Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An Archbishop Speaks Out on Kenneth Foster's Case

Roman Catholic Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo has called for Kenneth Foster's death sentence to be commuted. An excerpt:
On behalf of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, I urge you to recommend clemency for Kenneth Foster who is scheduled to be executed on August 30, 2007.
Although Mr. Foster did not murder, intend to murder, or know that a murder was to take place, he was sentenced to death under the "law of parties" for the
murder of Michael LaHood. I have tremendous sympathy for the family of Mr. LaHood and in no way wish to downplay the suffering they have endured as a result of his death. But my faith tradition also compels me to ask for mercy for Kenneth Foster.

The Catholic Church fully believes that those who commit terrible, violent crimes must be incarcerated, both as just punishment and in order to protect
society. We stand in solidarity with victims and their loved ones. However, when it
comes to matters of life and death, morality and common sense call for justice, mercy, and for careful safeguards.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches that a true neighbor is one who
shows mercy (Luke 10:37). Showing mercy does not mean neglecting to administer justice or punish people for their crimes. Showing mercy does mean exhibiting compassion toward all of our brothers and sisters, and providing them with an opportunity for atonement and rehabilitation. The facts of Kenneth Foster's case clearly provide an opportunity to extend
clemency, in order to show mercy.

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