After 18 months with no executions in Florida, Mark Asay is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, August 24, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Asay received two death sentences for the 1987 murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell.
In an August 21 letter on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, appealed to Governor Rick Scott to commute Asay’s death sentence to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“Indeed, Mr. Asay’s violent acts call out for justice and should be condemned,” said Sheedy. “However, life without parole is an alternative and severe sentence. We hold that if non-lethal means are available to keep society safe from an aggressor, then authority must limit itself to such means.”
In concluding his letter to the governor, Sheedy notes, “We pray for all involved in this tragic situation: you, as the final authority in the state over Mr. Asay’s life or death; the condemned and his conversion guided by his spiritual advisors, and the victims and their loved ones.”
Prior to Asay’s scheduled execution, Catholic faithful and other concerned Floridians will gather in prayer in locations around the state. There are four counties in the Diocese of St. Augustine that have sites for the prayer services. See below.
Click here to see the full text of Sheedy’s lett er to Governor Scott .
Across the highway from the Florida State Prison Execution Building, Starke, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Drive eight miles west of U.S. 301 on Florida Highway 16 West. Contact: Miriam Elliott at (352) 278-4342 or by email: email@example.com.
In front of the new Duval County Unified Courthouse, 501 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Contact: Jackie Gunning at (904) 449-3328 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Maureen Kelley, OP at (904) 704-0313 or email: email@example.com.
In front of the Flagler County Courthouse, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., 1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bunnell. Contact: Don Gregg, (386) 445-9637 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or John Bangert at (386) 246-2970 or by email: email@example.com.
St. Johns County
In front of the St. Augustine Beach City Hall at the corner of A1A and 16th Street, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Contact: Nancy O’Byrne at (904) 422-3618 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.