Dismemberment Abortion On Thursday, March 1, HB 1429 (Grall) passed the House (72-42). This FCCB-supported measure would prohibit physicians from knowingly performing a dismemberment abortion, a procedure conducted in the second-trimester that removes the body parts of an unborn child while the child is still alive. The companion bill in the Senate, SB 1890 (Mayfield), has not been heard in its committees of reference.
Eric Scott Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, February 22 after receiving a lethal injection at Florida State Prison. Mr. Branch was convicted of the 1993 murder of Susan Morris, a University of West Florida student. Prior to the execution, Catholic faithful and members of the community gathered to pray for the victim and aggressor, and their families, for an end to the use of the death penalty, and for Governor Scott as he confronted the decision to proceed with the execution. We thank all of our FLCAN members who sent a message to the governor urging him to commute Mr. Branch's sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Eric Branch is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. for the 1993 murder of Susan Morris. In a February 15 letter on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, appealed to Governor Scott to commute Branch's death sentence to a life sentence without parole. "It is our concern that the death penalty contributes to a growing disrespect for the sacredness of all human life," said Sheedy. "It feeds on an underlying sense of vengeance in our culture and adds to a callousness or coarseness towards one another."
Eric Scott Branch is scheduled to be executed by the State of Florida on Thursday, February 22 at 6:00 p.m. for the 1993 murder of Susan Morris. Prior to the execution, Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather to pray for the victim and aggressor, and their families, for an end to the use of the death penalty, and for Governor Scott as he confronts the decision to proceed with the execution.
An FCCB-supported proposal that provides that the partial retroactivity of a new unanimous jury requirement will result in a miscarriage of justice was approved by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee (3-2) on Tuesday, February 6.
In a letter to the editor, Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of St. Augustine wrote the following: On Thursday, December 14th, the Death Penalty Information Center released their annual end of year report analyzing the trends and patterns we’ve seen with the death penalty in 2017. According to the report, death sentences and executions were the second lowest in a quarter century. Additionally, public support for the death penalty fell to its lowest level in 45 years.
On November 30, events to recognize International Day of Cities for Life / Cities Against the Death Penalty were held at various locations in our Florida dioceses. This annual, worldwide effort has been spearheaded by the lay Catholic community of Sant'Egidio since 2002. Over 2,000 cities across the globe have declared themselves "Cities for Life" and are committed to the abolition of the death penalty and a more civil form of justice.
On November 30, events will be held at various locations in our Florida dioceses to recognize International Day of Cities for Life / Cities Against the Death Penalty. This annual event has been spearheaded by the lay Catholic community of Sant'Egidio since 2002. Over 2,000 cities across the globe have declared themselves "Cities for Life" and are committed to the abolition of the death penalty and a more civil form of justice.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops urges Governor Rick Scott to spare the life of Patrick Hannon. Hannon is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. for the 1991 murders of Brandon Snider and Robert Carter. In a November 6 letter on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, appealed to Governor Scott to commute Hannon’s death sentence to a life sentence without parole.
Thank you to all FLCAN members who responded to our action alert to contact Governor Scott, requesting that Michael Lambrix's execution be stayed and his sentence be commuted to life without parole. Sadly, the execution was carried out on October 5. The next day, a death warrant was signed scheduling yet another execution. Patrick Hannon is scheduled for execution on November 8.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – After over three decades on death row, Michael Lambrix is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Lambrix received two death sentences for the 1983 murders of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant. In a September 28 letter on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, appeals to Governor Rick Scott to commute Mr. Lambrix’s death sentence to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Governor Rick Scott has scheduled an October 5 execution for Cary Michael Lambrix, a Death Row inmate convicted of killing Aleisha Bryant and Clarence Moore in 1983. Scott ordered Lambrix to be put to death last year, but the Florida Supreme Court put the execution on hold after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state's death-penalty sentencing system. The death warrant for Lambrix, issued Friday, September 1, came little more than a week after Mark Asay was executed by lethal injection in the state's first execution in 19 months.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – After eighteen months with no executions in our state, Mark Asay is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, August 24, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Asay received two death sentences for the 1987 murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell.
The Florida bishops invite all Catholic faithful to join them in their promise to educate, advocate and pray for an end to the use of the death penalty. Administered by the Catholic Mobilizing Network, the National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty was initiated at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offices in Washington, D.C., and Florida's bishops were among the first signatories.
On Thursday, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Equal Justice USA, and several other advocacy organizations sponsored a rally at the capitol. Participants urged an end to the use of the death penalty as well as voiced support for State Attorney Aramis Ayala's decision within Florida law to not seek the death penalty in any case under her jurisdiction. Ayala's office handles cases from Orange and Osceola Counties.
During the committee weeks leading up to the 2017 legislative session, Florida lawmakers acted quickly to address an October 2016 Florida Supreme Court decision that struck down the state's death sentencing scheme. The state's high court ruled that a new 2016 law requiring agreement of only 10 of 12 jurors to recommend death was unconstitutional.
During the committee weeks leading up to the annual legislative session, the Florida House and Senate have acted quickly to address an October 2016 Florida Supreme Court decision that struck down the state's death sentencing scheme. The state's high court ruled that a new 2016 law requiring only 10 of 12 jurors to recommend death was unconstitutional.
On October 14, the Florida Supreme Court in Hurst v. Florida found that a new law requiring a 10-2 jury decision to impose a death sentence was unconstitutional. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida's death penalty system prompting the Florida legislature to pass a bill that requires at least ten jurors agree in order to sentence someone to death. This was an improvement over previous law that only required a simple majority of jurors (7 of 12) to recommend a death sentence. However, noting that unanimous juries provide the highest degree of reliability, the state's highest court found the new law insufficient.
Dale Recinella, Catholic Correctional Chaplain for Death Row, explains the realities of the death penalty system in his recent article, "Answering the last gasps of Catholic support for the U.S. death penalty," published by the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty.
The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments on May 5 in a case involving Timothy Lee Hurst, who was sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of Cynthia Harrison in Pensacola. Hurst was the plaintiff in a legal challenge that led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in January that Florida's death-penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional because it allowed a judge, not the jury, to find each fact necessary to impose a death sentence.