Home Contact Us Innocence Links Press Releases FL Execution Information Facts Get Involved Local Groups Reports DP in the News U.S. Execution Information Yes Florida, There is an ALTERNATIVE to the Death Penalty
FADP PRESS CONFERENCE
August 25, 2003
Regarding the Assisted Suicide of Paul Hill
The following is a verbatim transcript, based on a recording of what was said at the press conference.
Click Here to see FADP’s web page on Paul Hill.
Click Here FADP’s other press releases on Paul Hill.
Click Here to see the prepared statements of these speakers.
Operation Rescue West
Abe Bonowitz FADP
Sheila Hopkins Associate for Social Concerns Florida Catholic Conference
Father Fred Ruse St. Mathew Catholic Church
Joe Scheidler National Director of the Pro-Life Action League
SueZann Bosler Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation Items of Interest Q&A Session Troy Newman on pro-life non-violence Joe Scheidler on why violence hurts the pro-life cause
I’m going to welcome everybody. This is Abe Bonowitz with Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and thank you for joining us this morning. Our order of speakers will be as follows:
Troy Newman will go first, he’s actually calling in from the road and then he will leave so if you have a follow-up for him you can call him directly. Then, we’ll have the FADP statement, then Sheila Hopkins will speak for the Florida Catholic Conference followed by Father Fred Ruse, followed by Joe Scheidler, followed by Suzanne Bosler. Again we’ll each speak briefly and then take questions. And of course you can follow-up with us individually as need be.
So, let me introduce Troy Newman who is with Operation Rescue West. Let me first say that the premise of this phone call was that we wanted to make sure that people who are involved in the pro-life movement at an activist level, on the ground doing the work, the sidewalk protests and that sort of thing, could have a chance to be heard opposing this execution, and Troy Newman is one of those leaders in the pro-life movement. In fact I was lucky to catch him last week just as he was on his way out the door to Alabama, where he has been involved in that Ten Commandments thing that is going on up in Alabama with the judge, so Troy is on with us this morning, so Troy Newman, please introduce yourself and give us your thoughts.
Troy Newman: [To Index]
Very good, hey thanks very much and again I apologize for going first. The Bible says “the first shall be last and the last shall be first, so I’m last of all of you so again thank you. We’re on our way now going to Mobile, Alabama where we’ll be filing a lawsuit to keep the Commandment monument in place. In any case, again my name is Troy Newman, and if you’d like to get a little more information on me, it’s http://www.OperationRescue.org on the web. We have a long history of street level activism and direct action and we appreciate this opportunity to speak.
First of all, we, I spoke to my board members on this, we at Operation Rescue _____deeply saddened by the fact that Jeb Bush has signed the death warrant for Reverend Paul Hill, for a number of reasons, particularly because we don’t feel that Mr. Hill really had an appropriate trial. He stood mute the majority of the time and was not allowed to give the sort of defense that he wanted to give and whether innocent or guilty, we believe in the rule of law and that all Americans must have a fair and just trial. He stands, in our eyes as little more than a political prisoner here in the United States and so certainly, he needs a new trial. He needs to have a fair and just treatment by the judicial system.
Secondly, we don’t believe that violence in any way will be solved by more violence. There has been over 45 million innocent children being put to death here in America since 1973, and the blood is flowing in our streets _____ with no end in sight, really, and to execute yet another person in this war on human beings is unconscionable.
We believe that bloodshed begets more bloodshed, and to use the famous lines from John F. Kennedy, that if you “make peaceful protest illegal, you will make violent protest inevitable.” That is clearly what we believe has been, has happened with the Reverend Hill. If you remember back during the time of his actions, it was during a time period in which there was a lot of oppression in the Courts with the Freedom of Access (to clinic) act, with RICO, and we know that Mr. Scheidler has very very successful in his actions in overturning that law and the prosecution of peaceful pro-life demonstrations. But by no means that we need to have more blood shed _______ or even in an execution chamber. So, again
, this is Troy Newman, with Operation Rescue West and I apologize for being on a cell phone and being brief but if you’d like to get ahold of me I’m sure you can get that information off the website. Thank you.
TROY, are you leaving us now?
Yes, Troy will be leaving us again now and you can reach him again at his cell phone number….
Sally Watts, Freelance:
I came in late …
Yes. I’m gonna send you a link that has contact information for all of the people that are speaking today…
…have a phone number for Troy?
It’s on the, yes, you’ll be able to reach him… Continuing on now.
My name is Abe Bonowitz. I’m the Director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and FADP opposes every execution because the death penalty is a flawed public policy on moral, economic, and social grounds. Because of these well-documented flaws, we do not believe the government should have the power to kill its own citizens. FADP supports the alternative sentence of life without the possibility of parole because it allows for both punishment of offenders and the protection of society.
The case of Paul Hill demonstrates how the death penalty truly continues the cycle of violence. The case of Paul Hill demonstrates how the death penalty truly continues the cycle of violence: Hill deplores what he sees as the “violence” of abortion but reacts to it by the use of violence. Now the state of Florida will use violence against Hill, and encouraging anti-abortion extremists to respond to Hill’s execution with more violence. Where will the cycle end?
Governor Bush has refused to commute Hill’s sentence, maintaining that he has a duty to carry out the law. But Governor Bush also has a duty to protect the innocent citizens of Florida who could be harmed by violence inspired by the deliberate killing of Paul Hill. The fact of the matter is that Governor Bush has an option that would serve the dual purpose of punishing Mr. Hill and protecting the citizens of Florida. He can commute the death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
I want to say one more thing about Governor Bush, and that is that we find it very curious that Governor Bush condemns the extremist Christians who send death threats and applaud Paul Hill’s actions. Governor Bush was quoted saying, “That’s not my Jesus.” Well, we would like to know, whose Jesus is it that says it’s OK to strap a person down onto a crucifix-like gurney and poison them to death? It doesn’t make sense and I’d really like to hear the Governor’s response to that question.
With that, I’d like to introduce the next speaker, Sheila Hopkins, who is on the call representing the Florida Catholic Conference. Sheila.
Yes, thank you Abe. Our official statement will be up on our website and I’m sure on FADP’s website, but I did want to make just a few comments.
The Catholic Church’s position is that every life is precious and must be protected and respected from the moment of conception to natural death, and just as we oppose abortion as the killing of unborn children, we also oppose the execution of death row inmates such as Paul Hill. We acknowledge that the state has a right to punish criminals and prevent crime, however, as Abe pointed out, there is the option of life in prison without the possibility of parole, as is our consistent policy whenever there is an execution scheduled, we do appeal to Governor Bush to stay the sentence. We hope that in this particular case that he will listen. Again, I think we are also concerned as the two previous speakers about the possibility of violence in this particular case and we will hope that possibly Governor Bush will listen at this time, and now allow this execution to go forward. Thank you very much.
Thank you Sheila. Father Ruse.
Yes Abe. Thank you very much for the opportunity and I appreciate the chance to use this opportunity to reach the the media and through them citizens of Florida.
The scheduled execution of Paul Hill is the chance for us to see the error of the belief that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill, or even believing that we can defend and protect the safety of others by homicide at the state level. The formula is pretty clear. It seems that the State of Florida plans to execute Paul Hill because he executed Dr. John Britton and Lt. Col. James Barrett because in turn Paul Hill held them responsible for executing unborn children. Unquestionably, Paul Hill is responsible for violence against life.
Still, I personally can’t get it out of my head or heart that our society’s prevailing disregard for the dignity of life, whether that of the unborn child or the Cuban or Haitian refugee or even one who has done a great evil, has played a hand in the nuturing of Paul Hill and as extreme as it may sound to say, very sadly I say that Paul Hill is one of our star pupils in terms of this formula.
So, in my heart, I have to ask the question, why can’t we muster the collective moral will and legislative resolve to declare this formula insanely appalling? The formula distorts our efforts to administer justice.
And I would join with Abe and others in urging Governor Bush to respond and the response that I would see that is appropriate and is considered nationwide and then supported by many municipalities across the country is that its past time to declare a moratorium on the death penalty. As was said earlier, the evil of violence can never be made right by any form of violence. There is kind of a false understanding…it’s kind of like the guy who once said, you know, we could, wife killing could surely be the way that we remedy the incidence of wife battering in America. There is just a fallacy obviously in that and yet we continue to engage in a “pick and choose” justice, a cafeteria justice, and my experience..
I’ll just share this finally on my experience on death row with Ricky Sanchez-Velasco, serving as his spiritual advisor and present to him before and during his execution this past October at Florida State Prison, has deepened my resolve. Violence will be transformed only by love, by our intentional and collective loyalty to the life of every human being, no matter their individual deficiency or sufficiency.
ABE: The next speaker is Joe Scheidler, who is the national director of the Pro-Life I kind of met Joe indirectly when I agreed to sign on to an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court last year as Joe was challenging the National Organization for Women’s use of the RICO Act against his use of non-violent activities, and as a person concerned with the ability for activists to plan their actions, and as a person who does engage in non-violent civil resistance I supported him in signing on to that Amicus group, which by the way, the Supreme Court decided in their favour in the last session – so Joe Scheidler, the national director of Pro-life Action League please share with us.
Joe Scheidler: [To Index]
Abe, thanks a lot. We certainly appreciated your signing on and as you know we won 8 to 1 in the Supreme Court. We had seventy four amici and basically it was an awful lot of prayer, which we believe in very strongly, and also the fact that we were able, not directly but indirectly, to address the first amendment . That’s what this whole thing was about: what are
we allowed to do? Are we allowed to protest something like abortion, death penalty, animal rights and so on. So a lot of people, Martin Sheen, and a lot of other interesting people.
With the Paul Hill situation – as you know Abe, I am not morally opposed to the death penalty. I’m an Old (Tomeist ?) , and although I have fought to keep people…to get them off death row, and I have taken individual cases, as a rule I believe that society does have the right to impose a death penalty. So I differ there. But in Paul Hill’s case, Paul Hill did something wrong that he thought was right. And he appealed to the defense of justification or necessity as his only defense and was denied that. And because he was denied that, I don’t believe Paul Hill had a trial. It certainly wasn’t a fair trial. His attorneys were not allowed to speak out. They could whisper to him but he didn’t take their advice and he has become, in his own mind certainly, a martyr to the cause.
I think he believes he did the right thing by this killing; I believe it was the wrong thing, I believe it doesn’t meet the qualifications for justifiable homicide at all because, for one thing, he killed a hit man. He killed a secondary cause of the death of a child whereas the mother actually is the one who wanted the abortion and she’ll go get it somewhere else if she can’t find the aborter that she has first chosen. So he didn’t accomplish the saving of the child and that’s the only way ____ and besides that he ____ a lethal act and you have to use the most nonviolent possible activity to stop the killing. Shooting someone with a shot gun does not meet that qualification.
But I think Paul Hill should certainly be considered for the removal of the death penalty because of his not been having a fair trial and because of the arguments that he had very possibly would have touched the hearts of some of the people in the jury who never got to hear his defense. And I don’t think Paul Hill will be a martyr. It’s been since 1994 ____ there haven’t been the copy-cat shootings… hardly one or two ____ I don’t think people are going to consider him so much a martyr as somebody who did something violent and is paying a penalty in a State that is very free and easy on the death penalty. I think… I would go along with holy father Pope John Paul ll that the death penalty should be rarely, rarely used and certainly not in the case of Paul Hill.
Thank you Joe. Let me say…I’m not sure any of us on the call today are lawyers but several of the speakers have brought up the question of fair trial issues and, and the question of Paul Hill’s use of the necessity defense. I’m going to encourage people to call, if you want to follow up on the whole legal question and get a lawyers answer to how that fits into the picture, please call Larry Spalding at the ACLU; and Larry’s number is 850-425-1050. I haven’t cleared that with him before I gave his number, and I don’t know for sure that he’s in today but you can certainly try.
Let’s see…. Next I want to say that when we email out the link to the statements and everyone’s contact information, you will find on there a letter to the editor that has been sent from the board of directors of the South Palm Beach County chapter of the National Organization for Women, and that letter speaks for itself. Obviously they join us in opposing this execution.
I also want to say before I introduce our next speaker, that we remember the victims, but not with more killing. Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) remembers Dr. John B. Britton and retired Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Barrett, the victims in this case. With the signing Paul Hill’s death warrant and his subsequent execution, Paul Hill becomes more famous, and his message of violence is trumpeted even louder. John Britton and James Barrett are forgotten, and that is wrong.
With that I want to introduce Suzanne Bosler, a murder victims family member and a board member of the organization Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing and also a member of the organization Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation. Suzanne…..
SueZann Bosler: [To Index]
It has been very interesting listening to the other speakers because I really learned from it but, the only thing that I am an expert in comes from my experience of watching my father, the Rev. Billy Bosler, be stabbed to death and at the same time I was also stabbed and left for dead. I worked ten and a half years to get the man off of death row and in for life and that was my whole purpose.
When I see and hear about this thing with Paul Hill it just irks me. It, it hurts me, it makes me go through what I went through again and again and again and it’s just not right. I always want to say to Jeb Bush – “don’t you dare sign a death warrant in my name because it doesn’t do any good. Stop using victims pain for your political gain.”
I’ve heard other people say here that the death penalty just perpetuates more killing, and I agree with that. The death penalty doesn’t help murder victims family members at all. I agree with the alternative punishment of life without parole because the death penalty just makes it worse for the victims’ families.
Thank you, SueZann. We do have various perspectives on the victims’ families in this case. The step-daughter of Dr. Britten is on record as opposing this execution and Lt. Colonel Barrett’s wife has said that she does support it, and that she’s seeking closure and as SueZann can tell you, there is no such thing as closure.
I think we’ve come to the end of our list of speakers. I do want to say that we also invited to participate in this call the executive director of the Florida Right to Life, we never heard back from them.We also invited Planned Parenthood and they very graciously declined the invitation. But I’m sure you can reach each of those organizations directly if you wish.
And now lets see if we can take some questions. And if you do have a question, please identify who you are, your agency and who you’re addressing your question to.
Yeah, this is Paul ___with the Times Union in Jacksonville. Question for Joe Scheidler.
Do you feel that your position is inconsistent at all, in that you do support the death penalty but you oppose it just in this case?
Yes, I do. The (Tomeist ?) philosophy is that the innocent…you cannot destroy innocent life.
UNFORTUNATELY, AT THIS POINT IN THE RECORDING THERE ARE SOME SIGNIFICANT LAPSES IN CLARITY, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE AT TIMES TO ACCURATELY REPORT WHAT WAS SAID. WE HAVE DONE OUR BEST: Joe:
Paul Hill wasn’t innocent. He did commit two murders. The doctor wasn’t innocent but Paul Hill could not become the Judge….. you have to have some kind of a government to decide these things; a judge, a jury, an execution and so on. I think those things are consistent. There is, there is a possibility of the death penalty being a, tool to protect society just a life their lives can be the church has never that capital punishment is the same as abortion fathers of the church and the official teaching of the Catholic church, even Pope John Paul ll, in asking for of the death penalty has not said that but abortion is an innocent person is always intrinsically evil.
because, I guess because Dr. Britten, in your mind wasn’t that justifies not ………
No. No that didn’t… Paul Hill did not have……is not justified and I don’t think he’s a martyr, I think he’s a murderer. I think he thinks he’s a martyr but he committed a murder. Dr. Britton was hired to perform abortions.
He did not go out seeking particularly, I’m going to abort your baby and such…I’m going to target your baby. He was hired and therefore the principal in this case is the woman, who wanted the abortion, who hired the abortionist to kill. So you’re not accomplishing, even if you want to just be pragmatic about it , you’re not accomplishing your goal, you’re not saving the babies. I would suppose that most of those women that didn’t have their abortion that day had them somewhere else later and so the goal was not accomplished and you cannot take lethal force until, unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re going to save the innocent life. And we have cases like that. Even the old classic movie High Noon where the Quaker wife of Gary Cooper shoots somebody who’s not aiming at her but is aiming at her husband and she is saving the life of another by taking the life of a guilty person and that’s not a crime. There is a such a thing as a defense of necessity and I think that’s what Paul Hill thinks he was doing. He wasn’t. He was shooting a secondary cause of a moral evil and not the primary cause, and you can’t shoot the mother. And so, in his mind he was doing something good but he was wrong.
John Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel:
Father Ruse, you had mentioned your view of Paul Hill as a “star pupil.” Could you elaborate a little bit on that…
Yes, I think that we have a common thread here in terms of the regard in reference for life from the womb to natural death, and I think that a lot in our society has been advocating ____ by law and by policy of our administration makes it possible for us to just dismiss the dignity of human beings and I think that we have taught this…we live in a society that nurtures a fascination with violence. If I go to Blockbuster to get a video, I mean most all of those videos have to do with some kind of a war picture or some kind of a violent activity and I think all of that little by little shapes us unwittingly, unknowingly and so we’re all responsible for that in terms of…as I said I think Paul Hill has kind of learned from this society that just you know because of a cause _____ what is an inalienable right, that is that right to life.
We’ve had the death penalty long, long before we had these — you know violence in the different media. The death penalty is something different than violence, I believe. I think it is an attempt to end violence. That’s the whole idea. In the Thomas philosophy, the word ‘innocent’ is very very important because an innocent person cannot be indiscriminately killed but a guilty person, a person who is a threat to society may receive the death penalty as a form of justice and it can’t be used lightly or carelessly as it has been all over the world, I think that’s why the holy Father is upset, but in certain cases it can be used and is not immoral and it is not intrinsically evil and I think we have to stand by that, otherwise, we become sort of sentimental about you know, a life is not an absolute value. It’s the closest thing we have to an absolute value but if it were absolute value we could never lay down our life for somebody else or go to war or you know defend people, so we have to be very careful about not ‘glomming’ them all together… every form of death being violence and a violation of God’s law.
I do want to add a couple of comments. One is that, no matter how you look at it, lethal injection in and of itself is violence, the fact that the first chemical that they put in you paralyzes you so that we can’t see the reaction of your organs as they are starved of oxygen. Inside a person is screaming. We just can’t see that. I think it’s also important to note that the Pope has said that, you know, while there may be some instance where the death penalty might have been useful in the past, there is no longer any need for it and therefore he has called for its abolition, and that’s on record in a number of different places.
I don’t think that’s absolute.
Well, I’ll be happy to share that with you, Joe. The other piece that I wanted to add is the fact that while we don’t expect — nobody wants to see further violence coming of this, and certainly all of the people in the mainstream and activist pro-life movement represented at this conference today eschew violence. What we have is the radical fringe, the people that have the websites, Christiangallery.com and others where they do actually have a thinly veiled invitation to somebody to commit what they call ‘justifiable homicides’ and the fact is with the death threats that we’ve seen, with the bullets mailed to government officials, with these websites, you know Paul Hill himself was motivated by another person, Michael Griffin, killing an abortion doctor just a few months earlier, you know, it’s, it’s, this is so different from the other volunteers that Governor Bush has helped commit suicide in that this person does have an agenda and next week he’s going to have a press conference and be given the world stage to share his agenda. God forbid, somebody says, ‘he’s talking to me’ and decides to go ahead and follow in Paul Hill’s footsteps. I think that’s a legitimate concern. It’s something that unfortunately Governor Bush seems to want to ignore and what we’re saying is ‘don’t let the Paul Hill case lead to another fiasco where innocent people die because the government failed to connect the dots.’ The dots are obvious here and we can stop this. We don’t have to continue the cycle of violence.
Philip Davis, National Public Radio:
Mr. Scheidler, who do think, or what have you been hearing about who is mailing in these threatening letters with bullets inside and what do you think about that tactic?
Well first of all, I don’t have any idea who it is but I think it’s a crackpot and its somebody whose trying to get a little publicity out of this event. I don’t see copycat killings coming of this, and I don’t see Paul Hill really being a martyr, hardly anybody knew that his death sentence was coming due until, you know, the last couple of weeks, and he’s gotten a lot of publicity. I don’t see that at all. The whole pro-life movement is in a totally different direction of any violence at all. We are out on the streets and sidewalks talking to women and being very successful, going into the high schools trying to change of the whole mood of the country toward abortion and I think that the people that are doing these things are grandstanders trying to get a little attention. I don’t think anything will come of it. I wish the motive for asking for Paul Hill to have the death penalty removed were more that he had not received a just trial and things of that, rather than he’s going to be a martyr and cause a lot more violence. I don’t see that at all. The violence has died off almost to nothing and there is a whole new movement going on that is much more successful, we’re reaching the women, we’re reaching the children, we’re reaching the women who had abortions who are coming out and announcing that they wish they had never had an abortion, it has ruined their lives. And I think there is much more of that happening and that’s going to continue. This other thing is an aberration.
Philip Davis, NPR:
Have you talked to Mr. Hill at all recently?
Not recently. I used to argue with him and we had a lot of phone conversations and he was trying to get people to sign that justifiable homicide statement and I was telling him why we couldn’t sign it and there were only about 10 people that signed it and most of them have rescinded their names. I, he was the type of person, I finally did ask him one time, my wife and I, would you, this is your theory, would you ever carry it out? And he said, ‘no, I would never shoot an abortionist. It’s only a theory, justifiable homicide
is permitted ___? in the same way…there were a number of people at that time, a very small number compared to the number in the pro-life movement that supported justifiable homicide. Very few of them do now, almost all of them have asked their names taken off of that rather small list.
Philip Davis, NPR:
That’s what I was…the last question I was going to ask you, what has happened to that movement? Is it still going strong or what do you think has happened to the justifiable homicide….
It doesn’t exist, really. I just, the few, there was Jim Kopp who surprised everybody. He was trying to wound these people and I don’t believe he ever intended to kill Dr. Shlepian, but he did. And he shouldn’t have shot him and he used a powerful rifle to do it. Paul Hill surprised everybody. We didn’t even know Griffin. I think these are… they are people that really in a sense are doing us all a disservice by saying that the hard work we’ve put in, 30 years, of going out to the clinics and being sued and losing our homes and so on, that what we’re doing is of little worth. That all you have to do is go shoot an abortionist. And that’s absolutely wrong. That’s the worse possible way to win this battle. We have to win the hearts and minds of people and we’re trying to do that. These people like Paul Hill… as much as he may think he did the right thing, he did the very worst thing he could do for the pro-life movement because now the attention is on a martyr the abortionists have who actually was killing babies.
Well Joe, this is SHEILA HOPKINS, Florida Catholic Conference: I hope you’re right, however, I have to tell you that I did have a phone call this morning from a lady who is bringing some people from St. Louis, who basically told me that she felt is was justifiable homicide, so there are, there is…a group, you know, there are some people who still adhere to that, even though they don’t want Paul to be executed, they still feel that what he did was justifiable homicide.
Oh I know that Sheila, and….we had a meeting in Chicago that was called by somebody from Wisconsin, but I went to the meeting and I was surprised to find that probably 5-10% of the people there did support justifiable homicide. It was a revelation to me because we had always eschewed that and said, no, no violence, no bombing, no shooting. We’ve got to do this Martin Luther King’s way, through peaceful protest, and I thought, and I still think that’s by far the majority of pro-lifers, but you’re right…
I agree with you but there is still …..that believe that.
I myself think I don’t think…I think they are big talkers. Just between you and me.
Other questions? Well with that… I’d like to
Paul Pinkham in Jacksonville:
Just to follow-up on something Joe had said earlier about the death penalty being used for people that are a threat to society. Is Paul Hill not a threat to society, do you think?
No I don’t. I don’t think Paul Hill…well he could be a threat to abortionists. See Paul Hill, you know he didn’t rob a bank, he wasn’t just out shooting people as targets. There are people who are threats to society, such as Bundy and Gacy and Speck, people like that, who themselves said they deserved the death penalty because they would do it again. They were threats to society and I don’t think Paul Hill is, really. I think Paul Hill thinks he’s a martyr. He’s not asking to have his death sentence commuted and I don’t…I think he could be out and… I knew him before when he was just a preacher and receiving honors for speaking out on abortion, which was rather rare back in the 70’s, but know I don’t think he’s a threat to society… but if he is he should stay in jail but I don’t think he should receive the death penalty because it was not a killing, it was premeditated but it was not malicious in the sense that the was doing it just to kill a doctor… he was trying to save babies. That was what was in his mind and I know that mentality… and they really believe ‘I am committing a crime to keep other crimes from being committed.’ But his motivation was not an evil motivation in itself. It was wrong, but it wasn’t evil.
That said, you know Paul Hill is on record saying he would do it again and just recently, so…
Then, he’s a threat to society.
I don’t want to say that that even if he is a threat to society, regardless of how you believe on that, the fact is that Florida has the alternative of life without the possibility of parole. And it works. More than 10,000 people are serving life without the possibility of parole in Florida today, fewer than 400, about 360-some people are waiting to be exterminated on Florida’s death row and you know we could just change all of their sentences to life without the possibility of parole and not drag victims’ families through the pain again and not give them all a platform and a world stage. They all get a press conference before they get killed that doesn’t make any sense to me….and especially in a case like this where a person’s motivation is to encourage more violence….
I think we do have look at some of these people who are serving, you know here in Illinois, they have dropped the death penalty, and a lot of these people are scared out of their wits being back in the general population in prison…
I thank you all for participating. Check your email in about 10 minutes and you’ll get the link to the prepared statements for those who gave them, which is pretty much everybody except for Troy and SueZann and also everybody’s contact information will be there… Thank you…
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
2603 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy
Gainesville, FL 32609