William Lovelace Attorney Clearwater Fl – Religious leaders in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in Florida held a press conference this morning to respond to a report by the Harvard Fair Punishment Project that called the counties “outliers” because of the excessive use of the death penalty.
Participants in the press conference released a letter to the state attorney’s office signed by more than 75 local religious leaders, calling for an end to the death penalty in both counties. Florida-based organizer Christine Henderson (pictured at the podium) helped organize the sign-up letter and came to discuss the national impact of the ‘outside’ report.
William Lovelace Attorney Clearwater Fl
Rev. “Given the many problems that plague the death penalty in Hillsborough and Pinellas County — wrongful convictions, racial bias, mistreatment of the mentally ill — we are united to end this failing practice,” Dr. Bernice Powell said. . Jackson pastors First United Church of Tampa
Faith Leaders Call For Suspension Of Death Penalty In Florida ‘outlier’ Counties
The report found continuing problems with overreach, ineffective defense attorneys, and racial bias, and the effects of these chronic issues included the guilt of innocent people.
“We have three people in Hillsborough County who were wrongfully executed and later convicted,” said the Most Reverend Robert Lynch, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg. The death penalty is clearly error-prone, and there is no need for alternative means of protection for society today. It is imperative that our officials promote a culture of life and stop pursuing the death penalty.
We are religious leaders from Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, Florida, who have called on our officials to reverse their use of the death penalty. Our counties have earned the dubious distinction of executing individuals at the highest rate in the nation This disturbs us, especially considering that our correctional system can keep society safe without using the decision today None of us denies the need for accountability and serious consequences for those guilty of serious crimes At the same time, our criminal justice system must recognize the dignity of every person, and must not foreclose hope and the possibility of redemption.
For this reason, we are deeply troubled by a new report documenting Hillsborough and Pinellas counties’ overreliance on the death penalty. Out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide, Hillsborough and Pinellas were among only 16 districts that carried out five or more executions between 2010 and 2015. Keep up with the rest of Florida and the nation
Business Observer 11.25.22 By The Observer Group Inc.
There is evidence that the death penalty prolongs the suffering of many families of murder victims, as capital cases involve years of legal uncertainty, hearings and frequent media headlines that can reopen old wounds. Victims’ families wait years and often decades for a decision that never comes
Racial disparities in the death penalty suggest that it is being applied unfairly From 2010 to 2015, the majority of people on death row in Hillsborough County and Pinellas were African American. This disproportionate use of the death penalty against African Americans is a long legacy of racial discrimination A criminal justice system that fails to treat everyone equally erodes trust between the community and its officers
In short, the overuse of the death penalty in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties reflects an attitude we cannot accept—that some criminals are beyond redemption. No matter what someone has done, they are God’s creation and have inherent worth When we hold criminals accountable, our justice system cannot lose the dignity of every person Hillsborough and Pinellas County need reforms to reflect this reality
Therefore we, below, call on the State Attorney’s Office for the 6th and 13th Judicial Circuits covering Hillsborough County and Pinellas to immediately suspend the use of the death penalty.
Business Observer 11.13.20 By The Observer Group Inc.
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