by Judy Gross, NCR
Tallahassee, FL — Pope Francis called for an end to capital punishment the day before an Oct. 24 rally that drew those opposed to the death penalty to demonstrate in front of the Old Capitol here. The weekend assembly was sponsored by Pax Christi Florida, Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty, and Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP).
Florida has exonerated the highest number of death row prisoners in the nation. However, FADP director Mark Elliott said the current Florida governor, Rick Scott, “is in a horse race with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to see who wins for the most executions.” Texas leads with nine executions so far this year, followed by Missouri with eight and Florida with seven. Chadwick Banks is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Florida on Nov. 13. If it goes through, Banks will become the 20th person to die by lethal injection in Scott’s four years, the highest of any Florida governor.
Since Florida reinstituted capital punishment in 1979 after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban against state-sponsored killing, 88 inmates have been executed in the state. There are approximately 400 inmates awaiting execution on Florida’s death row. According to FADP, the cost to the state’s taxpayers is $1 million a week versus $750,000 for extended life imprisonment…