Washington DC, January 11, 2021 / 3:34 p.m. MT (CNA) .- In a joint statement on January 11, U.S. Bishops Internal Justice President Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, joined by the pro-life president, Archbishop Joseph Naumann has called for an end to federal executions scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
“We renew our constant call to President Trump and Acting Attorney General Rosen: stop these executions,” the Archbishops said.
“Each person is created in the image and likeness of God, and we encourage everyone to work to remove the death penalty from our state and federal laws and to develop a greater appreciation for the sacred dignity of each life. human, ”they said.
Lisa Montgomery is the first woman to face federal execution since 1953, according to the New York Times; its execution is scheduled for January 12. Her lawyer told the CNA that she had requested a commutation of Montgomery’s sentence, due to severe mental illness, brain damage and trauma she had previously suffered.
On January 14 and 15, Cory Johnson and Dustin John Higgs – two black men – are to be executed respectively.
The federal government executed 10 death row inmates in 2020, after a nearly two-decade moratorium on the federal use of the death penalty. Former Catholic Attorney General William Barr announced the resumption of federal use of the death penalty in 2019.
On Monday, the archbishops called on Congress to pass legislation to abolish the federal death penalty and called on President-elect Joe Biden to declare a halt to the federal application of the death penalty.
“It is high time to abolish the death penalty from our national and federal laws,” said the archbishops.
“The terrible losses suffered by the families of the victims must also be taken into account. We encourage lawmakers to redirect the energy and resources that are currently spent on executions to provide compassionate and professional assistance to the families of the victims, ”they said.
The next chairman of the American Bishops Doctrine Committee, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, declared on January 8 that the death penalty was part of “throwaway culture.”
«[B] asically, the Church declares that the State cannot and must not exercise this power. [d’exécuter]Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville said of recent papal declarations calling the death penalty “inadmissible”.
“While the Church has not disputed that the state may have this right to do in the interest of the common good, it is just the conditions that evaporate, which is somehow necessary,” said Flores on the teaching of Saint John Paul II. .
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