I join my brother bishops in this state in supporting YES on Proposition 34, on the Nov. 6 ballot.
As Catholics, we hold human life sacred and believe that in the exercise of justice, the sacredness of human life must prevail in the manner in which we treat each other, even those who have done great harm.
Proposition 34 will do away with the death penalty in California and require life in prison without possibility of parole for those convicted of the most serious crimes.
It is in accord with the Church’s pro-life teaching on capital punishment and restorative justice and will eliminate the grave risk of executing an innocent person.
The initiative will also save the state millions of dollars that can be directed toward protecting society by solving crimes and providing more law enforcement.
I give this initiative my full support as we heed the Church’s call to faithful citizenship by defending the sanctity of every human life.
—Joseph McGrath is the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San José.