Cities for Life: Join the Movement to End the Death Penalty
November 17, 2016 • Diocese of St. Augustine

The Diocese of St. Augustine and Equal Justice USA are joining efforts in calling the North Florida community to attend Cities for Life on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Shrine at Mission Nombre de Dios, 101 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine.


Cities for Life began 15 years ago by the Rome-based Sant’ Egidio Community ( Today, there are more than 2,000 cities worldwide that have declared themselves Cities for Life, and are committed to abolishing the death penalty. It is the largest international mobilization effort to bring about a more civilized form of justice, renouncing capital punishment.

This is the second year the diocese has sponsored Cities for Life and this year it takes on even more importance with Duval County being singled out as an “outlier” in its overuse of the death penalty.

In August, clergy released a letter to the State’s Attorney’s Office signed by dozens of religious leaders demanding there be a halt to death penalty prosecutions in Duval County.

Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine spoke at a news conference, saying “Whenever we can choose life over death, we are called to do so. Duval County’s high use of the death penalty raises grave concerns and goes completely against promoting a culture of life, since means other than execution are available to keep society safe.”

Featured speakers at Cities for Life, include:

  • Darlene Farah – Mother of murder victim, Shelby Farah
  • Herman Lindsey – Exonerated Florida Death Row inmate
  • Reginald Gundy – Pastor of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, Jacksonville
  • Deborah Jackson – Spouse of Florida Death Row inmate, Kim Jackson
  • Father John Gillespie – Pastor of San Sebastian Catholic Church, St. Augustine

Faith leaders are calling on members of the community to join the worldwide movement to abolish the death penalty by attending Cities for Life. We are also calling on all area churches to ring their bells at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 30, in solidarity to end the death penalty.