Wednesday, January 24, 2007



The following went out to the media today:

Memphis, TN: The parish council of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception issued a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions during its monthly parish council meeting on Tuesday evening. The Catholic Church has called for an end to the death penalty in America for over thirty years, and a growing number of churches across Tennessee have recently joined in that call.

“Our Church has stated in no uncertain terms that the death penalty violates our belief in the dignity of human life,” said Father Val Handwerker, the pastor of the Cathedral. “Today our parish affirmed that we, as Catholics, cannot stand idly by as our state continues to kill in our name.”

The bishops’ statement against capital punishment also raised concerns about the arbitrary nature of the death penalty, especially the racial and economic biases, which persist in the capital punishment system.

“As a society we should be taking special care of the poor and disenfranchised, but it seems that, when we talk about the death penalty, we’re executing those people instead,” said Handwerker. In Tennessee, there are 102 people on death row, and not a single one of them could afford their own attorney at trial. Meanwhile, African-Americans make up 40% of Tennessee’s death row compared with only 17% of the general population.

Immaculate Conception is only the latest of over 100 churches and organizations in Tennessee to pass such a moratorium resolution, according to Alex Wiesendanger, a Jesuit Volunteer and Associate Director of the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing (TCASK), who spoke to the congregation and parish council last year.

“Across the state churches, businesses, and city councils are calling for a moratorium on executions and a thorough study of how the death penalty system is administered,” Wiesendanger said. “With more than 120 people exonerated after being sentenced to death, people are recognizing that the death penalty runs the unacceptable risk of killing an innocent person.”

A moratorium is simply a time-out on executions. It is neither an endorsement nor a rejection of the death penalty.

“A moratorium allows us to examine the flaws in the system of capital punishment outside of the emotional context of a pending execution,” said Handwerker when asked about the call for a moratorium. “Even people who support capital punishment agree that the system should be applied fairly and that we don’t sentence the innocent to death. Those of us who oppose the death penalty have to initiate a conversation around this common ground in order to move forward.”

Comments :
I read this book and my views changed on many issues. here is something I wrote about about it: Who And Where Is Dennis Fritz now, You may say after reading John Grisham's Book "The Innocent man", Grisham's First Wonderful non-fiction book. The Other Innocent Man hardly mentioned in "The Innocent Man" has his own compelling and fascinating story to tell in "Journey Toward Justice". John Grisham endorsed Dennis Fritz's Book on the Front Cover. Dennis Fritz wrote his Book Published by Seven Locks Press, to bring awareness about False Convictions, and The Death Penalty. "Journey Toward Justice" is a testimony to the Triumph of the Human Spirit and is a Stunning and Shocking Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham is all about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's was his co-defendant. Ronnie Williamson was sentenced to the Death Penalty. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. Both Freed by a simple DNA test, The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" tells half the story. Dennis Fritz's Story needs to be heard. Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man from Ada Oklahoma, whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975. On May 8, 1987 while raising his young daughter alone, he was put under arrest and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns. Dennis Fritz is now on his "Journey Toward Justice". He never blamed the Lord and solely relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up.
Dennis Fritz will be appearing on Hannity and Colmes FOX News Feb.21, 2007 Wed.
Dennis Fritz is the Author of Journey Toward Justice.
Praise For Journey Toward Justice by John Grisham: "Journey Toward Justice" by: Dennis Fritz - The story of the unwarranted prosecution and wrongful conviction of Dennis Fritz is compelling and fascinating. After serving eleven years for a murder he did not commit, Dennis was exonerated and had the strength and courage to put his life back together.- John Grisham
Please watch this show and read his book Journey Toward Justice Amazing Story

For Information or Satellite Interviews, Questions on Book Tours or Speaking Locations with Dates or Requests For Speaking and Interviews with Dennis Fritz you can email him

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