Catholic bishops plead to Governor DeSantis to stay execution of James Dailey, a veteran with evidence of innocence

Posted inFlorida Conference of Catholic BishopsLife Justice & AdvocacyNewsPrison Ministry

Update as of 10/24/19: James Dailey granted stay of execution until Dec. 30


The eight Catholic bishops of Florida have written to Gov. Ron DeSantis urging him to stay the execution of James Dailey. Dailey, who was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio, has a strong case for innocence.

“While we urge you to stop every execution and end the use of the death penalty in Florida, this case of a veteran with evidence of innocence is especially alarming,” wrote the bishops.

Another man, Jack Pearcy, has signed a sworn affidavit that he, and he alone, was responsible for the tragic death of Boggio. No physical evidence ties Dailey to the crime; however, the Florida Supreme Court refuses to allow him to present new evidence proving his factual innocence based on procedural time bars.

Florida leads the nation in death row exonerations and “makes more mistakes than any other state in sentencing innocent people to death,” the bishops noted. “There is strong evidence that James Dailey’s death sentence was yet another failure of justice.”

Dailey’s execution is scheduled to take place on November 7, 2019 at Florida State Prison in Starke. If carried out, his execution will be Florida’s 100th since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the 1970s. This is the third death warrant signed by DeSantis.

Prior to Dailey’ scheduled execution, Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather across Florida at over 30 locations to pray for the victims of violent crimes and their families, for those on death row, for the governor as he confronts the decision to proceed with the execution, and for an end to the use of the death penalty.

Take action

Please take part in the following actions in support of human life and dignity.

Pray

Catholic faithful and members of the community will gather across the state to pray for the victims of violent crimes and their families, for those on death row, for Governor DeSantis as he confronts the decision to proceed with the execution, and for an end to the use of the death penalty. 

  • November 6, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
    St. Vincent de Paul Parish (4843 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday)
    Prayer Vigil will be followed by Evening Prayer and Benediction.
  • November 7, 2019 at 5:50 p.m.
    Spirit FM 90.5 WBVM Tampa will be praying on air.
    Spirit FM is available to listen online at www.spiritfm905.com.

Contact Governor DeSantis

Please send a message to Governor DeSantis urging him to stay Mr. Dailey’s execution.