Despite the protests of Catholic bishops in Florida and Massachusetts and a direct appeal for clemency from Pope John Paul II, Robert Sullivan was executed in Florida's electric chair on November 30, 1983. Florida's Governor Robert Graham, a United Church of Christ layperson who has signed more than 50 death warrants since 1979, refused to stop the execution.
"There are no stays," Graham reportedly said. "God save us all."
The death penalty is increasingly being used in the United States in an attempt to prevent murder and other violent crimes. In the months since Sullivan's death, 10 more people have been executed, and no earthly salvation is in sight for the more than 1,300 inmates waiting on death rows across the country.