A Catholic chaplain to Florida’s death-row inmates used a virtual forum to focus on his most significant lifetime pursuit — raising awareness about the wrongness of America’s use of the death penalty.
Pope Francis tackled several issues in his new encyclical, but the section devoted to ending capital punishment was particularly cheered by U.S. Catholics who oppose the death penalty.
During the week in which two people were scheduled to die by lethal injection, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) implored President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr to halt all federal executions.
President Donald Trump officially became the GOP’s 2020 presidential nominee at the party’s convention this week in Charlotte, N.C. But winning the national Catholic vote in November is not necessarily a slam dunk.
Catholic leaders have joined their voices with members of the Navajo Nation in opposing the Aug. 26 scheduled execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row.
While many Catholic bishops insist that the Church must vigorously oppose the death penalty, not all Catholics agree, with almost half not sharing the sentiment.
Prior to the July 17 execution of Dustin Honken, a 52-year-old man from Iowa, Catholic leaders, including the bishops of Iowa, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, and the Benedictine priest who had been Honken’s spiritual adviser for 10 years, pleaded for a lesser sentence or at least a delay.
Critics of the death penalty denounced the decision June 15 by Attorney General William Barr to set execution dates for four federal prisoners on death row.
Catholic advocates against the death penalty spoke out against Missouri’s May 19 execution of a death-row inmate, Walter Barton, whose death by lethal injection was the first execution to happen during the pandemic.
When Chris Castillo’s mother was murdered in 1991 and a friend commented that if it had happened to him, he’d want seek revenge and kill the perpetrator, Castillo began to think deeply about the nature of crime and punishment.