Unitarian Universalist Association Ministers

Declaration and Affirmation of Position on the Death Penalty from Oregon’s Unitarian Universalist Association Ministers.


Beginning in 1961, delegates from the member congregations of Unitarian Universalist Association have voted in favor of abolishing the death penalty no less than six times. Likewise,


we, the undersigned, Unitarian Universalist ministers in the state of Oregon, again call for an end to capital punishment in our State.


We oppose the death penalty because:


our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes call for us to acknowledge the “inherent worth and dignity of every person:”


the death penalty fails to act as a deterrent;


with the imperfect legal justice systems that we have, the death penalty puts innocent people are at risk of being executed;


it is racially and socio-economically discriminatory in its application disproportionately affecting racial and

ethnic minorities and the poor, who cannot afford adequate legal counsel;


it is costlier than alternatives, such as life imprisonment without parole, and drains scarce resources away from badly needed human services;


it is spiritually and psychologically harmful to those who are commissioned by the state to execute others;


it engenders a mindset of violence and retribution in society at large, exacerbating, rather than alleviating the problem it purports to solve.


Therefore we urge the citizens of Oregon to abolish the death penalty.


We also urge our elected State officials to do everything in their power to pass legislation leading to the abolition of this cruel and barbaric practice.


Signed: The Reverend Richard R. Davis, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, Oregon


(followed by all the other signatures of UU ministers) --



The Reverend Richard R. Davis

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem

5090 Center St., N.E. Salem, Oregon 97317

(503) 364-0932






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