More than 1,000 faith leaders from across an array of religious traditions have signed a joint statement to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr urging them to halt the four federal executions scheduled for July and August. If carried out, the executions would be the first federal executions to occur in 17 years.
The statement was signed by many notable faith leaders from across the country, including Most Rev. Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky; Most Rev. William Medley, Bishop of Owensboro, Kentucky; Most Rev. Richard Pates, Apostolic Administrator of Joliet, Illinois; Most Rev. Oscar Solis, Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah; Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of Davenport, Iowa; Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., Director of Homeboy Industries; Bishop Joe Wilson, United Methodist Church, Georgetown, TX; Rev. Carlos L. Malavé, Executive Director, Christian Churches Together; Rev. Dr. Joel C Hunter Founder, Community Resource Network, Summit Church, Orlando, FL; The Right Reverend Martin Field, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri, Kansas City, MO; and Shane Claiborne, founder of Red Letter Christians.
The statement reads:
As faith leaders from a diverse range of traditions, we call on President Trump and Attorney General Barr to stop the scheduled federal executions. As our country grapples with the COVID 19 pandemic, an economic crisis, and systemic racism in the criminal legal system, we should be focused on protecting and preserving life, not carrying out executions.