PC-FLAC’24 Issues – Death Penalty & Criminal Justice

Death Penalty & Criminal Justice

This page will be updated regularly. Please suggest additions by contacting one of the Coordinators. We welcome volunteersto join this Issue Committee.


Nancy O’Byrne: Nancy.obyrne@currently.com / 904-422-3618
Fr. Fred Ruse: fredruse@yahoo.com / 386-451-3865

Research Volunteer: TBA

Policy Focus:

Over the past year we have seen Florida pass laws that affirm the death penalty and expand its use. We have also seen a rash of executions. Florida remains one of 27 states that has the death penalty. Since its founding in the early 1980s, PCF has long stood in opposition to state-sanctioned murder as we proclaim, “Not in My Name.” We have long collaborated with Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and similar organizations. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (CCC, 2267). We uphold the sanctity of human life, regardless of moral rectitude. Pope Francis reminds us of this when he says, “Always, in every legal sentence, there must be a window of hope. Capital punishment offers no justice to victims, but rather encourages revenge. And it prevents any possibility of undoing a possible miscarriage of justice. Additionally, the death penalty is morally inadmissible, for it destroys the most important gift we have received: life. Let us not forget that, up to the very last moment, a person can convert and change.” (Sept., 2022; See link to Francis’ video below.)

Capital Punishment is one of several elements in the criminal justice system of Florida in need of reform. We advocate for restorative justice. Again, Pope Francis tells us, “Fear and resentment can easily lead to viewing punishment in a vindictive and even cruel way, rather than as part of a process of healing and reintegration into society.”  (Address to Delegates of the International Association of Penal Law October 23, 2014)

Please join us and other Floridians who we seek to eliminate state-sponsored executions and advocate for reforms in our criminal justice system.

Some Background on the Issue

Pope Francis’ Prayer Video for the Abolition of the Death Penalty  (2022)

Existing Policies that are current law
Specific Policies put forth in the 2024 Legislative Session as they emerge
  • SMI Campaign (Protecting People with Serious Mental Illness from the Death Penalty)
Other organizations and initiatives with whom we may collaborate on this issue
Advocacy Actions

Ask Governor DeSantis and Florida Board of Clemency to Stay the Execution of Michael Zack, scheduled for October 3; Consider adding your name to two Petitions:

Pax Christi Florida Contact Information

Our mailing address is:
Pax Christi Florida
Sandra Baran, Coordinator
6062 Robinson Street
Jupiter FL 33458

Email: pianopeace1@gmail.com

Pax Christi Florida’s Communication Coordinator:
Beth Cioffoletti (shoofoolatte@gmail.com)

%d bloggers like this: