LDS and executions

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It is commendable that Utah's Roman Catholic leadership takes a strong moral stand against the state executing an inmate -- its first in more than a decade -- but I am dismayed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes no position on the issue, claiming the matter "to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law" ("Utah Catholics lead fight against Gardner's execution," Tribune , April 16).

The LDS Church, however, didn't let this reason prevent it from taking an active role in the campaign for Proposition 8 in California, finding the issue of what constitutes a marriage a compelling moral issue.

The LDS Church cannot have it both ways. Killing a human being is a pre-eminent moral and human rights issue. A church that calls itself moral and pro-life cannot remain morally neutral on the question of the death penalty.

Practice of the death penalty puts us in league with countries that are the worst offenders of human rights. In 2008, the United States, along with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, carried out 93 percent of all executions worldwide.

The LDS Church should provide moral leadership in calling for abolition of the death penalty.

Deen Chatterjee

Salt Lake City