After the execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, the first woman to have been executed in Georgia over the last 70 years despite Pope Francis’ appeal to stop the executioner. In US death penalty was suspended for two people. In the state of Oklahoma the judges have put off for 37 days the execution of Richard Glossip – condemned for having ordered the murder of the owner of the motel where he worked – because the judges will have to decide whether the cocktail of lethal drugs which should be used is adequate or threatens to cause unjustified suffering to the condemned.
In this case as well, Pope Francis had intervened to ask the commutation of Glossip’s death penalty. Via the Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, the Pontiff had sent a letter to the governor of Oklahoma, Mike Fallin, asking for the execution to be stopped because it “would give a clearer testimony of the value and dignity of every every person’s life”. The Pontiff had urged Fallin to remember also the words of Saint John Paul II, according to whom, death penalty should only be used “in cases of absolute necessity which are very rare, practically non-existent”.
For the same reason, that is, to check whether the mix of drugs being used for the lethal injections is adequate, a federal judge blocked for an indeterminate period of time the execution of a prisoner also in Virginia. The latter is Alfredo Peter, a serial killer with mental disorders who should have been punished by death for killing several people.