In the Catholic Church in the United States, pastoral statements are offered by individual bishops in particular dioceses, state Catholic conferences of bishops, regional synods of bishops, or the national conference (USCCB) when seeking to apply universal church teaching to particular circumstances or issues. In the case of the death penalty, U.S. bishops have often been strong anti-death penalty advocates for persons sentenced to be executed.  The list below includes more recent pastoral and state conference statements relating to Catholic teaching on the death penalty and its application to particular laws and state-sponsored executions.

Bishop John M. Smith Supports New Jersey's Repeal Of The Death Penalty

In 2007, Bishop John M. Smith came out with a statement praising the state of New Jersey for abolishing the death penalty. Here is a portion of his interview:

"Bishop Smith, who testified before state lawmakers to oppose capital punishment, likewise said the legislators showed “a great deal of courage” to take an unpopular position against the death penalty.