Fighting For Life: Catholic Church Trying to Prevent Two Federal Executions

Tags: Currents Crux, Death, Death Penalty, Faith, Media

Currents News Staff

Melissa Lucio is making a last ditch effort to postpone her execution. She’s set to die next week on April 27. The first Hispanic woman on Death Row was found guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter in 2007. She insists the toddler fell down the stairs outside of the family’s home in Texas. But after a seven hour interrogation, the mother of 14 told investigators “I guess I did it, I’m responsible.”

Sabrina Van Tassel directed a documentary about the case.

“She wasn’t guilty, so she decided to answer the questions without knowing what the outcome would be,” Sabrina said. “She basically gave up – that’s what she told me.”

Bishops in Texas sent a letter to the state’s board of pardons and paroles but Gov. Greg Abbott and the District Attorney are advocating on Lucio’s behalf. They wrote:

“We are also fervently praying that clemency be granted to ms. lucio, not solely because of the church’s opposition to the death penalty and the inherent dignity of every human life, but also due to the mitigating circumstances surrounding her case.”

Meanwhile, another death penalty case in South Carolinas caught the attention of Catholic leaders. Richard Moore will be put to death by a firing squad next Friday April 29. The convicted murderer chose that option over the electric chair  after being told lethal injection drugs are not available.

In a statement, the Diocese of Charleston called the choice he had to make “modern-day barbarism” and went on to say:

“Respect for life is, and must remain, unconditional. this principle applies to all, even the perpetrators of terrible acts.”

Pope Francis has spoken out against the death penalty several times.

“However serious the crime committed may have been,” Pope Francis said, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it undermines the inviolability and dignity of the person.”