Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catholic Bishops against the Death Penalty

Catholic Bishops Ask Gov Scott in Florida to Stay Execution of Waterhouse

The Catholic Bishops of Florida issued a plea to Gov. Rick Scott to stay the execution scheduled for today of Robert Waterhouse. The request for mercy was signed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Orlando Bishop John G. Noonan, Palm Beach Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, St. Petersburg Bishop Robert N. Lynch, Venice Bishop Frank J. Dewane, and St. Augustine Bishop Felipe J. Estévez.

Waterhouse, 65, was convicted more than 30 years ago of killing Deborah Kammerer and throwing her nude body into Tampa Bay.

The bishops’ statememnt reads:
“We are aware of the long and solemn process that you undergo in making the decision to sign death warrants. At the same time, we are concerned with the increased pace of one scheduled every three months as has been the pattern since August, 2011.

“We have sympathy for victims who lose their lives to violence as did Deborah Kammerer and pray for the family and friends who suffer the pain of losing their loved one. Anger destroys while forgiveness frees one to live again in peace, blotting out the desire for revenge.

“We ask that the sentence for Robert Waterhouse be commuted to life in prison without possibility of parole. Such action would manifest belief in the unique dignity of every individual and the sacredness of human life. It would acknowledge God as the Lord of life and it would be more consonant with the spirit of the Gospel.

“Though you are authorized, Governor, to sign death warrants, we ask you to not exercise this authority and to refrain from signing warrants. Please investigate the actions of other states where options other than death of an inmate accomplish the goal of protecting society and punishing the offender.”

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