June 29, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in Glossip v. Gross that the drug protocol used for executions by lethal injection in Oklahoma does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The methods reviewed by SCOTUS are virtually identical to Florida's three-drug lethal injection process.
The Catholic Church's teaching is that the state has the recourse to impose the death penalty upon criminals convicted of heinous crimes if this ultimate sanction is the only available means to protect society from a grave threat to human life. However, this right should not be exercised when other ways are available to punish criminals and to protect society that are more respectful of human life and dignity, which is the case today. For this reason, the Catholic Bishops of Florida continue to reject state-sanctioned killing.
"Society today can protect itself without resorting to the death penalty," said Michael Sheedy, Executive Director of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. He went on to add that "the death penalty devalues human life and diminishes respect for human dignity. Florida must abandon the misguided effort to teach that killing is wrong by killing."
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The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida.
The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.