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Eliminating the Death Penalty in the United States: A Work in Progress


The Sisters of Providence have been partnering with the Indiana Abolition Coalition, the Indiana Catholic Conference and Catholic Mobilizing Network to end the death penalty in Indiana.

Currently, the United States is one of a handful of countries where most executions occur.

Renewing a Culture of Life booklets were made available this summer at the General Chapter meeting of the Sisters of Providence. At that time, 19 states in the nation had banned the death penalty.

The Catholic Mobilizing Network believes we are arriving at a tipping point. Their excellent graphs show the immense progress since 2000. Several states have banned the death penalty, while others have taken steps leading in that direction.

In 2015, the Delaware state senate legislature came within a few votes of banning the use of the death penalty. In August 2016, an historic decision by the Supreme Court of Delaware declared that state’s use of the death penalty unconstitutional, making it the 20th state to ban the death penalty.

Nebraska (2015 repeal), California and Oklahoma will be voting on this issue in November. Michigan (without a death penalty) may be bringing the issue to a referendum vote. These votes could go either direction, offering us important opportunities for prayer and advocacy.

With $95,000 in grant money, the Indiana Abolition Coalition is making strides in restructuring to become a more effective education and advocacy group in the state and also to collaborate with national partners. Learn how you can support these efforts.

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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