*The death penalty is one of those things that sends chills down most people’s spines. But yet, some people in America think it’s a good idea. So a group of Christians in Texas are fighting the cruel sentence in their own unique way

Seven of Houston’s best-known religious leaders publicly pledged to fight the death penalty recently, saying it damages the society it seeks to protect.

“When an execution happens, who dies?” asked the Rev. Mike Cole, General Presbyter of the New Covenant Presbytery. “All of us.”

Several other speakers called for the abolition of the death penalty in Texas, drawing applause from a packed auditorium at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

The discussion was scheduled to coincide with the Houston Grand Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking. It’s based upon Sister Helen Prejean’s book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.

Prejean, who served as moderator, has been a leading opponent of the death penalty since before her book was published in 1994. It became an Oscar-winning movie before it was turned into an opera, but she said getting other religious leaders to speak out has been more difficult.

“The silence has been deafening,” she said in an interview before the panel discussion. “It’s taken years and years to get them to be active. The idea that someone could be Christian and for the death penalty, it’s the very opposite of what Jesus stood for.”

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