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.
James Martin, S.J. October 04, 2020
Pope Francis’ new encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti,” does something that some Catholics believed could not be done: It ratifies a change in church teaching.
The Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., from June 2001: William Emmett LeCroy, 50, on Tuesday would be the sixth federal inmate executed by lethal injection here this year. (CNS photo/Andy Clark, Reuters)
Kevin Clarke September 22, 2020
U.S. bishops call the application of capital punishment “completely unnecessary and unacceptable.”
Demonstrators are seen near the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., to show their opposition to the death penalty July 13, 2020. (CNS photo/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)
Erika Rasmussen September 16, 2020
Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy: “The death penalty serves as a sort of litmus test for how our nation is making progress to either dismantle or uphold racism.”
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.
Auska Mitchell holds a photograph of his nephew, Lezmond Mitchell, on Aug. 21 in the Phoenix area. Lezmond Mitchell is scheduled to be executed this Wednesday, Aug. 26. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)
The Catholic Church and the Navajo Nation stand together in opposition to the execution of Lezmond Mitchell because it, like the racism which brought his death sentence to pass, erodes the sanctity of human life, writes Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy.