This past weekend, priests in Catholic churches in Connecticut urged their congregations to oppose the death penalty, calling it contrary to God’s will. The message was delivered just days before the scheduled execution of Michael Ross, who has admitted killing eight women, raping many of them before strangling them. In central Massachusetts, a leader of a lay Catholic community has been sending letters to Ross for some time. Brayton Shanley of the Agape Community says he’s been corresponding with a number of death row inmates for years. Shanley says the death penalty doesn’t deter crime; he calls it a form of revenge.
Brayton Shanley is co-founder of the Agape Community in Ware, Massachusetts.