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Abolish the death penalty

Earlier today Pope Francis declared the death penalty as wrong in all cases, calling it "an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person," which is "not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes."

I strongly agree with this position for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost because life is sacred, and the intentional taking of a life which is fully viable, without a valid, objective defense, is wrong, no matter who the actor, whether it be a private individual or an individual acting on behalf of the state.

As Amnesty International has noted, the death penalty

-- "is irreversible and mistakes happen;"

-- "does not deter crime;"

-- "is often used within skewed justice systems;"

-- "is discriminatory;" and

-- "is used as a political tool."

On top of that, "a majority of the world's countries -- including nearly every nation in Europe and Latin America -- have already banned the death penalty." The U.S. ought to be next.

The death penalty is still legal in 31 states. If you live in one of those states, I ask you to support candidates that stand for, and causes that work for, the abolition of the death penalty.