Response to Glossip v Gross Ruling

June 29, 2015

The Catholic Mobilizing Network is disappointed by the Supreme Court’s
ruling today in Glossip v Gross to allow states to continue using the
drug midazolam in lethal injection procedures. We stand with Pope
Francis who addressed the debate about methods of execution in a
letter he wrote in March stating, “there is no humane way of killing
another person.”

As Catholics we believe in the sanctity of all human life and the
dignity of the person. When there are other ways to safeguard society,
resorting to the death penalty displays a disregard for human life and
dignity. Our faith calls us to build a culture of life. We cannot
teach killing is wrong by killing.

To learn more about Catholic opposition to the death penalty, please

Background on the case:

Glossip v Gross, argued in March, challenged Oklahoma’s use of
midazolam in its lethal injection procedure as a violation of the 8th
Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The challenge came
after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29th, 2014.
Mr. Lockett was injected with the sedative midazolam before the
injection of the drugs that would kill him, according to Oklahoma’s
three-drug procedure. However, Mr. Lockett writhed on the gurney for
over 40 minutes and eventually died of a heart attack. Following this
botched execution, a group of death row inmates facing execution sued
state officials.  Lower courts ruled the petitioners failed to
demonstrate the use of midazolam in executions violates the Eighth
Amendment. Today the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the
lower court’s’ ruling in a 5-4 decision.