Execution Stayed

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. 

Take Action to Oppose the Restart in Federal Executions

Case-Specific Information for Wesley Ira Purkey:

“The devastating combined effects of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and a lifetime of trauma have left Wes Purkey unable to comprehend why the federal government plans to execute him. While he long ago accepted responsibility for the crime that put him on death row, he no longer has any rational understanding of why the government plans to execute him. He believes his execution is part of a large-scale conspiracy against him by the federal government in retaliation for his frequent challenges to prison conditions.

“The Eighth Amendment prohibits executing someone who lacks a rational understanding of the basis for his execution, and a pending lawsuit argues that executing Wes Purkey when he lacks that understanding would be unconstitutional. The courts have not had time to resolved Wes’s claims, yet the government now seeks to rush forward with his execution. No execution should proceed unless and until the question of Wes’s competency is resolved.”

- Rebecca Woodman, attorney for Wesley Purkey
- 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." (Catholic Catechism 2267) 

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