Archbishop: Oklahoma’s rush to execute harms culture of life

Oklahoma state officials plan to carry out seven executions over the next five months. They will be the first executions in Oklahoma in nearly seven years.

This comes at a time when a federal court has agreed to look at the state’s problematic lethal injection protocol as part of a pending lawsuit that questions the constitutionality of a lethal injection drug meant for anesthesia. This provides an opportunity for Oklahoma to stop the use of capital punishment and to use other means to protect society and seek justice for victims of crime and their families.

The Catholic Church teaches that each person is born with inherent dignity that we do not forfeit by misdeeds or even by committing crimes that cause grave harm. Rooted in this belief, the church regards capital punishment as a fundamental life issue and deems it inadmissible in all cases, especially when other means are available to hold criminals accountable.

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