Death Penalty

The Latest

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

Oklahoma governor's clemency of Julius Jones took 'tremendous courage,' Archbishop Coakley says

Nov 18, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City praised Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) for his “tremendous courage” in granting convicted murderer Julius... Read more

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Catholic group decries Oklahoma execution, during which inmate vomited

Oct 29, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

A Catholic organization is calling on Oklahoma to stop executing prisoners following yet another botched execution Thursday afternoon.   Read more

Florida Department of Corrections execution chamber 1.

Catholics pray after Alabama executes death row inmate

Oct 22, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

Alabama executed inmate Willie B. Smith III on Thursday evening, Oct. 20, marking the first execution in the state since... Read more

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Biden administration pushes death sentence for Boston bomber at Supreme Court  

Oct 13, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday, Oct. 13 concerning whether or not to reinstate a federal death sentence for... Read more

Mitchell Rozanski, then-Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts and current Archbishop of St. Louis, in St. Peter's Basilica, Nov. 7, 2019.

Missouri bishops condemn execution of Ernest Johnson

Oct 7, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

The four bishops of Missouri released a joint statement on Wednesday evening condemning the state’s execution of Ernest Lee Johnson,... Read more

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Missouri executes inmate after Holy See appealed for clemency

Oct 6, 2021

By Matt Hadro

Missouri on Tuesday evening executed Ernest Johnson, 61, an inmate convicted of murdering three people in the 1990s, after the... Read more

Archbishop Christophe Pierre addresses the 2020 USCCB Fall General Assembly.

Holy See asks Missouri governor to halt scheduled execution

Oct 2, 2021

By Joe Bukuras

The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christopher Pierre, asked the governor of Missouri on Monday to spare the... Read more

U.S. Supreme Court building, east side

Supreme Court halts execution of inmate requesting vocal prayer at his death

Sep 9, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

The Supreme Court late Wednesday evening halted the execution of a Texas death row inmate who had requested his pastor... Read more

Pastor Dana Moore

In last-minute plea to Supreme Court, lawyers beg for prayer in execution chamber

Sep 8, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

Religious freedom advocates are requesting that a Texas death row inmate have access to vocal prayer and the touch of... Read more

Pastor Dana Moore of Second Baptist Church Corpus Christi

Texas death row inmate sues to have pastor’s touch in execution chamber

Aug 13, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

A man scheduled to be executed in early September is suing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to have his... Read more

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

Survey: A majority of US Catholics support the death penalty

Jul 21, 2021

By Matt Hadro

One recent survey shows a majority of U.S. Catholics supporting use of the death penalty for murder convicts. The support... Read more

The US Penitentiary at Terre Haute.

US Justice Department halts federal executions

Jul 2, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

US Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a moratorium on federal executions while the Department of Justice conducts a review of... Read more

Mother and daughter at an April 21, 2013 candlelight vigil for those injured and killed at the Boston Marathon bombings

Biden administration seeks death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber 

Jun 15, 2021

The Justice Department recently asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in... Read more

Gas chamber at the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins

Arizona bishops 'very concerned' about possible executions - including by gas chamber

Jun 8, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

Arizona bishops are “very concerned” that the state could resume executions this fall – including the possibility of executions by... Read more

Catholics make last-minute appeal of execution in Texas

May 19, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

Catholics are asking the governor of Texas to halt an execution scheduled for Wednesday evening.  Read more

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston diocese 'extremely disappointed' with law recommencing executions

May 17, 2021

South Carolina on Monday became the fourth state to officially sanction the use of the firing squad as a method... Read more

As Biden presidency passes 100 days, Catholics push him to end federal death penalty

Apr 30, 2021

Catholics are calling on President Joe Biden to honor his campaign promises to raise the refugee ceiling and halt use... Read more

Archbishop Joseph Naumann on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

How Archbishop Naumann's family tragedy shaped his beliefs on the sanctity of life

Apr 8, 2021

For the chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, his family’s history of tragedy shaped his beliefs on human dignity... Read more

Virginia state capitol

Virginia governor signs death penalty repeal

Mar 24, 2021

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) signed a bill Wednesday ending the death penalty in Virginia, making the commonwealth the 23rd state... Read more

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Boston Archdiocese calls for life without parole for Boston bomber, after Supreme Court agrees to consider death penalty

Mar 22, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

As the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Archdiocese... Read more