A U.S. Supreme Court decision this month to ban execution of juvenile offenders is finding strong support among some national religious groups.
The 5-4 decision will remove from death row about 70 individuals who were convicted of murders committed before they turned 18. Prosecutors will also be prevented from seeking the death penalty in future cases of juvenile capital crime.
“This ruling affirms the position held by a broad cross section of religious denominations,” said Nicholas DiMarzio, a priest who chairs the domestic policy committee for the U.S. Catholic bishops, who for decades have opposed the death penalty for all offenders.
At the United Church of Christ headquarters, spokesman Sala Gonzales Nolan said all human beings should have a chance at redemption, and “vengeance does not belong to us.”