Church members will meet at 7 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pensacola, St. Mary Parish in Fort Walton Beach, St. John the Evangelist Parish in Panama City and St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in DeFuniak Springs.
The vigils will, according to the Diocese’s website, “allow time for prayer for the victims of crime, for the families of those involved, and to seek to more deeply understand the teachings of the Church on the death penalty as it relates to the dignity of human life.”
The church’s notice outlines their opposition to the death penalty, stating:
“The Church’s commitment to the value and dignity of human life leads us to oppose the use of the death penalty. We do not question society’s duty to protect itself, but we believe that there are better approaches to protecting our people from violent crimes. The application of the death penalty has been discriminatory toward the poor, the indigent and racial minorities. Capital punishment contributes to the escalating atmosphere of violence in our society and undermines belief of the inherent worth and dignity of human life.”
Howell was convicted of the 1992 death of Florida state trooper Jimmy Fulford. Fulford was performing a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10 when he opened a package that contained a pipe bomb.
He is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. ET by lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.