On October 10, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., joined other Georgia faith leaders to advocate for changes in legislation on death penalty cases. They ask Georgia lawmakers to change the standard of proof for those with intellectual disabilities in capital cases.
The faith leaders signed a letter that pointed out that in 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that executing those with intellectual disabilities was a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Determining intellectual disability is left up to the individual states. Sadly, Georgia requires the highest standard of proof – “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The letter continues to urge the change in legislation from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “preponderance of the evidence.”
The letter ends “
Together, we represent millions of faithful Georgians, united in a common commitment to protecting human life and dignity. We ask you to respect the values of Georgia’s people of faith, as well as the supreme law of the land, and take action to prevent any more executions of our most vulnerable from occurring.
In Faith and Justice,”
Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta
Most Reverend Joel M. Konzen, S.M.; Most Reverend Bernard E. Shlesinger, III, and Most Reverend John N. Tran, Auxiliary Bishops of Atlanta