The Missouri Supreme Court recently set execution dates for two Missouri inmates. Mark Christeson’s execution is scheduled for October 29 and Leon Taylor’s is scheduled for November 19. Missouri has now executed 78 individuals-ten in the last 11 months.
Missouri’s accelerated rate of executions is the opposite of the national trend that shows many states turning away from the death penalty. Issues of cost, arbitrariness, race, and wrongful convictions have resulted in six states ending the death penalty in the last seven years. Other states, including Kansas, are seriously considering the repeal of the death penalty.
Catholic teaching has long opposed the use of the death penalty because it disregards the sanctity and dignity of human life and promotes violence as a solution to society’s problems. The Catholic bishops of Missouri will be joining with others to ask for clemency in the cases of these two men facing imminent execution.
Published: October 2, 2014