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Good news from the USA: the abolition of the death penalty in Colorado

March 24 2020 - UNITED STATES

Death PenaltyUnited States

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A step forward in respecting life, always, even that of those who may have committed serious crimes, without exception. In Colorado, a step forward in the world towards a justice always capable of not humiliating life was made with the signing of law Sb20-100 by Governor Jared Polis. On January 31, with 19 votes in favor and 13 votes against, it was approved by the Senate – with a Republican majority – and on February 26, with 37 votes in favor against 27, it was the turn of the House of Representatives, with a Democratic majority.

The Community of Sant'Egidio welcomes the news of the abolition of the death penalty in Colorado with great satisfaction. It is the 22nd American state to abandon the death capital, together with the commutation to life imprisonment of the last three who were sentenced to death in the state. It is a victory that has come from afar, through the committment of abolitionist groups like Equal Justice USA, historical abolitionists such as Dave Atwood, pioneer of the struggle for human rights and founder of the Texan coaltion, which has worked together with Sant'Egidio since the 1990s, and through the growth of a bi-partisan movement of American deputees and senators against the death penalty, in line with the radical rejection of the death penalty contained in the revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that was wanted by Pope Francis, for whom capital punishment is always "inadmissable".
 
It's another sign of the weakening of the death penalty in the USA – even in a time characterized by concerns about the expansion of the coronavirus pandemic and the strong calls for justice, including the resumption of American executions at the federal level wanted by the Trump administration –  also as a consequence of a growing awareness about the many flaws in the judicial system, the number of innocent people on death row and the growth of the movement of families of victims who oppose the death penalty. An awareness that goes hand in hand with the battles of abolitionists in the rest of the world and with the growth of global movements against capital punishment such as the transnational movement of 2000 cities against the death penalty, "Cities for Life".