Execution Opponents Gather

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

Death penalty opponents are rallying to oppose the scheduled execution of Daryl Mack even though he has repeated his desire to die.
"It still begs the question, should we be killing someone who
killed someone to show killing someone is wrong?" said the Rev.
Charles Durante, a member of the Nevada Coalition Against the Death
Penalty.
"The fact somebody is volunteering for it or saying they don't
want any more appeals doesn't make it any more right," he said in
an interview.
Mack, 47, has waived available appeals and says he wants to die
even though he denies sexually assaulting and strangling Betty Jane
May in a southwest Reno boarding house in 1988.
"We stand for looking for alternatives to violence in order to
respond to violence. By taking a life, it denigrates everyone
involved, including the people of the state."
The coalition protesting Wednesday's scheduled execution with a
candlelight prayer vigil outside Nevada State Prison includes
Nevada members of Amnesty International, the American Civil
Liberties Union, the NAACP and the Life, Peace and Justice
Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno as well as members
of a number of other area churches and synagogues.
"I oppose the death penalty as a human rights violation," said
Nancy Hart, a member of Amnesty International.
"We deeply sympathize with all those who have lost relatives or
friends due to violent crime, but there is no justice in killing,"
she said.
Durante, a Catholic priest, said it would be the seventh
execution he has protested since he helped organize the first vigil
outside the prison to oppose the execution of Richard Moran in
1996. He said he doesn't understand why the state schedules
executions at night.
"For years they were doing it at midnight and they still do it
at 9 o'clock in the dark of night," Durante said.
"We don't do any other state function at this time of day,
which says to me they want to keep it quiet, keep it hidden," he
said.
"If it is such a good thing and moral thing to do, then why do
we have to do it in the dark?"


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