Film screening - All Saints Cinema - 918 1/2 Railroad Avenue Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m.
Rene Robert, a Catholic priest, devoted his life to helping the less fortunate. He was regarded as a “living saint” in the tight-knit community of St. Augustine, Florida.
But when Fr. Rene began helping ex-convicts after they’d been released from prison, the people closest to him worried that he was putting his life at risk—especially the local sheriff, David Shoar, one of Fr. Rene’s longtime friends.
So, in April, 2016, when Fr. Rene failed to show up at a church service, Sheriff Shoar immediately put his best detectives on the case and local residents began searching for the beloved priest. It quickly became apparent, however, that he was not just missing—someone had taken Fr. Rene Robert against his will.
More than 100 inmates condemned to death could face a major upheaval, as a revamped Florida Supreme Court ponders whether to undo a 2016 ruling that allowed nearly half of the state’s Death Row prisoners to have their death sentences revisited. With a conservative bloc of justices led by Chief Justice Charles Canady now in the majority, the court has begun the process of reconsidering whether changes to Florida’s death penalty-sentencing system should continue being applied retroactively to cases dating to 2002.
"Without being aware of it, Vernon Madison might become a footnote in constitutional law because he is barely aware of anything. For more than 30 years, Alabama, with a tenacity that deserves a better cause, has been trying to execute him for the crime he certainly committed, the 1985 murder of a police officer. Twice the state convicted him unconstitutionally..."
The patron saint of corrections officers, St. Adrian of Nicomedia, is said to have been a Roman officer astonished by the faith and courage of the Christians whose torture he was supervising. Legend has it that he declared himself a Christian and ordered his own name to be added to the list of those facing the death penalty, although he had not even been baptized.
Sometimes courageous and prescient individuals are ahead of their time and can even change history. In 1986 Florida Gov. Leroy Collins said, “Citizens of Florida, I say the death penalty is Florida’s gutter of shame. We have more people in jails and prisons than all but a few states. These are signs of failure.”
Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty coordinates and encourages the efforts of local individuals and groups to promote alternatives to the Florida death penalty. Our members represent diverse backgrounds and persuasions but are united by the conviction that capital punishment is bad public policy.