D.C. has abolished the death penalty. However, the church still speaks out against the federal death penalty. In 2004, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who at the time was the Archbishop of Washington, came out with a strong statement against the expansion of the federal death penalty for terrorists. Here is a portion of his statement:
In 1998, the Bishops of Iowa made a public statement regarding their opposition to the death penalty because, at that time, the Iowa legislature was debating a bill intended to reinstate the death penalty. A section of the Bishops' text is read here:
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.