The state of Texas on Tuesday put to death a convicted murderer despite pleas to halt the execution and bring an end to the “state-sanctioned killing” of capital punishment. 

Jedidiah Murphy was put to death by lethal injection at the execution chamber in Huntsville on Tuesday night. He had been sentenced to death for the shooting of 80-year-old Bertie Lee Cunningham in October 2000. 

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:15 p.m., having been executed after apologizing to Cunningham’s family before reciting Psalm 34.

“The Lord redeems the soul of his servants, and none of those who trust in him shall be condemned,” concluded his recitation.

In the days and hours leading up to the execution, anti-death-penalty advocates had pleaded with the state to grant Murphy clemency. Among them was the Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), a group that bills itself as “a national organization that mobilizes Catholics and all people of goodwill” in part to “end the use of the death penalty.”

CMN on Tuesday took part in observances of “World Day Against the Death Penalty,” an event organized in 2003 by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The Catholic group was one of several organizations to participate in a “justice event” on Tuesday, one that included a prayer vigil for Murphy before his execution. 

“Texas’ tireless pursuit to insist on [Murphy’s] death is a potent reminder of how important our opposition is,” CMN wrote on X before the execution. “We must end the death penalty.”

“We lament this violent act, rooted in revenge rather than repair,” the group wrote elsewhere, praying to God: “Grant your mercy to all who are asked to participate in this state-sanctioned killing tonight. Harden not their hearts.”

Murphy had asked the Supreme Court in two separate petitions to stay his execution, though both were denied in the hours leading up to his death. 

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Shortly after his death — though before it had been publicly announced — CMN had publicly prayed to God that “no matter what, your comforting spirit remains with Jedidiah. May he know that he is loved.”

Earlier in the day Pope Francis had spoken out against the death penalty, writing on Twitter that “the right to life is threatened in those places where the death penalty is legal.” 

“The death penalty cannot be used for a supposed state justice, since it is not a deterrent, nor does it render justice to victims, but only fuels vengeance,” the Holy Father said.

Murphy was 48 at the time of his death. He was the sixth inmate executed by Texas this year and the 584th since 1982.