The following statement was released by Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops:

“Yesterday’s elections were the culmination of a long and contentious election season marked by cynicism and alienation. Nevertheless, California’s voters fulfilled their civic duty and placed their votes.  The democratic process, once again, demonstrates that the will of the people is sovereign.

“The California Catholic Conference of Bishops is extremely disappointed that Proposition 62, which would have ended the use of the death penalty in the state, was not successful. In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, it would have been the fitting culmination of a year-long call to live out the Works of Mercy.

“While it is disappointing that Proposition 66 prevailed and the death penalty was upheld, we give thanks for the passage of Proposition 57, and that restorative justice will be a focus in California’s prisons. This is a significant milestone in recognizing the dignity and worth of every human being, no matter how flawed. We look forward to the good works that will come as a result of this new law.

“The California Catholic Conference also renews its call for all Californians to work with the victims of crimes and their families to deal with the grief and heartbreak they experience almost daily. This is not only true in capital cases, but whenever someone is harmed by crime. They, along with all those involved in the criminal justice system, need our prayers and support.

“We are especially grateful to the thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to repeal the death penalty and promote justice. We are indebted to them for the hard work and for their living example of mercy and compassion and we thank them for being a voice for life and dignity in today’s world.”