Capital Punishment

The Latest

Pope Francis at the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, April 13, 2016.

There's no excuse for it: Pope Francis on the death penalty

In a video message sent Wednesday to a gathering of advocates for abolition of the death penalty, Pope Francis welcomed... Read more

The former lethal injection room at the New Mexico State Penitentiary.

Executions in the US are falling dramatically. Why?

Executions in the United States fell to the lowest number in decades in 2015, and recent Popes may have helped... Read more

Florida Department of Corrections execution chamber 1.

Ahead of Florida execution, bishops renew calls against death penalty

Stressing that capital punishment is not necessary in the modern-day U.S., Florida’s Catholic bishops have asked the state governor to... Read more

Kelly Gissendaner at the Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, GA at the 2011 graduation ceremony.

Pope appeals for life of Georgia death row inmate, but parole board rejects

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has declined to commute the death sentence of a local woman scheduled to... Read more

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln prepares to administer Confirmation to prisoners during a Mass said at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, March 31, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Southern Nebraska Register.

It's not over yet: Nebraska bishops, Catholics continue to fight death penalty

Nebraska’s three Catholic bishops have asked all people of goodwill to continue to fight the death penalty, after it won... Read more

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln gives Confirmation to a prisoner during a Mass said at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, March 31, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Southern Nebraska Register.

Bishop Conley asks for prayers as Nebraska legislators vote on death penalty (Updated)

As the Nebraska Legislature considers overriding the state governor's veto of a bill that would repeal the death penalty, the... Read more

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln blesses prisoners at the Nebraska State Penitentiary during the recessional of a Mass said March 31, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Southern Nebraska Register.

Nebraska bishops praise move to repeal death penalty

Nebraska’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday praised the Nebraska legislature’s veto-proof vote to end the death penalty, saying  capital punishment “cannot... Read more

Sister Helen Prejean, an anti-death penalty advocate who testified in the sentencing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber.

Nun asks jury for mercy, to spare Boston bomber's life

In the defense’s final move to save the life of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sister Helen Prejean asked... Read more

Virginia bishops on the death penalty: We're having the wrong debate

As discussions surrounding a “more humane” death penalty in the United States continue, the two Catholic bishops of Virginia have... Read more

The lethal injection chamber at the Oklahoma State Penintentiary, May 7, 2010.

Is Oklahoma's use of lethal injection cruel and unusual?

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the use of the lethal injection in the... Read more

Bullets or needles? Death penalty faces new scrutiny as states mull changes

Firing squads, gas chambers and the electric chair – these types of execution may seem like methods of the past,... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 2, 2015.

Pope Francis: No matter what the crime, 'the death penalty is inadmissible'

Regardless of the crime that has been committed, capital punishment is unacceptable in the modern world, Pope Francis stressed in... Read more

'Capital punishment must end' – Catholic publications unite in rare joint statement

Four U.S. Catholic publications with a broad range of audiences have come together in a joint editorial citing Church leaders... Read more

Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise.

Archbishop Chaput applauds Penn. governor for halt to death penalty

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has welcomed Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf's decision on Friday to effectively establish a moratorium on... Read more

An officer closes the gate of Kerobokan prison in Indonesia, where Myuran Sukuraman and Andrew Chan are jailed, Feb. 10, 2015.

Jail, not death: appropriate punishment according to Australia's bishops

With two of their nationals on Indonesia's death row over drug trafficking offenses, the Australian bishops are appealing to the... Read more

Lethal injection room at the New Mexico state penitentiary.

Bishops use Supreme Court case to call for death penalty abolition

Several bishops in the U.S. have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to re-examine death penalty protocols, and have called for... Read more

Court commended for staying execution of mentally ill man

The Catholic bishops in Texas thanked a federal appeals court for issuing a stay of execution for mentally ill inmate... Read more

The lethal injection room at New Mexico State Pen.

Texas Catholics to governor: Don't execute mentally ill man

The Texas Catholic Conference has called on governor Rick Perry to stay the execution of mentally ill death row inmate... Read more

Pope Francis delivers an addresss at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Oct. 4, 2014.

Pope calls for end to death penalty out of respect for human dignity

Pope Francis called for the abolition of capital punishment during a speech on Thursday, as well as all forms of... Read more

Asia Bibi's death sentence sparks outrage from Pakistan's Christians

The Lahore High Court's rejection on Thursday of Asia Bibi's appeal against her death sentence, passed by a lower court,... Read more