US bishops urge Trump, Barr to stop federal executions

The Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana where the federal death penalty is carried out (CNS/Andy Clark, Reuters)

Two United States bishops’ committee chairs have called on President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr to stop upcoming federal executions and to end the practice altogether. Source: UCA News.

A planned federal execution of Orlando Hall is scheduled to take at 6pm in Indiana (10am AEDT) and two more federal executions are set to occur next month.

“We ask President (Donald) Trump and Attorney General (William) Barr, as an act of witness to the dignity of all human life: stop these executions,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who respectively chair bishops’ committee on domestic justice and human development and pro-life activities.

“Sadly, we must call on the administration yet again to stop an execution,” the archbishops said, noting the country is “now on pace for 10 federal executions in 2020, more than double the previous record of four in 1938”.

The archbishops’ statement said the death penalty is “not necessary to protect society. It is not necessary to hold people accountable for grave crimes. The decision not to execute someone, even someone who has done something terrible, is not ‘soft on crime’; rather, it is strong on the dignity of life”.

Anti-death penalty activist Sr Helen Prejean spoke against Hall’s execution on Twitter, describing him as a black man who was “convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white jury after prosecutors enlisted a lawyer with a known track record of excluding black citizens from juries.”

Hall, 49, was convicted of kidnapping and killing a Texas teenager in 1994.

FULL STORY

US bishops urge Trump, Barr to stop federal executions (UCA News

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