"We offer – and affirm the utmost need for – prayerful support for the families of victims of horrific crimes. We also affirm, with clarity and conviction, the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: '[T]he death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person'," Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond stated on Feb. 5.
The U.S. bishops' incoming doctrine chair has also called the death penalty part of the "throwaway culture" which "kills people to solve problems."
A total of 23 states, including Virginia, have now banned capital punishment. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the U.S. is now in the longest period in 40 years without a state execution; Texas executed the last inmate on July 8, 2020, 225 days ago.
However, in that time span the Trump administration executed 13 people after nearly a two-decade moratorium on the federal use of the death penalty.