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Catholic social tradition now rejects the death penalty because it violates the right to life and human dignity; advocacy efforts of Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., and others have influenced the U.S. Bishops to reject it in all cases.

“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, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999

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