Florida Bishops Urge Halt to Bolin Execution

The executive director of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to stop executions in the state beginning with Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr., who was scheduled to be executed on Jan. 7.

"Our society is increasingly aware of the flaws in the application of the death penalty, which is inconsistent, arbitrary and too often applied in error," wrote Michael Sheedy in a Jan. 5 letter to the governor on behalf of Florida's bishops.

Advertisement

"Florida was one of only six states to carry out executions last year, and continues to lead the nation in the number of death row exonerations," he added.

Sheedy pointed out Scott's support for many pro-life measures while he has been governor and urged him to "recognize that the life of each person has dignity and should be respected, even those who have done great harm."

Before the scheduled execution, Florida Catholics planned to gather to pray for Bolin, his victims and their families and for an end to capital punishment.

In December, the Florida Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for Bolin, the 53-year-old convicted killer from the Tampa area.

The court ruled Bolin should be put to death for the December 1986 murder of Teri Lynn Matthews. He also was sentenced to death for the 1986 murder of Stephanie Collins and is serving a life sentence for the 1986 murder of Natalie Holley.

The Catholic Mobilzing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty linked to an online alert to send a message to Gov. Scott likewise urging that the scheduled execution of Bolin be halted. The group said in a statement released with the alert: "We sympathize with the profound pain of the victims of brutal crimes. Another death, however, does not provide true healing for those who mourn. By ending the use of the death penalty, we would take an important step to abandon the culture of death and embrace the culture of life. 

Click here to find locations and times of prayer vigils in your area. 


Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.