Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, April 27, 2017

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Federal Judge Rejects Ohio's Execution Procedures

Judge Michael Merz delays three upcoming executions

Following a week-long hearing, Judge Merz rejected the lethal injection of a sedative called midazolam. It was used in problematic executions in Arizona and Ohio. The judge also barred the state from using drugs that paralyze inmates and stop their hearts.

Ohioans to Stop Executions

Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty

Ending the Death Penalty Urged by Ohio Bishop

Bishop Thomas, Diocese of Toledo/Cleveland, issues statement

Bishop Thomas urges all Catholics and people of good will to take the following steps:

  •  pray for the victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;
  • reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ's love and compassion;
  • learn about the Church's teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern;
  • advocate for the end of the death penalty by contacting Governor John Kasich to urge clemency for all 139 individuals on death row in the State of Ohio.


Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Governor to Commute The Death Sentence of Ronald Phillip

Archbishop Schnurr writes letter on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Ohio

Archbishop Schnurr writes: "The Catholic Church believes that the death penalty is an unnecessary and systemically flawed form of punishment. We seek mercy for Mr. Phillip because we believe that spiritual conversion is possible and that all life, even that of the worst offender, has value and dignity." 

Postcard Campaign underway to urge Governor Kasich not to resume executions

Ohioans to Stop Executions coordinating a statewide postcard campaign

On January 12, 2017, executions are scheduled to resume after a three-year hiatus. 

The text of the postcard reads:

In the three years since the last Ohio execution there has been no spike in murders. Dangerous criminals are being held accountable and the public is being kept safe without more killing. You have allowed executions and you also have shown grace by extending mercy. You have the standing and compassion to lead Ohio in a direction of grace, mercy and hope by not allowing the resumption of executions.

28 executions are scheduled, starting on January 12, 2017 with Ronald Phillips. By any measure, Phillips committed a horrible crime when he killed 3-year old Sheila Marie Evans. I believe he can and should be held accountable without killing him. Please show mercy toward Mr. Phillips by changing his sentence to life in prison with no possibility of parole, a very severe and appropriate punishment. There is no need to resume executions. Thank you.

Click here to participate.

Ohio Death Penalty & Criminal Justice Legislative Issues

June 2016

Updates on Pending Legislation regarding the Death Penalty and Criminal Justice Issues

Ohio Catholic Bishops Urge Support for SB 162

Prohibiting the Execution of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

The death penalty is not the answer to the problem of violence committed by persons with severe mental illnesses. The better policy is access to appropriate mental health care.

Ohio Bishops Issue a new Letter on the Death Penalty

The Ohio Bishops add to their previous reflections on the Church's call to end the use of the death penalty.  References are made to recent statements made by Pope Francis, and to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy's call to follow the merciful example of God.

Click here for the full letter

Catholic Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Catholic Conference of Ohio joins with Ohioans to Stop Executions and the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty

Just punishment can occur without resorting to the death penalty. As stated by Pope Francis, “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor.”