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Today (Australian time) Bishop Kevin Manning, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council repeatedly attempted to send the following letter to Governor George W Bush.

Governor Bush's fax and email appear to have been turned off.

The Honorable George W Bush
Governor of Texas
PO Box 12428
Austin, Texas
United States of America

Dear Governor,

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) is the national social justice and human rights agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. It seeks to build social justice networks, educate on issues, present Catholic social teaching, promote a spirituality of justice, research public policy issues and advocate change for a more just society. The ACSJC is an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

We write to urgently appeal to you and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to use the special clemency review program for battered women to review Betty Lou Beets' case. It seems that very significant evidence was not presented in Betty's defense. While such doubt exists about the adequacy of Betty's representation at trial it would be wrong to proceed with the death sentence.

We plead with you to spare Betty's life. Considering the circumstances of Betty's crime, it is highly unlikely that her execution will make the Texas community safer. To end a lifetime of abuse and suffering with an act of State authorized violence can only contribute to a lack of respect for the sanctity of human life.

The protection of the God-given life and dignity of all human beings is one of the most solemn responsibilities of those in high public office. We are praying for Betty, and for you, that you may make a compassionate and humane decision.

Yours sincerely,

Bishop Kevin Manning
Chairman
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Bishop of Parramatta

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