Support for Proposition 62-Repeal the Death Penalty



Updated: 8/5/16
Posted: 8/9/16

Resolved, That the 167th Convention of the Diocese of California calls on all Episcopalians in California to vote for Proposition 62 (Justice for All), which repeals the death penalty, replaces it with life in prison without parole, applies retroactively to those already sentenced to death, and further requires that persons found guilty of murder must work and 60% of their wages must be applied to victim restitution; 

Resolved, That this Convention directs clergy and laity to inform and educate congregations on Proposition 62 and on The Episcopal Church's opposition to the death penalty before the November 8, 2016 General Election; and

Resolved, That this Convention calls on all Episcopalians in California to vote against Proposition 66 (California Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act) in the General Election. 

Explanation: On Election Day, California voters have the opportunity to repeal the death penalty by supporting Proposition 62.The Episcopal Church teaches us to respect the dignity of  every human being and commit ourselves “to strive for justice and peace among all people.” The competing Proposition 66 aims to speed up executions by restricting appeals of death sentences. Because the two propositions conflict with each other, if both pass, the one with the most votes will prevail and the other one will fail. 

For decades, The Episcopal Church has affirmed and reaffirmed its opposition to the Death Penalty at The Episcopal Church's General Convention. (Resolution D004 (1979); Resolution D056 (1991); Resolution A082 (2000); Resolution D025 (2015)). For more information on The Episcopal Church's death penalty legislation visit

Since 1978, California has spent $4 billion administering the death penalty. Life sentences are considerably cheaper. FBI studies show that the death penalty does not deter crime. The death penalty is discriminatory and used disproportionally against the poor and members of racial and ethnic communities. The most recent data indicates 156 inmates have been exonerated since 1973 due to evidence, including DNA, of their wrongful conviction. Visit for more information. 

Californians have an opportunity this year to repeal capital punishment by passing Proposition 62. In 2008, this Diocese’s Convention passed a resolution to support a moratorium on executions. The time is right for our Diocese to take on a more focused and direct role of advocacy and public witness by urging our congregations to speak out against the death penalty, to defeat Proposition 66, and to pass Proposition 62 on November 8, 2016. For more information on each proposition, see (Prop. 62) and (Prop. 66). 

Submitted by: Peace, Justice, and Hunger Commission 
Contact: Ms Sheila Sims, Chairperson (
Endorsed By: 
The Rev. David Ota, Rector, St. Ambrose, Foster City 
The Rev. Deborah White, Interim Team, St. Mary The Virgin, San Francisco 
The Rev. Kwasi Thornell, Rector, St. Augustine's Oakland 
The Rev. Anne Jensen, Assisting Priest, St. Paul's Oakland 
Dave Frangquist, Secretary of the Convention, St. Aidan's, San Francisco 
Warren Wong, Member of The Episcopal Church's Executive Council; Delegate, St. James, San 
Janet Chisholm, Delegate, All Soul's, Berkeley 
Scott Buckingham, Delegate, St.Paul's, Oakland.


While I support the ending of the death penalty my concern is how the church goes about implementing this, and the other resolutions, that involve politics.

I would not want to see our sermons turned into political diologues.

Does the Diocese's provide guidance on how our congregations should go about implementing these resolutions?

For a resource for sermons start with Micah 6:8 and in the Gospel "Love thy neighbor as yourself" in one of Jesus' lessons.
For Diocesan resources, The Peace, Justice, and Hunger Commission is working on gathering resources and will be posting information on our webpage through Meanwhile, please contact Rev. Allison Lilles at Episcopal Peace Fellowship and me for implementing this resolution.

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