Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catholic Bishops Urge Governor Crist to Stay the Execution of Mark Dean Schwab

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Michele M. Taylor
Sheila S. Hopkins

Associate for Communications
Associate Director for Social Concerns/Respect Life

(850) 205-6817
(850) 205-6826

Catholic Bishops Urge Governor Crist to Stay the Execution of Mark Dean Schwab
Tallahassee - Governor Crist, we urge you to stay the impending execution of Mark Dean Schwab scheduled for November 15, 2007. At this time while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the case of Baze v. Rees to determine whether the drug combination used in lethal injection executions is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, it seems both prudent and judicious for you to follow the example of another governor and many state and federal courts. More than a dozen stays of execution have been granted since October 3, 2007.

While recognizing the right of the state to impose the death penalty, we oppose its use given the option of life in prison without possibility of parole that will punish the offender and keep society safe. Incarceration for life is a severe punishment, allows the possibility of conversion for the wrong doer, and gives us the opportunity to forgive their wrong doings. Killing those who have harmed others only perpetuates the use of violence in society.

We express our sincere sympathy to the family and loved ones of the victim, Junny Rios-Martinez. While we can never fully comprehend their suffering and pain, we pray for their peace of mind. Carrying out the death penalty for Mark Dean Schwab will not compensate for their loss and encourages vengeance rather than forgiveness.

Governor Crist, state sanctioned killing coarsens us all. It is only when society cannot be protected in any other way that the death penalty is justified. We urge you to lead Florida toward a standard of decency that calls us to turn away from killing as a solution for crime. Please stay this execution and allow Mark Dean Schwab to remain in prison for the rest of his life as punishment for his crime.

Archbishop John C. Favalora,Archdiocese of Miami
Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, Diocese of Pensacola/Tallahassee
Bishop Robert N. Lynch, Diocese of St. Petersburg

Bishop Victor Galeone, Diocese of St. Augustine
Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito,Diocese of Palm Beach
Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, Diocese of Orlando

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice
Auxiliary Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, Archdiocese of Miami
Auxiliary Bishop John G. Noonan, Archdiocese of Miami

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should be ashamed of yourselves. God gave us the right, indeed the responsibility, to put the evil to death. He will deal with their "conversion" better than we can. Your job, bishops, is to protect the life of the innocent, the weak, those who cannot defend themselves. Instead, you advocate for the evil who bring chaos to God's world. If you truly do not fear death, then why fear the application of it when it is so justly called for? You have come to love your earthly lives too should retire and get out of our are the evil ones.