Prayer Vigils Canceled Due to Stay of Execution

October 24, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed his third death warrant Wednesday, Sept. 25, for the execution of 73-year-old James Dailey. If carried out, this would have been the 100th execution in Florida since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the 1970s.

However, as of Wednesday, Oct. 23rd Dailey’s execution has been stayed, meaning a federal judge postponed the execution by 90 days to allow his newly appointed federal attorneys an opportunity to present their case.

Based this new information, the prayer vigils around the diocese that were previously scheduled for Nov. 7, the day of the execution, have been canceled.

Dailey was convicted for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. He is a life-long Catholic, a veteran who completed three tours in Vietnam and one in Korea, and has a strong case for actual innocence. Prosecutors have conceded that there is no physical evidence tying Dailey to Boggio’s murder, no eyewitnesses placing Dailey at the scene of the crime, and his co-defendant, Jack Pearcy (who received a life sentence), has signed a sworn affidavit stating that he committed the crime. However, the Florida Supreme Court had not previously granted Dailey a new trial based on procedural time bars.

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