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Latest federal execution spearheaded by Catholic judiciary officials

Catholic teaching nowhere to be found as the latest death row inmate is executed with the help of not a few prominent (and professing) judicial officials.

In now-typical fashion, the U.S. government worked late into the night yesterday to vacate a stay of execution for Orlando Cordia Hall, a Black man convicted by an all-White jury in 1996.

He was thereafter executed, at 11:47 p.m.

The Supreme Court is responsible for vacating such stays, and last night's proceedings included several Catholics justices voting, at least functionally, in favor of the execution.

These included Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Associate Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Black Catholic Clarence Thomas.

This is despite Pope Francis updating the Catholic Catechism in 2018 to refer to the death penalty as "inadmissible".

The three more liberal Supreme Court Justices, all appointed by Democrat presidents, voted in favor of the stay. One of them, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, is also a Catholic.

Tried and convicted in Texas for a 1994 kidnapping, rape, and murder, Hall was sentenced to death following an allegedly unconstitutional striking of Black candidates from the jury pool.

Hall joined several other victims of the recent reinstatement and full use of capital punishment by Attorney General Barr and the U.S. Justice Department, following a 16-year hiatus.

Barr himself is a Catholic as well.

Hall supporters from around the country have reacted in sorrow to the news of his execution, with many protesting that the death penalty is counter-productive, un-Christian, and functionally racist. These include notable anti-execution activists Sister Helen Prejean and Protestant activist Shane Claiborne.

President-elect Joe Biden, also a practicing Catholic, has pledged to help suspend the practice during his administration, scheduled to begin next year.

The Justice Department plans to carry out two more executions between now and Biden's inauguration, including another African-American, Brandon Bernard, and Lisa Montgomery—the only woman on death row.