Nashville, Tenn., Jul 16, 2018 / 16:10 pm
The bishops of Tennessee issued a letter to the state's governor Friday, encouraging him to halt upcoming executions expected to use a controversial three-drug lethal injection.
"It is within your power to establish your legacy as a governor of Tennessee who did not preside over an execution on your watch," the bishops wrote July 13 to Governor Bill Haslam. "We urge you to use your authority as governor to put an end to the fast-track executions planned for later this year."
The bishops emphasized the value of all human life, even that of those convicted of horrendous crimes, offering themselves a resource to the governor for any questions regarding Catholic teaching on the subject.
The letter was signed by Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville, Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, and Bishop Martin Holley of Memphis. The request came ahead of the pending execution of Billy Irick, who is scheduled to die August 9 by lethal injection.