Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Bobby Joe Long to be executed on Thursday, May 23rd at 6:00 ET in revenge for being convicted of the murder of Michelle Simms 35 years ago. The killing of Bobby Joe Long was the first homicide of a captive prisoner ordered by Governor Ron DeSantis. (note – the Death Certificates of executed Floridians list “Homicide” as the manner of death).
Below are some of the more than 30 that took place around the execution of Bobby Joe Long by state government officials in the name of the “People of the State of Florida.” We will be updating the Vigil/Protest page as more info is available.
PLEASE contact Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and urge him to sign no more Death Warrants
- Governor Ron DeSantis
Homicide in Progress
“I realize that I cannot standby silently as my government executes its citizens. If I do not speak out and resist, I AM AN ACCOMPLICE.“ Sr. Helen Prejean
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and our allies call for simultaneous execution vigils/protests across the state at the time of executions. Each vigil group in Florida is independent and establishes its activities according to the needs, strategies and resources of its members. ALL are welcome to participate at ANY protest and vigil. If you do not see your area listed or would like to organize a local action, please contact FADP at 727-215-9646 or [email protected] This page lists of some Florida actions beginning with bus and carpools.
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY:
Choose one, or all four if you can!
- Write and call Governor Ron DeSantis. Ask Gov. DeSantis to halt ALL executions under Florida’s hugely-expensive, wasteful, and unnecessary government program for killing well-secured, captive prisoners. It has not been proven to prevent or deter violent crime and has wrongfully convicted and sentenced far more innocent people to death than any other state (29 released thus far). People being executed today were sentenced to death under a sentencing scheme the U.S. Supreme Court has now ruled to be unconstitutional (Hurst v Florida 2016). Governor Ron DeSantis:
Phone: (850) 488-7146 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)
Email: [email protected]
- Our partners at EJUSA have put together this easy tool that will send your letter to the Governor and help you share your action.
- Sign up to receive future action alerts and news from Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) at https://www.fadp.org/subscribe/
- Forward this action to a friend (or five!) and have them contact Governor DeSantis too!
Note: Since execution dates often change, please check the media for updates or feel free to communicate with the vigil/protest contacts listed.
DAYTONA BEACH/PALM COAST: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church: Governor Ron DeSantis has scheduled the execution of Bobby Long to take place on Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm. On Thursday, May 23rd, we will be traveling to Starke to pray for Bobby Long, his family, and victim Michelle Simms and family. Our bus leaves at 2:15PM. Our prayerful presence makes the statement that all killing is wrong and the State of Florida does not kill in our name. We encourage all, no matter their personal feelings about capital punishment, to join us as believers in the sanctity of all life. If you would like to join us, please call the parish office 386.255.0433 or Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, (407) 658-1818 x1086 or [email protected] Please pack a snack.
2:15 PM – Bus leaves parking lot Our Lady of Lourdes, 201 University Blvd, Daytona Beach.
3:00 PM – Bus Pick up at Winn Dixie on SR 100 in Palm Coast, just off of I95
GAINESVILLE: CARPOOL TO PRISON VIGIL – Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed at 6:00 PM Thursday, May 23rd. Please join others in witnessing to our opposition to state sanctioned murder. The vigil/protest includes a short prayer service & the tolling of a bell to mark the execution hour, a bell that is heard on Death Row so the other inmates know we are there to say “Not In Our Name.”
CARPOOL INFO: Catholic Gators and GCADP Carpool will leave at 4:30 pm, from Gainesville from the parking lot of the Emmanuel Mennonite Meeting House, 1236 NW 18th Ave. For info call Miriam Elliott, 352-278-4342 [email protected]
Return time is uncertain as executions are often delayed. If it goes on schedule the carpool can leave around 6:30 & be back in Gainesville by 7:15. Otherwise, the riders will stay at the prison until there is news of the execution or a stay OR the riders can decide to return prior to the conclusion of events. The organized vigil activity concludes around 6:30pm. IN THE EVENT OF A STAY WE WILL NOT GATHER AT THE PRISON.
FLORIDA STATE PRISON: HERMAN LINDSEY – Florida’s 23rd Exonerated Death Row Survivor and Board Member of Witness to Innocence and DERRICK JAMISON, Florida resident and Exonerated Ohio Death Row Survivor and Member of Witness to Innocence, will join volunteers from around the state at the execution vigil/protest across the highway from the Death Chamber at Florida State Prison from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Mark Elliott at (727) 215-9646, [email protected] or Miriam Elliott, 352-278-4342, [email protected]
Gather ACROSS from Florida State Prison starting by 5:00pm. Please bring signs if you have them.
DIRECTIONS to the Vigil/Protest across highway 16 from Florida State Prison:
—From East: SR-16, 8 miles West of Starke, go right (east) into entrance for New River Correctional Institution. FSP staff will direct you to vigil parking.
