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Miami archdiocese sets prayer vigil to protest convict's execution

Catholic World News - December 11, 2012

The Archdiocese of Miami has organized a prayer vigil for December 11, as prison officials in Florida prepare to execute a convicted killer, Manuel Pardo, Jr.

“Recourse to the death penalty is both cruel and unnecessary,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. “Modern society has the means of protecting itself. We do not make the case that killing is wrong by killing.”

Pardo was convicted of killing 9 people in a 1986 crime spree. A former police office, the convicted killer said that his victims were involved in drug trafficking, and he was helping society by eliminating them. Characterizing himself as a “soldier,” Pardo told jurors at his trial that he had “accomplished my mission” and preferred execution to a lifetime in prison.

The Catholic bishops of Florida issued a statement making the opposite argument:

Recognizing that Manuel Pardo, Jr. wrongfully killed instead of pursuing legal means to arrest persons violating the law, the Catholic Bishops of Florida continue to speak out against the violence of execution and plead for life in prison without possibility of parole for Mr. Pardo.

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