The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops urges Governor Scott to commute the sentence of Jerry Correll, scheduled for execution on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 6:00 p.m., to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mr. Correll is scheduled to be the 22nd person executed during Governor Scott’s tenure, the most to take place under the watch of any one Florida governor since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.
A just punishment is deserved for the 1985 murders of Susan Correll, Tuesday Correll, Mary Lou Hines and Marybeth Jones. However, in echoing Pope Francis’ call for an end to the use of the death penalty in his September 24, 2015 address to a joint session of Congress, we call on Governor Scott and all leaders to recognize that “a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope”. Spending the remainder of one’s life in prison is a severe punishment, which allows for the prospect of conversion for the sinner and the opportunity to forgive the aggressors wrong doings.
Through advances in our penal system, the state can keep society safe from an aggressor and justice can be served without resorting to the deliberate taking of a person’s life. Everyone, even people who have caused great harm, possess a human dignity that is sacred. State-sanctioned killing is unwarranted, promotes vengeance rather than justice, and reinforces a growing disrespect for the sacredness of all human life.
Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather to pray for both victim and aggressor, and their families, for our society which continues to impose violence in return for violence, and for an end to the use of the death penalty at the following locations and times:
Archdiocese of Miami
- St. Martha Catholic Church, 9401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores, Thursday, October 29, following 11:45 a.m. Mass. Contact: Juan Di Prado, (305) 762-1046, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In front of the Key West courthouse, intersection of Whitehead and Fleming Streets, Key West, Thursday October 29, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Contact: Patrice Schwermer, email@example.com.
Diocese of St. Augustine
- In front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall, corner of A1A and 16th Street, St. Augustine Beach, Thursday, October 29, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Contact: Nancy O'Byrne, (904) 461-9216, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, Thursday, October 29, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning, (904) 449-3328, email@example.com or Sr. Maureen Kelley at (904) 704-0313, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell, Thursday, October 29, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Contact: Jackie Morelewicz, (386) 986-3146, email@example.com.
- Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Contact: John Linnehan, (904) 504-1004, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A carpool will be leaving from the parking lot of St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center, 1738 W. University Avenue, Gainesville, Thursday, October 29, 4:30 p.m. to attend the prayer service at Florida State Prison near Starke. Contact: Michelle Garcia, (352) 372-3533, email@example.com.
- Additional Contact: Kathleen Bagg, Office of Communications, Diocese of St. Augustine, (904) 262-3200.
Diocese of St. Petersburg
- Spirit FM 90.5 WBVM Tampa will be praying on air, Wednesday, October 28, 5:50 p.m. Spirit FM is also available on the internet (www.spiritfm905.com).
- St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 4843 Mile Stretch Dr., Holiday, Thursday, October 29, 5:30 p.m. Contact: Sabrina Burton Schultz, Diocese of St. Petersburg, (727) 344-1611, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Orlando
- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, Tuesday, October 27, 5:00 p.m.
- St. Patrick Catholic Church, 6803 Old Hwy 441 South, Mt. Dora, Wednesday, October 28, 11:00 a.m.
- A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 201 University Blvd., Daytona Beach, Thursday October 29, 2:30 p.m. to attend the prayer service at Florida State Prison near Starke.
- Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, email@example.com or (407) 658-1818 ext. 2086.
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee
- Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, 19 N Palafox St, Pensacola, Thursday, October 29, 11:00 a.m. (CDT). Contact: (850) 438-4985.
- Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 10650 Gulf Beach Hwy., Pensacola, Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. (CDT). Contact: (850) 492-0837.
- St. Mary Catholic Church, 110 St. Mary Ave SW, Fort Walton Beach, Tuesday, October 27, 6:00 p.m. (CDT). Contact: (850) 243-3742.
- St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1008 Fortune Avenue, Panama City, Monday, October 26, 7:00 p.m. (CDT). Contact: (850) 763-1821, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 4665 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. Contact: (850) 339-7847.
- Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2750 South Byron Butler Parkway, Perry, Thursday, October 29, 3:00 p.m.
- Additional Contact: Deacon Ray Aguado, (850) 435-3531, email@example.com.
- Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty will sponsor an interfaith prayer vigil scheduled for Thursday, October 29 at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee and a service of remembrance in the Capitol Building Plaza Level Rotunda the day after the execution, Friday, October 30 at noon. Contact: Sheila Meehan, (850) 524-0080.
Diocese of Palm Beach
Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens, Thursday, October 29, 5:30 p.m. The service will be followed by a procession and silent vigil in front of the Cathedral from 5:45-6:15 p.m. Contact: Dianne Laubert, (561) 313-2280, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Venice
- St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral, Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. Contact: Maria, (239) 540-7096, email@example.com.
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 425 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, Thursday, October 29, 5:00 p.m. Contact: Parish office (941) 966-0807.
- San Pedro Catholic Church, 14380 Tamiami Trail, North Port, Thursday, October 29, 5:45 p.m.
- St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 2500 Easy St., Port Charlotte, Thursday, October 29, 5:45 p.m.
- Additional Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux, (941) 441-1101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.