Death penalty opponents hold prayer vigil outside penitentiary

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The planned execution of Charles Rhines is getting pushback from people who believe capital punishment is wrong.

On Monday, about 25 people gathered outside the South Dakota State Penitentiary for a prayer vigil.

Denny Davis doesn’t support the death penalty under any circumstances.

The director of South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty has even lobbied against it in Pierre.

“If we say that we’re pro-life, then we need to be consistently for pro-life, even after the womb,” South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Director Denny Davis said.

Davis took part in a vigil outside the State Penitentiary where prayer and song could be heard.

“We remember the murder victim’s family members who definitely are victims, but now we’re making more victims,” Davis said.

Lawrence Novotny joined in the vigil, too.

“The death penalty should be very, very rarely used, and in this case it should not be used,” demonstrator Lawrence Novotny.

Davis is calling on the state to be an “example of human decency.”

“When someone creates a violent act, and these murders are horrible acts, there’s no question about it, but when we do this same thing to this person, the spiral just continues. The violence continues,” Davis said.

The South Dakota Catholic Conference issued a statement Monday calling capital punishment, “unnecessary.”

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