The Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of Oklahoma City, issued the following statement, sharply criticizing Gov. Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor for hurrying to resume executions.
“The unnecessary rush to restart executions in Oklahoma by the governor and attorney general is concerning and disappointing. Throughout our nation’s history we have justified the killing or mistreatment of our neighbors by lessening their value as human beings – whether it is the unborn, aged, native populations, African Americans or those imprisoned. All human life is sacred. No matter how serious the crime committed, we do not forfeit the inherent dignity bestowed upon us by our Creator. There are other ways to administer just punishment without resorting to lethal measures. May God guide us as we work to end the use of the death penalty and build a society that truly chooses life in all situations. May He bring comfort to the family and friends of Gay Carter, and have mercy on the soul of John Grant.”