Death Penalty

The Latest

Ivan Cantu is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

Texas death row inmate to be executed in days as Catholics call for clemency

Feb 26, 2024

By Daniel Payne

Texas has scheduled the execution of Ivan Cantu for Wednesday, Feb. 28. Cantu was convicted for a double murder that... Read more

Panelists speak at an Oct. 23, 2023, Catholic-organized anti-death penalty event at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel in Cincinnati.

Catholic anti-death penalty group seeks to ‘transform the criminal system’ in defense of life

Feb 4, 2024

By Daniel Payne

Catholic Mobilizing Network seeks to “value life over death, to end the use of the death penalty,” and “to transform... Read more

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley preaching during Mass in the cathedral in 2021.

Oklahoma archbishop: Supreme Court review of execution could further cause of abolition

Jan 24, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review the case of an Oklahoma man on death row who... Read more

The Community of Sant'Egidio, a group founded in Rome and known for mediating conflicts worldwide, shared a  petition Jan. 23, 2024, urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to halt the execution of convicted murderer Kenneth “Kenny” Eugene Smith.

Catholic group expresses concern over Alabama’s untested new execution method

Jan 23, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

The Community of Sant’Egidio shared a petition Jan. 23 urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to halt the execution of Kenneth... Read more


Biden administration seeks the death penalty for Buffalo supermarket shooter

Jan 16, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

Payton Gendron’s May 2022 shooting rampage resulted in 10 deaths. Authorities called it a racially motivated hate crime.  Read more


Data shows most states moving away from use of the death penalty

Dec 7, 2023

By Daniel Payne

Executions peaked in 1999 and have been on a mostly unbroken downward trajectory since then with more states ending the... Read more

Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin celebrates Mass in the Mountain View Unit prison in Gatesville, Texas, which houses the state's female death row, on Dec. 1, 2023.

Austin bishop celebrates special Mass in Texas prison for female death row inmates

Dec 5, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

The Mass, which took place at the Mountain View Unit prison in Gatesville, Texas, was part of a three-day conference... Read more

Archbishop Paul Coakley. Courtesy photo.

Oklahoma City archbishop urges governor to grant clemency to convicted murderer

Nov 10, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

A statewide board in Oklahoma this week narrowly recommended clemency for a man convicted of a double murder more than... Read more

Panelists (from left) Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr., Debra Milke, and Randal Padgett at an Oct. 23, 2023, Catholic Mobilizing Network event at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel in Cincinnati.

Catholic anti-death penalty group hosts discussion featuring death row exonerees

Oct 24, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Catholic Mobilizing Network hosted the Oct. 23 event at Xavier University in Cincinnati in partnership with other anti-death penalty organizations. Read more

Jedidiah Murphy was executed by the state of Texas on Oct. 10, 2023.

Texas executes prisoner despite pleas for clemency from Catholic anti-death-penalty group

Oct 11, 2023

By Daniel Payne

Jedidiah Murphy was put to death by lethal injection at the execution chamber in Huntsville on Tuesday night. Read more

Robert G. Bowers, 50, entered Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue during morning Shabbat prayer services on Oct. 27, 2018. He killed 11 and injured several, including police officers.

Tree of Life synagogue shooter handed federal death penalty

Aug 3, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Robert G. Bowers is the first person to be condemned to death under the Biden administration, which placed the federal... Read more

Death penalty.

Florida bishops request clemency for death row inmate

Aug 2, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

James Phillip Barnes is scheduled to die Thursday, but bishops in Florida have appealed to Gov. Ron DeSantis for a... Read more

Johnny Johnson.

UPDATE: Missouri death row inmate to be executed Tuesday

Jul 31, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Catholics in St. Louis and across Missouri, as well as Pope Francis himself, had advocated for a stay of Johnny... Read more

Johnny Johnson.

Missouri death row inmate granted stay of execution following Catholic advocacy

Jul 26, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Catholics across Missouri had advocated for a stay of Johnny Johnson’s execution, citing the Church’s teaching on the admissibility of... Read more


Capitol Hill Democrats introduce bill to end federal death penalty

Jul 19, 2023

By Daniel Payne

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin introduced a bill to abolish the federal death penalty, calling the... Read more

Death penalty.

Catholic priest shares inside look of accompanying a man on death row

Jul 4, 2023

By Francesca Pollio Fenton

Father Dustin Feddon from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee tells CNA what it was like to walk with Darryl Barwick to... Read more

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a campaign stop in Salem, New Hampshire, on June 1, 2023.

Florida bishops plead with DeSantis to spare life of death row inmate

Jun 2, 2023

By Zelda Caldwell

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops appealed to the governor to grant a stay and commute convicted murderer Duane Owen’s... Read more


Bishops condemn Florida’s dropping of unanimous jury requirement for death penalty cases

Apr 24, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill April 20 allowing prisoners in the state to be sentenced to death without... Read more

Death row in an American prison.

Louisiana governor calls for end to death penalty — and legalizing some abortions

Apr 12, 2023

By Kevin J. Jones

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, citing “pro-life values,” has called on lawmakers to end the state’s death penalty in the... Read more

The lethal injection room at California's San Quentin State Prison.

California bishops to visit death row inmates at San Quentin

Mar 7, 2023

By Kevin J. Jones

A group of Catholic bishops will visit San Quentin Prison’s death row inmates on Tuesday. Read more