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Bishops to speak against death penalty in priest's killing

Gavel
Posted at 12:12 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 12:12:00-05

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Catholic officials from Georgia and Florida are urging a Georgia prosecutor to reverse her decision to seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing a Florida priest.

Hank Sims, the acting district attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, is seeking the death penalty against Steven Murray, who faces charges in the April killing of the Rev. Rene Robert.

Catholic bishops held a news conference Tuesday outside the Richmond County Courthouse. They note that Robert left a signed and notarized "Declaration of Life" saying that if he were to suffer a violent death he wouldn't want the person responsible to be executed.

Former district attorney Ashley Wright has said she considered the facts in the case and the aggravated nature of the slaying when deciding to seek the death penalty.

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