Saturday, December 9, 2006

Catholic Bishops Implore Governor Bush to Spare the Life of Angel Nieves Diaz

Friday, December 8, 2006

Contact: Sheila S. Hopkins

(850) 205-6826

Catholic Bishops
Implore Governor Bush to Spare the Life of Angel Nieves Diaz

Tallahassee - We, the Catholic Bishops of Florida, implore you, Governor Bush, to stay the execution of Angel Diaz that is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13, 2006.

We also urge that you consider the plea of Governor Acevedo Vila of Puerto Rico, who has expressed his opposition to the State sanctioned killing of Angel Diaz, a native of Puerto Rico, where there is no death sentence, hence no executions. In our own state, the effectiveness and fairness of the death penalty is increasingly being called into question. We sense many are changing their hearts and minds regarding their support for it, and we urge that the State of Florida undertake a careful re-examination of our death penalty system.

As leaders, we are entrusted with setting an example for others to follow. Let it be demonstrated to society, and especially our youth, that the taking of another's life is not a solution to one's problems. By carrying out an execution, the State teaches our citizens that the killing of those who have killed another is acceptable. That message is a wrong one when society can be kept safe from an aggressor. Through life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, criminals are severely punished for their transgressions against society.

Our genuine prayers and sincere sympathies are extended to the family and loved ones of Joseph Nagy, the victim of this crime. We pray not only for the relief of their pain, but also that justice is served. Justice is not best served, however, by the taking of another's life.

Governor Bush, as you conclude your excellent service as Governor of our State, we plead with you to show mercy by staying this execution and commuting the death sentence of Angel Diaz.

Archbishop John C. Favalora
Archdiocese of Miami
Bishop John J. Nevins
Diocese of Venice
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
Coadjutor Bishop Frank J. Dewane
Diocese of Venice
Auxiliary Bishop Felipe J. Estévez
Archdiocese of Miami
Auxiliary Bishop John G. Noonan
Archdiocese of Miami

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The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of
public policy, serves as liaison to government and the legislature, and coordinates communications and activities between
the Church and secular agencies. The Bishops of the seven (Arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its Board of Directors.

> Click here for Catholic Teaching on the Death Penalty

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