“Todos los cristianos y hombres de buena voluntad están llamadas hoy a trabajar no sólo por la abolición de la pena de muerte, sino también para mejorar las condiciones de las cárceles, en el respeto de la dignidad humana de las personas privadas de libertad.” - Papa Francisco
From 1817 to 1940, all executions in Mississippi were carried out by hanging. The first execution by electrocution took place in 1940. From then until 1952, the state’s portable electric chair (only one of two states to have one) was moved from county to county for 75 executions. Inmates were executed by lethal gas from 1954 to 1989. Though struck down as unconstitutional in 1972 with many other states’ death penalty laws by the U.S. Supreme Court, Mississippi quickly passed a new death penalty measure and continued executions in 1974. In 1984, the Mississippi legislature amended the state’s death penalty statute to provide for lethal injection for all individuals sentenced to death after the law went into effect. Inmates sentenced prior to the change were still executed by lethal gas.
Since 1976, Mississippi has executed 21 persons, fewer than six other southern states despite comparable homicide rates.
For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:
Catholic Charities - Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, works to be a visible sign of Christ’s love by helping those who are unable to help themselves; the poor and vulnerable, especially children, women, and families. A part of their work is to also advocate for the end of the death penalty in Mississippi.