—From North: (Macclenny) SR-121 south approximately 17 miles to SR-16 (before town of Raiford). Turn left onto SR-16. Go approximately 3 miles, cross New River Bridge. Turn left (east) into New River Correctional Institution. FSP staff will direct you to vigil parking.
—From South: US-301 north approximately 35 miles north of Gainesville to Starke. Turn left (west) onto SR-16 (Raiford Road), go approximately 8 miles. Turn right (east) into New River Correctional Institution. FSP staff will direct you to vigil parking.
—From West (Lake City): SR-100 approximately 23 miles to SR-121 (Lake Butler), turn left, go approximately 6 miles, just past town of Raiford, turn right (east) onto SR-16. Go approximately 3 miles, cross New River Bridge. Turn left (east) into New River Correctional Institution.
NOTES from FADP: Local speed limits strictly enforced. Florida State Prison is on the West side of the road. The designated protest area is on the East side of the road, with the entry road being opposite of the main entry to FSP and designated “New River Correctional Institution”
BATHROOMS: Bathroom is located at SE corner of red brick building. Check with the DOC employees for availablity.
SIGNS: We are unaware of any restrictions on the nature of signs. FADP recommends clear and concise messages, printed boldly, with high contrast between the text and the background. FADP will have some signs available.
ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS: Wear closed shoes and socks to protect yourself from the occasional presence of fire ants. Hats may be helpful.
ALSO: Especially with high profile state killings, airport rules apply – be aware of what you bring and carry, and of your demeanor, and stay within the designated protest area or between that area and the adjacent parking area. You may wish to bring umbrellas (for sun or rain) and bottled water. FADP will help.
CAPE CORAL: A prayer vigil will be held in the Chapel at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 1922 SW 20th Avenue, Cape Coral on Thursday, May 23 at 6:00 pm Contact: [email protected] Additional Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux, (941) 441-1101 or [email protected]
COCOA BEACH: Church of Our Savior, 5301 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, Thursday, MAY 23 at 5:30 p.m. Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Orlando at [email protected] or 407-658-1818 x 1086
COCOA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH – SHUTTLE TO STATE PRISON: The Respect Life Ministry at Our Savior’s Parish, 5301 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Thursday, May 23. Shuttle is scheduled to return between 9:00PM and 10:00PM. Please contact Mr. Gene Rasmussen at 407-967-0992 if you would like to participate.
NOON – Shuttle leaves parking lot of Our Savior Parish, 5301 N. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach
NEXT PICKUP STOP – Destination Daytona, 1635 U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach.
CRESTVIEW: Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 550 Adams St., Crestview. Wednesday, May 22 at 6:00pm.
FLAGLER COUNTY (Bunnell): In front of the Flagler County Courthouse. 5:00pm on Thursday, May 23, during the scheduled execution of Bobby Joe Long. Join us at the Courthouse on 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell. Contact: John Bangert at (301)318-6832 or [email protected] Additional info Kathleen Bagg Office of Communications, Diocese of St. Augustine (904) 262-3200
FT. LAUDERDALE: Broward Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will hold a vigil protesting the state sponsored murder of Bobby Joe Long on Thursday, May 23 from 5 to 6 pm. We will be joined by SueZann Bosler, Co-founder of the Journey of Hope From Violence to Healing. SueZann’s father, Rev. Billy Bosler was a local pastor murdered in the church parsonage. We will bear silent witness in front of the Federal Courthouse at the corner of NE 3 Avenue and 299 E. Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale 33301. Signs will be provided. Contact: Steve Jens-Rochow, [email protected]
FT. MYERS: St. John XXIII, 13060 Palomino Lane, Ft. Myers. Thursday, May 23 at 6:00pm
FT. WALTON BEACH: A holy hour will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 110 St. Mary Avenue SW, Fort Walton Beach, on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. (CDT). Contact (850) 243-3742. Additional Contact: Deacon Ray Aguado, Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, (850) 435-3531, [email protected].
HOLIDAY: St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 4843 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday. Wednesday, May 22 at 4:00pm. Followed by evening prayer and benediction. Contact: Sabrina Burton Schultz, Director of Life, Justice, and Advocacy Ministry, Diocese of St. Petersburg, [email protected] (727) 344-1611.
JACKSONVILLE: In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, Thursday, May 23, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning at (904) 449-3328 or by email at [email protected] or Sister Maureen Kelley at (904) 704-0313, email [email protected].
