Current Status of the Federal Death Penalty:
On June 15, the U.S. Department of Justice scheduled three executions to take place over a five-day span beginning July 13. A fourth execution has been scheduled for the end of August. The legality of the federal government's execution protocol is still being contested.
The situation concerning the planned restart of federal executions is incredibly volatile and requires your continued vigilance. You can raise your voice in opposition to the resumption of federal executions and call on our government leaders to uphold a consistent ethic of life.
Case-Specific Information for Dustin Lee Honken:
"Dustin Lee Honken has served twelve years on federal death row in solitary confinement as a result of proceedings that reflect many of the fundamental flaws in the federal death penalty system. Mr. Honken's death sentence was imposed for murders committed in the state of Iowa, which abolished the death penalty in 1965, and which could have prosecuted Mr. Honken in state court. Additionally, his trial and sentencing were plagued by misconduct and the ineffectiveness of counsel, who failed to adequately inform Mr. Honken's jury of his severely dysfunctional background or his resultant mental health problems. He was then denied full and fair review of these defects in federal habeas proceedings.
"Despite these flaws, each of which implicates essential constitutional guarantees, the government now seeks to execute Mr. Honken, a deeply remorseful and devout Catholic and loving father of two children."
- Shawn Nolan, Attorney for Dustin Lee Honken
- June 15, 2020
The Catholic Church teaches that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases because it is "an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and calls us to “work for its abolition worldwide.” (Catholic Catechism 2267)