Ohio Religious Leaders Express Views on Capital Punishment

Religious leaders from a variety of faiths spoke about their religious objections to the death penalty at a recent meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The meeting included leaders from several Christian denominations as well as Jewish leaders. Jack Chomsky, cantor at Congregation Tifereth Israel, said he hopes more of his colleagues will join him in speaking out about Jewish tradition, which opposes the enforcement of the death penalty. Jerald Freewalt, of the Office for Social Concerns at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, said, “No matter who you are and what you’ve done, human life is sacred. I just hope that we can all come together and work as a community of faith to reach out to victims and their families, and to inmates and their families, and build more of a community based on love and hope.” Ohio’s death penalty has recently gained scrutiny as a task force reviews the states practices. The task force is expected to make reform recommendations later this year.

(J. Viviano, “Faiths plan united effort to repeal death penalty in Ohio,” The Columbus Dispatch, October 4, 2013.) See Religion and the Death Penalty.