Executions not as prevalent where more Catholics live

An interesting column in the Florida Catholic by Dale Recinella, coordinator of Death Row Ministries at St. Mary Church in Macclenny, Fla., draws some interesting conclusions about where the death penalty is carried out more readily and not so readily.

It seems, Recinella has found, that over the last 31 years in states with a Catholic population of more than 21 percent, the average number of executions per state is far lower than in states where the Catholic population is significantly lower.

And in New Jersey, the third most-Catholic state in the country, the death penalty has been abolished legislatively. In New York, the fourth most-Catholic state, the courts have banned state executions. Neither state has had an execution in the last 31 years.

Recinella found that in the eight most-Catholic states in the U.S. there have been only two executions in the last 31 years.

His conclusion: executions are not a “Catholic thing.”

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