Senate Bill No. 71
Our Position: Support
The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports the passage of Senate Bill 71, which would eliminate the death penalty as a criminal sentence for the seriously mentally ill convicted of capital crimes. The Catholic Church calls for a culture of life, and firmly opposes the death penalty as an unnecessary tool of redress available to the criminal justice system. Civil authorities have a duty to safeguard society and to hold persons accountable for grave crimes, but the obligation to seek order and justice must give due regard to the dignity of all. Senate Bill 71 recognizes and advances this principle.