Death penalty 'sanctions revenge' – Fla. bishops

June 10, 2013

Using capital punishment to show that killing is wrong "sanctions revenge," Florida's seven Catholic bishops said in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott.

Asking that Scott commute the death sentences of inmates Elmer Carroll, William Van Poyck and Marshall Gore to life in prison, the bishops said the violence of capital punishment would do little to relieve the pain of the survivors of the men's victims or be helpful to society.

Scott has signed warrants for the executions of the men.

"Governor, will our citizenry be any safer, will Floridians be any better protected, if we execute these men?

Will not the safety of persons and the preservation of public order be as secure if instead you commute these sentences to lifelong confinement?" the bishops asked.

"Killing people to show that killing is wrong is a piercing contradiction and one that touches our very souls," they said.

"Executions coarsen us. We daily condemn the glorification of violence, but what example is set when our state legitimizes killing? What results can we expect?"