SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The Catholic Church has been a leading and outspoken voice in the battle to abolish the death penalty in Utah.
Jean Hill is the Government Liason with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. She stops by Inside Utah Politics to discuss the subject as well as other political priorities of the church.
“The Pope is basically taking the next step in our belief and our stated beliefs that the death penalty is no longer admissible in any cases. That is just a step forward from past teaching which was that it was only allowed in very rare cases and now we’re just admitting that those rare cases no longer exist because of the way our prison systems work and our ability to punish and rehabilitate without actually taking life,” said Hill.
Hill says that this doesn’t change how we have approached the death penalty in the state of Utah.
“It is absolutely unnecessary and fairly a barbaric punishment,” Hill said.
Another priority for the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City is homelessness in the state.
“The good news is so many players are now at the table and we are having really strong positive conversations and movement forward in addressing the issue. I think that even more positively we’re starting to understand that this is an issue that doesn’t have just one solution. You have got to have a number of different factors at play to help move people out of homelessness including affordable housing, which is sort of the next big area to address,’ Hill said.
She also talks about affordable healthcare, immigration and the abuse scandal in the state of Pennsylvania.