In 2015, the Bishop of Utah came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there was a bill being debated in the legislature which sought to reinstate the firing squad as a death penalty option. A portion of the statement is read as follows:
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. Often the Holy See (the Vatican) has also advocated on behalf of the condemned. The list below includes more recent papal and episcopal statements relating to Catholic teaching on the death penalty and its application to particular laws and state-sponsored executions.