Death Penalty

The Latest

California Gov. Gavin Newsom attends an event with fellow governors in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

California governor: Pope Francis told me he was ‘proud’ of state’s death penalty moratorium

May 17, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

No one has been executed in California since 2006, due in part to a moratorium beginning in 2019 that Newsom... Read more


New study suggests rampant ‘cafeteria Catholicism’

May 6, 2024

By Peter Pinedo

Few Catholics are in full agreement with Church teaching on abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty.  Read more

Anti-death penalty activists rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to prevent the execution of Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip on Sept. 29, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

Oklahoma attorney general asks Supreme Court to halt execution of condemned convict

Apr 24, 2024

By Daniel Payne

Since Richard Glossip’s initial conviction, two independent investigations have uncovered serious problems with his trial. Read more

Bishop Oscar Cantú of San Jose, California.

California bishop praises district attorney for seeking to change death sentences

Apr 11, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

“Catholic social teaching urges us to recognize the dignity of every human being, especially the most vulnerable,” Bishop Oscar Cantú... Read more

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs a bill in 2020.

Missouri governor denies clemency to death row inmate despite Catholic protests

Apr 9, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

The Catholic bishops of Missouri had strongly urged the faithful to contact Gov. Mike Parson and ask him to stay... Read more


Missouri bishops plead for death row inmate on eve of execution

Apr 8, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

The Catholic bishops of Missouri are urging the faithful to contact Gov. Mike Parson to stay the execution of convicted... Read more

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