Every year, a report on death penalty statistics is released showing the global perspective on sentences and executions.
This year’s report, covering the period January to December 2022, shows a continuing trend of countries abolishing the death penalty, but, worryingly, a significant increase in the number of executions – the highest since 2017.
Whilst praising those countries that have abolished executions, Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference’s International Affairs department, is encouraging Catholics to heed the Pope’s call to work for abolition:
“We once again join in prayer for an end to all executions, recalling Pope Francis’ words that each day, there is a growing ‘no’ to the death penalty around the world and that for the Church this is a sign of hope.
“While we must always strive to provide justice for victims of crime, use of the death penalty is never acceptable. Furthermore, many of the executions carried out in the past year were politically motivated or followed unfair trials.
“Let us commend those countries that have taken the historic step of abolishing the death penalty and take up the Holy Father’s call to work for abolition through the world.”