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“If I die from a violent crime….”

Recently, Dave Cooper, one of our KCADP supporters wrote:

Hi Father Pat. I have a question for you. I am looking for a document that will state if I die from a violent crime, I do not want my killer to receive the death penalty. I read that there is a website I can go to where I can download it. Are you familiar with it? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. Signed: Dave Cooper

David Paul Hammer

More recently an article written by Sr. Camille D’Arienzo, R.S.M., appeared in The Tablet, the Catholic newspaper in Brooklyn, New York: “Mercy Tempers Justice in Death Penalty Case.” It speaks about a former death row inmate, David Paul Hammer, now a friend of hers and on trial for his life again.

She writes:

The prosecution, of course, is trying to show the worst of Hammer; the defense is attempting to demonstrate the positive changes in his character and behavior. Much of the evidence centered on Christmas cards, supplied by Hammer since the year 2000, and marketed by this writer. All proceeds – many thousands of dollars – have gone to help children in need and at risk.

Dave Cooper and David Hammer now share something in common because it is Sr. Camille, along with others, who developed the “Declaration of Life” document that Cooper requested.

These three persons provide the rest of us with an example for living that builds up the human spirit by life-giving actions. As more and more people live in this way, the use of the death penalty will diminish and end.

Click here for your copy of “Declaration of Life” and if you send holiday cards and want to help some children in need at the same time, consider this:

The cards the team promotes make a point of preserving the sacred [nature] of the holy season, D’Arienzo says. Order forms can be secured by e-mailing Also, those who might not need cards, but want to help can send a check made out to Sisters of Mercy. Mail to: Camille D’Arienzo, 72-25 68th Street, Glendale, NY 11385-7216.


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