With the federal government planning to resume capital punishment for the first time since 2003, the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids have issued a statement against the move.

On July 26, the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids shared the following statement on Facebook:

We oppose the federal government's plan to resume executions.

The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids oppose the Death Penalty primarily as it as act against the inalienable right to life and dignity. There are, of course, many reasons for opposition: execution of the innocent, its lack of value as a deterrence, the ineffective quality of legal resources to the poor and people of color, its expense to the state, its lack of support by many victim families.

Many of our Sisters were actively involved in the Michigan Coalition against the Death Penalty campaign in the 1990s and publicly testified at various legislative hearings. Soon after that experience, we took a public corporate stance along with many of our international Dominican Family. In that stance, we endorsed the document “A Call for the End to the Death Penalty”, a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Commission by the UN representatives of the Franciscans International – Dominicans for Justice and Peace (our NGOs based in Geneva.) We continue to act upon that commitment TODAY as we state our opposition for the federal government's plan to resume executions.

The first federal execution is scheduled for Dec. 9, followed by others on Dec. 11, Dec. 13, Jan. 13 and Jan. 15.