Tag Archives: Catholic

Sr. Helen Prejean: Rodney Reed is innocent; the legal system is racist

Renowned anti death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean will be speaking in Austin in support of Rodney Reed tomorrow, February 15. In an interview today, she discussed her commitment to Rodney’s case, citing both Rodney’s innocence and the racism at play in American courts.

“Prejean says state and local authorities’ ongoing refusal to further investigate Reed’s case is par for the course in the American legal system and society.

“If you don’t equally value your citizens in life, you won’t value them in death,” she told Al Jazeera on Saturday, referring to the what some rights advocates across the country call white police officers’ extrajudicial killings last year of black men including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.

Prejean said that in the 1987 case McClesky v. Kemp, Supreme Court justices acknowledged that “race plays a role in the death penalty, but they said that it would be too costly to remedy it. You have the highest court of the land acknowledging racism in the justice system, and saying it’s too costly to fix it.”

“That’s all the fabric of the legal system, that we have incurable racism,” she said.

Read the whole piece at Al Jazeera, including a statement of support from Stacey Stites’ cousin, Kay Hart.

Sister Helen will be speaking on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Friends Meeting of Austin at 2:00PM. More information can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/806970449371590/


“Governor Abbott is a Catholic lone-wolf on Death Penalty”

The Houston Chronicle posted an opinion piece on the contradictory nature of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Catholic faith and his commitment to the death penalty. Writes Rev. Marty Troyer:

Today I heard you [Abbott] invoke God’s grace for yourself, while consciously planning to refuse it for those on Texas’ death row; including Arnold Prieto, age 41, who is scheduled to be your first execution on the second day of your Governorship (Wednesday). Perhaps I’m just confused. Or perhaps the cognitive dissonance I and others experience between your faith and politics is an integrity gap that will have grave implications.

Undoubtedly it will further the cycle of violence in Texas (“those who live by the sword will die by the sword”). Likely it will lead to the death of an innocent; and thus unmask the moral bankruptcy of our social imagination in the same way Jesus’ unjust execution did.


Pope Francis has called for an end to the death penalty . Perhaps new governor Abbott can be swayed by his church’s highest official. If you are a member of the faith community and would like to join the growing number of Austin-area clergy in support of Rodney, please contact us to add your or your congregation’s name!