Is it a sin to desire to be executed?

Recently I was reading about Claude Newman, a man on Death Row who found God and converted to Catholicism. In fact, when he learned on the morning of his scheduled execution that he was given a two week reprieve he initially was not relieved at having more time to live: he was heartbroken. He broke down crying because he just wanted to go to Heaven.

Now the Priest who converted Mr. Newman realized this was for a purpose, and Newman used this time to convert a particularly cruel and anti-theistic inmate named James Hughs, but this still raises a question.

Is desiring an unnatural death always sinful?

If its in the sense that he is accepting God’s will to die this way, then that is not a sin Also, in the sense that he has a firm belief in the afterlife he wants to be united with God.

If there was an evil intention to want to be executed then it would be a sin. It doesnt look that way from what you explained.

Longing for heaven is natural for a Christian.


Maybe Claude Newman faced the fact that he was going to be executed on that morning and prepared himself mentally and spiritually. He was ready to face God, but God had given him a soul to try and save and Mr. Newman faced his last task on this earth by doing so. It may have been a burden for Mr.Newman to prepare himself all over again, knowing on what day and time you are going to die, but he also knew what was waiting for him on the other side.I will remember all those involved in this story in my prayers . Thank you for bringing this to our attention. God bless you.:butterfly::butterfly:

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I think a better title would be, Is it a sin to execute someone? This man is resigned to his fate, not seeking suicide.

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Reckless disregard for your own life is sinful.
But it doesn’t sound like that was happening here.
He was told the execution date was such-and-such. He repented before God. He had mentally prepared himself for it, then it didn’t happen.
I think he was just reacting to intense strain.

I don’t think that’s the case. His words (quoted below) suggest that he wanted to die, not that he was resigned to it.

“But you don’t understand! If you ever saw her face, and looked into her eyes, you wouldn’t want to live another day! …What have I done wrong these past weeks that God would refuse me my going home?”

That strikes me more as a desire to go to Heaven than an explicit desire to die. This man had resigned himself to his fate and probably stressed himself out mentally preparing. To find out that he had two more weeks and would likely have to go through that mental preparation again was probably extremely frustrating. It’s difficult to discount that even if his words may seem to imply something else to you. Even so, I would imagine that even if under ordinary circumstances his thoughts were sinful, his actual circumstances and the derivative mental strain would have been a mitigating factor as far as gravity.

He repented.
One cannot fathom what goes through the minds of those on death row.
I think it was more a natural, human response, to making peace with your impending death, and then having to live longer with the fear.
He repented. Focus on that.


I was just curious as to whether or not the church allows people to feel a certain way. No need for hostility.

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