JACKSONVILLE – Bishop Felipe J. EstÃ©vez joins his brother Bishops of Florida in urging Governor Rick Scott to commute the sentence of Jerry Correll, scheduled for execution on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m., to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Correll is schedule to be the 22nd person executed during Governor Scottâ€™s tenure, the most to take place under the watch of any one Florida governor since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.
Demonstrations are planned around the state, including one at St. Augustine Beach City Hall Complex.
A just punishment is deserved for the 1985 murders of Susan Correll, Tuesday Correll, Mary Lou Hines and Marybeth Jones. However, in echoing Pope Francisâ€™ call for an end to the use of the death penalty in his Sept. 24, 2015 address to a joint session of Congress, the Florida Bishops call on Governor Scott and all leaders to recognize that â€œa just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope.â€ Spending the remainder of oneâ€™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 personâ€™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.
The community is invited to join members of the Catholic community as they gather to pray for both victim and aggressor, and their families, for 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:
St. Johns County
In front of theÂ St. Augustine Beach City HallÂ at the corner of A1A and 16th Street, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Contact: Nancy O’Byrne at (904) 461-9216 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other demonstrations are planned:
Alachua County: A carpool will be leaving on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m. from the parking lot of St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center, 1738 W. University Avenue, Gainesville, to attend a prayer service at Florida State Prison. Contact: Julie Schilling at (352) 372-3533 or email: email@example.com.
Bradford County: Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Drive eight miles west of U.S. 301 on Florida Highway 16 West. Contact: John Linnehan atÂ (904) 504-1004 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duval County: In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W.Â Adams Street, Jacksonville, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning at (904) 449-3328 or email: email@example.com or Sister Maureen Kelley, OP at (904) 704-0313 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flagler County: In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell. Contact: Jackie Morelewicz at (386) 986-3146 or by email: email@example.com.