During his visit to the United States last week, Pope Francis used an address before Congress — one of the most high-profile platforms from which the pope could speak to this country and its leaders — to call for an end to the death penalty. In the two weeks following the pope’s remarks, five states plan to execute six death-row inmates, a burst of lethal activity the country has not seen in more than two years. The states planning the executions this week and next — Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas and Missouri — are among the country’s most active death-penalty states since the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.