Oklahoma’s decision to restart executions comes against a backdrop of incompetence, secrecy, and cruelly botched executions.
For decades we have been gradually shutting down the machinery of death until it is rarely used, a geographical freak practiced by outlier counties. And now, here we have the federal government revving up the death machine.
Pope Francis is building on opposition to the death penalty that began with Pope John Paul II, who spoke about the dignity of guilty life as well as innocent life and described executions as cruel and unnecessary. I’ve been glad to play a part in these developments.