SB 1204 (Broxson) and HB 873 (Maney) would provide an exemption from public records requirements for information that could identify any person or entity that participates in an execution, including the manufacturer of drugs that are used for lethal injection.
President Joe Biden is the first sitting U.S. president to publicly oppose capital punishment and to have campaigned on an anti-death penalty platform. As the Biden administration approaches the 100-day mark, Catholics are calling on the president to uphold the Church's anti-death penalty teachings.
On March 30, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously passed SB 1156 (Brandes), which prohibits individuals with severe mental illness that significantly diminished their moral culpability at the time of the offense from being sentenced to death. These individuals would still be held accountable for their crimes; the severe sentence of life without parole would remain a possible sentence. Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict, and Pope Francis all called on the Church to work for the end to the use of the death penalty. However, as long as the State of Florida maintains the death penalty, we also support incremental improvements in the law that limit its harm. The next committee of reference, Judiciary, is currently not scheduled to meet again. There is no House companion bill.
Prior to 2020, the U.S. federal government went 17 years without administering any executions under the leadership of both Republican and Democratic presidents. Against this backdrop, the Trump administration moved to restart the practice of executions in July 2020, beginning with the lethal injection of Daniel Lewis Lee on Jul. 14, 2020.
Each November 30, communities across the globe participate in International Day of Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty, which takes place on the anniversary of the first abolition of the death penalty on the part of a State, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany on November 30, 1786. In solidarity with this international movement, dioceses in Florida are marking the occasion in various ways.
The U.S. Department of Justice has scheduled three executions to take place over a five-day span beginning on July 13. A fourth has been scheduled for the end of August. The four men scheduled to be executed are: Daniel Lee on July 13; Wesley Purkey on July 15; Dustin Honken on July 17; and Keith Nelson on Aug. 28.
This month, Bishop Felipe Estévez of St. Augustine released a pastoral letter to the faithful of his diocese. The 20-page document is entitled,
Standing Up for the Dignity of all Human Life: A Pastoral Letter on Capital Punishment in Florida, and it addresses the teachings of the Church about the intrinsic value and God-given dignity of every human life from conception until natural death.
On February 10, members of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty, and Witness to Innocence, a national organization of exonerees, visited the Capitol to advocate for the abolition of Florida's death penalty and for fair treatment of those sentenced to death after a wrongful conviction.
On Saturday, November 30, communities across the globe dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty and a more civil form of justice will participate in The World Day of Cities for Life / Cities Against the Death Penalty. Specific efforts vary by location, but many cities take part by lighting up major historical, religious, or civic monuments. In turn, those illuminated monuments become symbols of a commitment to creating a world without the death penalty. This annual event has been spearheaded by the Rome-based lay Catholic community of Sant'Egidio since 2002. November 30 coincides with the anniversary of the first death penalty abolition in history, which occurred in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Italy on November 30, 1786. Today, the top five nations carrying out executions are China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
On October 23, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted a stay of execution until December 30, 2019 to allow Mr. Dailey's newly appointed federal counsel time to present his substantial claims of innocence. Dailey was scheduled to be executed on November 7.
Five death row exonerees made a trip to the Capitol to deliver a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The letter from Witness to Innocence, an organization of exonerated survivors of death row, urges a halt to the execution of James Dailey. The exonerees, along with many others, believe Dailey to be innocent of the murder for which he was convicted and received a death sentence.
TALLAHASSEE, FL (October 21, 2019) – The eight Catholic bishops of Florida have written to Gov. Ron DeSantis urging him to stay the execution of James Dailey. Dailey, who was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio, has a strong case for innocence.
Governor DeSantis has signed a third death warrant since taking office in January 2019. James Dailey, sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio, is scheduled to be executed on November 7. If carried out, this will be the 100th execution in Florida since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the 1970s.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, August 22 at 6:00 p.m. for the 1994 murder of Walter Hinton. Bowles additionally pled guilty to five other murders and is serving life sentences for two of them.
On behalf of my brother bishops of the Province of Miami, I am the moderator for respect life and have the privilege of pastoral responsibility for inmates awaiting execution and those relatives of victims. I bring this perspective to you today, with a focus on our twofold interest: 1) pastoral care and 2) public or political discourse.
Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled to be executed on August 22 at Florida State Prison in Starke. Bowles, who was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Duval County, is also serving life sentences for the murders of John Roberts in Volusia County and Albert Morris in Nassau County.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a death warrant for Gary Ray Bowles, who was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Duval County. Bowles, 57, is also serving life sentences for the murders of John Roberts in Volusia County and Albert Morris in Nassau County.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Robert Joseph “Bobby Joe” Long is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, May 23 at 6:00 p.m. for the 1984 murder of Michelle Sims. Long additionally pled guilty to, and received life sentences for, seven other murders.
On Tuesday, April 23, Governor Ron DeSantis signed his first death warrant since assuming office in January 2019. The execution of Robert Joseph Long is scheduled for May 23 at 6:00 pm EDT. Long was sentenced to death for the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Jose Antonio Jimenez is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. for the 1992 murder of Phyllis Minas. Governor Scott initially signed Jimenez’ death warrant in July and scheduled his execution for August 14. However, the Florida Supreme Court issued a stay of execution to further review the case. The Supreme Court lifted the stay on October 4.