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El Paso Groups Say Death Penalty Is Not The Answer

Less than two hours after William Josef Berkley is executed, El Pasoans will gather at St. Patrick Cathedral to hold a vigil.

The El Paso Chapter of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Criminal Justice Ministry of St. Patrick Cathedral believe the death penalty should be abolished. Berkley is scheduled to be executed at 5 p.m. El Paso time Thursday.

“What we’re saying is, using violence, killing somebody, is not going to stop what’s going on,” said Charles Doyle of the Criminal Justice Ministry of St. Patrick Cathedral. “Somewhere along the line you have to say enough is enough. What we are praying for is an end to the violence.”

The anti-death penalty groups will have a vigil at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Patrick Cathedral. The bilingual vigils last half an hour and in the past have been led by different people, including bishops, priests and lay people.

Texas leads nation in the number of executions since death penalty was reinstated in 1976, according to the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. There are 11 El Pasoans currently on death row.

As of Dec. 31, 2005, there were 3,254 offenders who were sentenced to death in the United States.


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