LEHIGH ACRES: St. Raphael Chapel, 2514 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres. Thursday, May 23 at 5:30pm. Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux (947) 441-1101, [email protected]
MIAMI SHORES: A prayer vigil will be held following 11:45 a.m. Mass on Thursday, May 23 at St. Martha Catholic Church, 9401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores. Contact Deacon Edgardo Farias (305) 764-5019 or [email protected]
MOUNT DORA: St. Patrick’s Church. 6803 Old Hwy 441, 32757. Prayer vigil Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00 a.m. in the main church. contact: Bernie Welch [email protected] Additional Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Orlando at [email protected] or 407-658-1818 x 1086
NORTH PORT: San Pedro Parish Chapel, 14380 Tamiami Trail, will hold a prayer vigil on Thursday, May 23 at 5:45pm. Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux (947) 441-1101, [email protected]
ORLANDO: Catholic Charities of Central Florida, St. Michael Chapel, 1819 N. Semoran Blvd. Orlando Friday, May 17 at 9:30am. Contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Orlando at [email protected] or 407-658-1818 x 1086
PALM BEACH GARDENS: Catholic Charities Respect Life Office in partnership with the Diocese of Palm Beach and Pax Christi will host a prayer service on Thursday May 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the chapel in the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens. Immediately following the prayer service, the group will proceed to the corner of Military Trail and Holly Road, where they will silently pray for 15 minutes for Bobby Long, victim Michelle Simms and the families. Contact: Deanna Herbst at [email protected]
PANAMA CITY: A Prayer Service and Fast will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1008 Fortune Avenue, Panama City on Wednesday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. (CST). Contact: (850) 763-1821, [email protected] Additional Contact: Deacon Ray Aguado, Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, (850) 435-3531, [email protected]
PENSACOLA: Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, 19 N. Palifox St. Pensacola. Thursday, May 23 at 11:00am
PINELLAS COUNTY: Anti-death penalty demonstration. Pax Christi Tampa Bay, Peace First, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and other death penalty opponents will gather from 5:00-6:00 PM on Thursday, May 23 at 6:00 PM at an anti-death penalty demonstration at the intersection of Ulmerton Road and 49th Street N. in mid-Pinellas County (map). Park in the lot behind Checkers and the bank on the northwest corner of the intersection. Signs and banners will be provided, or you can bring your own. Since execution dates often change, please check the media for updates and changes. The demonstration occurs during the execution; if the execution is re-scheduled, the demonstration will be rescheduled. FMI: [email protected] or (727) 492-1590.
PUNTA GORDA: Sacred Heart, 211 W. Charlotte Ave., Punta Gorda (at the outdoor Last Supper table facing U.S. 41 South). Thursday, May 23 at 5:30pm. Additional Contact: Jeanne Berdeaux, (941) 441-1101 or [email protected]
ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH: A Vigil will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 5:15 – 6:15pm in front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall (corner of 16th St. and A1A South) to mark the execution of Jose Jimenez. Signs provided, or make your own. Please come and help us build the movement by inviting some friends to come with you. Vigils like ours are being held all over the state and are an important tool for raising consciousness of the need for reform. FMI: Nancy O’Byrne [email protected] (904) 422-3618
SARASOTA: Manasota demonstration against the death penalty. A witness against the death penalty and prayer vigil will take place on Thursday, May 23. The witness begins at 5:30 PM with a silent protest with signs on the front lawn of St. Andrew United Church of Christ, 6908 S. Beneva Road (map). The prayer service follows in the church at 6:00 PM. Sponsored by Pax Christi USA-Manasota Chapter. FMI: [email protected]
SEBRING: St. Catherine Church, 820 Hickory St., Sebring. Thursday May 23 at 6:00pm
TALLAHASSEE: Good Shepherd Church. The execution of Bobby Joe Long is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 6:00pm. The Mercy & Justice Core Community will hold a prayer service at 9:45am on Wednesday, May 22 (after the 9:00am Mass) in the Good Shepherd sanctuary. All are invited to pray for Bobby Long, victim Michelle Simms, their families, and an end to the death penalty. FMI: Suzanne Printy, Coordinator, Mercy & Justice Core Community [email protected]. Additional Contact: Deacon Ray Aguado, Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, (850) 435-3531, [email protected]
TALLAHASSEE: Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm on Thursday, May 23. There will be an interfaith prayer vigil on that day at 6 pm in front of the Governor’s Mansion, 700 N. Adams. Please join with Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty and help let the Governor know we don’t agree with this barbaric policy. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Contact Mary Anne Hoffman (850) 570-4883. FMI: tcadp.net.
TALLAHASSEE: If there is no stay, there will be a Service of Remembrance sponsored by Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty on Friday, May 24 at 12 noon at the Capitol Building Plaza Level Rotunda for Bobby Long, victim Michelle Simms, and their families. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Contact: Mary Anne Hoffman (850) 570-4883. FMI: tcadp.net.
TAMPA BAY AREA: Spirit FM 90.5 WBVM Tampa will be praying on air Thursday, May 23, beginning at 5:50 pm. Spirit FM is also available on the internet (www.spiritfm905.com). Contact: Sabrina Burton Schultz, (727) 344-1611, [email protected].
WINTER GARDEN: Resurrection Catholic Church, 1211 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden. Friday, May 17 at 12:00 Noon.
WINTER PARK: St. Margaret Mary Church, 526 N. Park Ave. Wednesday, May 22 at 6:00pm
WINTER PARK: Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 5300 Old Howell Branch Road, Winter Park. Thursday May 23 at 12:00 Noon.