Dear Cardinal Cupich,
We hope and pray that you are well and weathering the current storm of pandemic COVID-19 illness that has already sickened and taken so many from us. We join you in praying for all, especially our seniors and those most at risk – cancer patients, pregnant women, HIV patients, and all with compromised immune systems. As was recently noted by Illinois Department of Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, at a news conference with the governor, people confined to prison and nursing homes are especially at risk, because self-isolation is not an option for them.
Catholics and the Chicago community look to you and the Church for leadership and hope in this troubled time. We are asking you to join with us in asking Governor J. B. Pritzker to act to release elderly and at-risk prison inmates to the care of their families wherever possible. In most cases these are men and women who have served decades behind bars already and in no way pose a danger to society.
We are heartened by the steadfastness of Pope Francis and the Church in the struggle against the Death Penalty. Now we are challenged to save the lives of these men and women who are crammed into prisons and have no recourse except to accept their fate unless we all act.
Will you join us in appealing to Gov. Pritzker to act to release these vulnerable men and women? Thank you, and God bless you.
Bertha Escamilla, Ted Pearson, Bill Ryan, and Armanda Shackelford
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR)
(on behalf of over 80 different individuals and organizations)