Richmond, Va., Sep 24, 2019 / 13:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Virginia Catholic Conference has spoken in support of public accountability in the administration of the death penalty, while calling for an end to its use.
In a statement given in response to questions about a lawsuit demanding that the public be able to view the entirety of the execution process in capital cases, the conference stressed the importance of "public accountability."
The suit, filed Sept. 23 in a U.S. District Court, was brought by several news media organizations. It argues that Virginia’s Department of Corrections violates the First Amendment by blocking public view of certain steps in the execution procedure, and that public oversight is an essential safeguard for prisoners’ rights.
The Virginia Catholic Conference, which speaks on behalf of the state's two bishops, Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond and Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, stressed the importance of the issues at stake.
In a statement to CNA Sept. 24, conference executive director Jeff Caruso said “As long as we continue to have the death penalty in Virginia, it is important to have public accountability for how the state exacts the ultimate punishment.”