Pew Research Center showed that Americans’ support for death penalty is the lowest it has been in more than four decades. It said only 49 percent of Americans currently favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder. That’s a drop from 56 percent who said in March 2015 that they supported it. The new survey shows 42 percent of Americans now oppose the death penalty. In Texas in 2015, 56 percent of people surveyed said they supported the death penalty for convicted murderers, down from 75 percent in 1993.
Read the full statement here.