Catholic leaders denounce Texas rule banning chaplains from death chamber

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE via NORTH TEXAS CATHOLIC — Catholic leaders have spoken against the scheduled execution of Texas death-row inmate Ruben Gutierrez June 16 and have denounced the state’s rule preventing a chaplain from being with him in the death chamber.

“Denying a prisoner’s request for a chaplain at the hour of his death represents an egregious rejection of the possibility of forgiveness and redemption while the state commits the violence of an execution,” said Jennifer Carr Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops in a statement.

The Texas Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, filed an amicus brief June 12 with the U.S. Supreme Court, stating the bishops’ long-standing opposition to the use of capital punishment and also emphasizing the violation of Gutierrez’s religious liberty with the state’s refusal to allow chaplains to accompany those being executed into the execution chamber.


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