Hundreds of Christian religious leaders of various churches signed onto a Holy Week call to end the death penalty in the United States.
Physician-assisted suicide "violates the Hippocratic oath" and operates under the premise that "some lives are unworthy," said participants in a panel discussion Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
The panel, which consisted of speakers from the areas of public policy, medicine and religion, was titled "Living Life to Its Fullest: Supporting the Sick and Elderly in Their Most Vulnerable Hours" and focused on recent public discussions of physician-assisted suicide.
In separate cases, the Supreme Court will consider persistently unsettled angles on criminal sentencing, including death sentences for people with mental disabilities and life sentences for juveniles.
The court heard oral arguments Monday in a Louisiana case that challenges the death sentence of Kevan Brumfield, who his attorneys say should be exempt from capital punishment because he is intellectually disabled. The case asks the court to allow evidence of disability to be considered in a reconsideration of his death sentence.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defended his state's new religious freedom law Sunday while refusing to say if it would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Facing a rising tide of criticism and business boycotts against his state, Pence said he would consider a second law that "amplifies and clarifies" the first one but added, "We're not going to change the law."
A leading group of Latino evangelicals has called for an end to state-sanctioned capital punishment, the first national association of evangelicals to do so.
In a unanimous vote Friday, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged its 3,000 member congregations to end capital punishment across the country.
"As Christ followers, we are called to work toward justice for all," coalition President Gabriel Salguero said. "And as Latinos, we know too well that justice is not always even-handed."
"Children, many of whom are babies and toddlers, do not belong in jails, nor do their mothers, who've acted only to protect and save the lives of their children."
Global Sisters Report: "They have these horrible stories, but they're in detention and can't get out and it's clear the government isn't really trying to help them."
A new survey says most young adults hold views on moral issues that are a long way from what some major religions preach on issues like abortion and contraception.
By reinstating the use of a firing squad as a method of execution in Utah, "it seems as if our government leaders have substituted state legislation for the law of God," said the state's Catholic bishop.
"They argue that, because executions are lawful, they are then moral. This is not so. No human law can trump God's law," Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester said in a March 24 statement. "Taking a human life is wrong; a slap in the face of hope and a blasphemous attempt to assume divine attributes that we humble human beings do not have."
Francis' latest moves could signal a further development in Catholic teaching against capital punishment -- and in his relationship with some U.S. Catholics.