I Was In Prison
Online Prison Ministry Newsletter
February 7, 2006
Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed
Upcoming Events:

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University of Notre Dame presents:
Dale S. Recinella, JD (ND Law 1976)
Catholic Lay Chaplain for Florida’s Death Row & Solitary Confinement

“The Death Penalty Leaves No Survivors”
Hesburgh Center for International Studies
7:00 – 9:00pm Wednesday February 14, 2007
Open to all Students and the Public

“A Tour inside Death Row & Solitary Confinement”
Notre Dame Law School
12:00 noon Thursday February 15, 2007
Open to all Law Students

“The Untold Story of the American Death Penalty”
Notre Dame Law School
1:00pm Thursday February 15, 2007
Open to all LLM Graduate Students

Series sponsored by:
University of Notre Dame Law School Center for International Human Rights and ND-ASK [ND Against State Killing]

For details contact: [NDL] Jessica Erin Tannenbaum (574) 386-1796 jessie@alumni.nd.edu or jessie.tannenbaum@gmail.com [ndask] Will McAuliffe (315) 559-7010 or mcauliffe.4@nd.edu
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Florida Catholic Bishops’
Campaign against the Death Penalty


Dale S. Recinella and Dr. Susan M. Recinella are the featured speakers in this program on the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty in America.

The Bishops of Florida have approved this series of presentations to educate Catholics and interested others about Church teaching on the death penalty.

Attendance by catechists, educators, Respect Life coordinators, and Peace and Justice Committee members is particularly encouraged.

The program will be offered in every diocese in Florida during 2007.

Diocese of Orlando
Orlando, FL – Saturday March 3, 2007
9:30am – 12:30pm
Barry University
Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Courtroom
6441 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, Florida 32807

For information contact:
The Criminal Justice Office – Catholic Charities of Central Florida or
The Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Orlando
Thomas Gillan @ 407-658-1818 or Leotrainer@aol.com
or Sheila Hopkins (Florida Catholic Conference): (850) 205-6826 or shopkins@flacathconf.org


Who Would Be Left To Pull The Switch?
By: Dale Recinella

Here comes my friend from Church. His face is purple. I’m hoping he’s just upset about vote counting. No such luck.


“You’ve done it!” an angry pointed finger arrives well ahead of him. “You’ve misled by misquoting Scripture.”

“Please,” I raise both hands, palms out, attempting to redirect the onslaught. “Please be specific.”

“Your column about Moses. Utter nonsense,” he sputters with exasperation. “How could you say Moses would be on Florida’s death row!”

“It’s true,” I step back, speaking slowly. “Under Florida law, even the briefest moment of mental reflection qualifies as premeditated first-degree murder. Scripture says that Moses looked around to see if anybody was watching. That’s first-degree capital murder. Moses would be on Florida’s death row.”

“How can you say that! You are diminishing God’s word;” he slams a closed fist into his other hand. “God mandates executions for murderers. It’s in the Mosaic law!”

I’ve never seen my friend this agitated. The truth must be breaking through.

“Let’s step back a bit,” I entreat, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Let me ask you some questions about your family.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Trust me, it’s crucial.”

“Fine.”

“You have several children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren—step grandchildren…”

“Yeah, by the carload. So, what!”

“Have any of them ever played with Ouiji Boards or Tarot Cards or called a psychic hotline?”

“What…what are you talking about?”

“Have any of your daughters, nieces or granddaughters ever made out with a boy they weren’t married to?”

“Have you lost your mind? What are you talking about?”

“Have any of your sons or grandsons or nephews ever been rebellious or swore or cursed at you or their parents?”

“What a stupid question,” he shakes his head, sputtering at me in dismayed anger. “Did all your kids skip adolescence?”

“Has anyone in your family had an affair or been greedy to win the lottery?”

“Have you lost your cotton-picking mind? Greed is a national pastime! What is your point?”

“Does anyone in your family read horoscopes?”

“Yes…yes, I’m sure everyone in my family has done at least one of those things. So what?”

“According to the Mosaic law, your whole family should be executed.”

“What! Are you nuts! If we did that, everybody would be subject to the death penalty.”

“Brother, read your Bible. That’s what it says.”

“That was thousands of years ago. Times have changed.”

“It really wasn’t just thousands of years ago. Only a few hundred years ago the original capital offenses written into law in our New England colonies were quoted right from the Old Testament complete with the scripture cites. In 1665 New York, striking one's parents was a capital crime and in 1647 Massachusetts, the death penalty covered witchcraft, adultery, cursing one's parents and being a rebellious son. Between that time and now the courts have gradually disallowed various punishments, such as disemboweling, beheading, drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, crucifixion, breaking on the wheel or the like. They say our society has evolved to the point where we can’t accept cutting children's tongues out, stoning, burning people alive, beating the evil out of children--all punishments prescribed in the very same Old Testament Scriptures that are quoted to support the death penalty.”

“Fine. So, times have changed from a few hundred years ago.”

“Funny, that’s kind of what the Pope said.”

“Where? When did the Pope say that?”

“A few years ago, 1999, in St. Louis Missouri. What he said exactly was:” Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”




First published: The Florida Catholic, November 23, 2000.
© 2000 Dale S. Recinella & The Florida Catholic..
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
No further reproduction or republication without prior written permission.

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This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.

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Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

If you Like this Weekly Ezine - You will love Dale's Book!
Sr. Patricia Proctor
Paperback: 433 pages

Excellent book on the topic!,
June 13, 2005 Nathan Eanes
(Review from Amazon.com)

The Biblical Truth about America's Death Penalty is a must-read. It deals with Biblical standards of Capital Punishment and then compares them to the system used in America today. It is the best-researched, most faithful to scripture, and most evenhanded analysis I have ever read concerning the Death Penalty. Whatever your persuasion on the issue, this book will teach you a great deal. Recinella is a trained lawyer and committed Christian who now volunteers part-time on Florida's death row. He thus understands law, the Bible, and the system of execution in America. I challenge anyone who supports the Death Penalty to read this book.



This ezine edited by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC - Poor Clare Sister
to support the IWasInPrison Outreach