We, as members of the Marianist Family, because of our belief in the sanctity of all human life and in the dignity of all persons, pledge ourselves to prayer, education, reflection, and action to abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is unjust, inhumane, and inconsistent with the Gospel message. We seek to change hearts and minds concerning this injustice. As a positive step, we promote restorative justice, a community-centered approach to justice which views crime as a violation of people and relationships, rather than simply a violation of law. Restorative Justice works to repair the harm caused when any offense is committed by focusing on the needs of the victims (including the community) and on the offender’s responsibility to repair harm, with the goal of fostering healing and restoring relationships.

Our Mission

Death Penalty Abolition and Restorative Justice Issue Team

Advocates for the abolition of the death penalty and the greater use of restorative justice processes.

The top photo shows several team members during their 2022 Annual Meeting in Dayton, Ohio. The bottom photo shows a Team member (on the right) holding a sign outside of the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2020 Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty; this event is held annually from June 29 to July 2.

Volunteer!

Any interest in learning more about or joining this issue team?

The DP/RJ issue team has published an educational discussion guide with the help of NACMS. The guide is designed to be used during a faith community meeting and is a great introduction to death penalty abolition and restorative justice practices! Find the guide for use here

Death Penalty and Restorative Justice Discussion Guide

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

The DP/RJ Issue Team has worked and is working to abolish the death penalty throughout the US, especially states in which team members live. The team has successfully seen the abolition in Maryland, and is still actively working in Ohio and Texas by supporting local groups (Ohioans to Stop Executions & Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) with financial donations and support for their legislative action. The team collaborates with a group from Florida as well.  In addition, we make a financial donation to Death Penalty Action, which provides leadership and support within the broader anti-death penalty movement. Finally, the DP/RJ continues to support and attend the annual Fast and Vigil in front of the Supreme Court (and online) and other events that bring people together to highlight this issue on a national level, such as the Journey of Hope - from Violence to Healing.

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Members of the DP/RJ team have been working closely with Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) to be trained in restorative practices. This issue team piloted CMN's small group program titled Restorative Justice, Restorative Living and are hoping to continue to engage Marianist communities and institutions with these restorative justice modules. If your community is interested in learning more about restorative justice, please reach out to the DP/RJ team here so we can discuss using this program further!

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Members of this issue team have participated in a restorative justice practiced called circle process and a few have been formally trained as circle keepers. The circle process is a structured discussion process combining ancient wisdom and practices with our current complex multicultural societies. This process is meant to be used as a communication tool and helps build understanding, safety, and authenticity within groups, even between those individuals who have been extremely hurt by the other. The DP/RJ team supports the use of restorative justice and circle processes in the criminal justice system, and its use throughout communities for a variety of purposes. The team hopes to engage the Marianist Family with circle process and restorative practices and to continue to sponsor folks to become trained as keepers. Reach out on our Interest Form if you want to learn more about participating in a circle or becoming trained!

Circle Process Training

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Our Current Projects

Numerous principles of Catholic Social Teaching are inextricably intertwined with the movement to abolish the death penalty and promote restorative justice throughout our criminal justice system and society as a whole. The fundamental cornerstone of all Catholic Social Teaching is the sanctity of all human life and the belief that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. This includes both victims and offenders alike. This core tenet of Catholic Social Teaching teaches us that grace can transform and restore even those who commit the most heinous acts. We must also stand with victims in their search for healing and true justice.

Why is the Marianist Family called to work on this issue?

These statements were primarily taken or adapted from the USCCB Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching and Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.