Catholic Mobilizing Network Condemns Nebraska’s First Execution in 20+ Years

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2018

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Katlyn Toelle
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Catholic Mobilizing Network Condemns Nebraska’s First Execution in 20+ Years


Washington, D.C. –  At 10:59 CDT this morning, Nebraska executed Carey Dean Moore, 60, in what became the state’s first execution in more than twenty years. Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), the national Catholic organization working to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice, mourns this unnecessary loss of life and strongly condemns the experimental methods used to execute Mr. Moore.

“The loss of any human life is something to be grieved, especially when lost to an execution protocol as barbaric as that which Nebraska employed,” stated Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, Executive Director of CMN.

At 10:24 AM, an unprecedented four-drug cocktail was administered by lethal injection. Three of the drugs — cisatracurium, fentanyl, and diazepam — are highly controversial, having never been used for the purposes of an execution until today.  One of these, fentanyl, has contributed significantly to the spike in U.S. drug overdoses and is responsible for roughly half the deaths in the nation’s opioid crisis. The fourth drug, potassium chloride, is believed to cause acute, burning pains.

“It is profoundly discouraging that Nebraska’s governor, a Catholic, would help to finance a campaign to reinstate Nebraska’s death penalty in 2016 and now actively oversee the push for this execution to take place, particularly in light of Pope Francis’ revision to the Catechism less than two weeks ago,” said Vaillancourt Murphy. That Catechetical revision clarified the Catholic Church’s official stance on capital punishment, calling it “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and “inadmissible” in every case. (Revised Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267)

As Nebraska backslides into active use of capital punishment after more than 20 years, CMN prays for Carey Dean Moore, his loved ones, his victims, Maynard Helgeland and Reuel Van Ness Jr., and their families.  

Catholic Mobilizing Network believes that the recent historic change in Church teaching will beckon all Catholics and people of goodwill to proclaim that all life has value and that absolutely no one is beyond redemption or out of reach of God’s love.

Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph that works in close collaboration with United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, proclaims the Church’s pro-life teaching and prepares Catholics for informed involvement in the public debate to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice.