Take Action Now!
Join the Florida Bishops in asking Gov. Scott to Spare the Life of Manuel Valle:
In an August 3, 2011 letter to Governor Rick Scott, the bishops of Florida urged the governor to stay the execution of Manuel Valle now re-scheduled for September 28. Non-lethal means of punishment protect society and respect the life of all persons, even those who have done great harm. Text of the letter follows:
Dear Governor Scott,
We renew our appeal to you to end the use of the death penalty in our state. We urge you to stay the execution of Manuel Valle scheduled for September 1, 2011.
We concede the right of the State to impose the death penalty when absolutely necessary, that is when it is otherwise impossible to defend society. However, given the ability of Florida to protect its residents by incarcerating inmates for life without possibility of parole, we pray you will exercise that option.
Willful murder is a heinous crime; it cries to God for justice. Yet, God did not require Cain's life for having spilt Abel's blood. While God certainly punished history's first murderer, he nevertheless put a mark on him to protect Cain from those wishing to kill him to avenge Abel's murder (cf. Genesis 4:15). Like Cain, the condemned prisoner on death row – for all the evil of his crimes – remains a person. Human dignity – that of the convicted as well as our own – is best served by not resorting to this extreme and unnecessary punishment. Modern society has the means to protect itself without the death penalty.
The killing of Officer Louis Pena caused great suffering and pain for his family and friends, and we pray they were consoled as they mourned the loss of their loved one. We are hopeful that Officer Gary Spell and his family are healed from his traumatic experience as he came to the aid of his fellow officer. An execution re-opens the emotional wounds of victim's families and does not bring back or honor their loved one. True peace can only be achieved by forgiveness.
Killing someone because they killed diminishes respect for life and promotes a culture of violence and vengeance. We affirm the right and duty of the State to assure public safety and punish the guilty by incarceration, which allows the inmate an opportunity for reflection on their offenses and sorrow for the pain they have caused others.
Governor, we ask you to stop state sanctioned killing by sparing the life of Manuel Valle, allowing him to serve out his sentence in prison for the rest of his natural life.
This is the time to contact Gov. Scott via letter, (Gov. Rick Scott, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399), fax (850-487-0801), email (www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/) or phone ( 850-488-7146).
SUDAN COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT
Contact President Obama now (http://actioncenter.crs.org) and urge him to do everything he can to support full implementation of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement and efforts to promote peace and stability in Sudan.
Why is action important now? The situation in Sudan – not just in the Darfur region, but also the tenuous peace between the North and South brought about by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – hangs in the balance. The country is bracing for a referendum on whether the South should secede from the North in January 2011. The potential for increased violence, death, and displacement at the hands of a renewed North-South war is real. Therefore, significant steps must be taken to avert such a disaster.
What can President Obama do? The Senate has gone on record with the passage of S. Res. 404 signaling the United States’ strong commitment to prevent increased violence and promote peace and stability in all of Sudan. The resolution specifically calls on President Obama to strengthen engagement on this issue and on the international community to coordinate their efforts closely. It urges the responsible actors in Sudan to comply with the provisions of the CPA, resolve outstanding issues, and avoid actions that escalate tensions.
What is the Church’s position? The Catholic bishops of Sudan have raised serious concerns about the situation in their country. They also remain hopeful that peace is possible. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) share their concerns and hopes regarding the potential for increased violence and are taking action to avert conflict, assist people in need and promote reconciliation. Therefore, we urge President Obama and his administration to address the concerns of the Catholic Church in Sudan and implement the provisions of S. Res. 404 and to do everything he can to pursue peace and stability in Sudan.
What does the situation in Sudan have to do with my Catholic faith? Our Catholic faith calls on us to uphold the life and dignity of all human life and to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters everywhere. Conflict in Sudan has already cost millions of lives, displaced millions more, and deepened widespread poverty. As Catholics, we must take action to prevent violence and save lives as well as assist our neighbors in need.
How is the Catholic Church promoting peace and stability in Sudan? CRS has worked in Sudan since 1972 and is currently active in Darfur, South Sudan and in the capital, Khartoum. Working in partnership with the Catholic Church in Sudan and with affected communities, our focus in Darfur is to provide humanitarian assistance such as food and essential household items as well as establishment of shelters for people displaced by the violence. In the South we also promote development assistance through education, agriculture, water and sanitation and health care initiatives and support peace efforts that strengthen civil society and civic education.
A delegation of Sudanese bishops are visiting the United States June 12-28 to meet with Church leaders, policymakers, and others to raise their concerns and call for increased efforts to build a peaceful future for Sudan.
For more information, contact:
Stephen Hilbert, Policy Adviser for Africa/Foreign Aid, International Justice and Peace, USCCB; 202-541-3149, firstname.lastname@example.org Tina Rodousakis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager, CRS; 410-951-7462, email@example.com
Our Hait Commitment:
Link to information on immigration:
Contact Information for Governor Crist:
Office of Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (850) 488-7146
[Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time]
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