"If anybody loves Father Rene, they'll forgive me because he was a man of God, and forgiveness is forgiveness," Murray said in an April 2016 court appearance, according to WALB News.
At a previous court appearance he had smiled and waved to other people in the room.
"I have mental problems and I lost control of myself. I apologize," he said.
District Attorney Ashley Wright of the Augusta Judicial District intends to seek the death penalty.
Bishop Estevez cited Fr. Rober'ts declaration against the death penalty in a May 26 letter to the district attorney.
He did not receive a reply to the letter. In December, the bishop received signatures of more than 6,400 Catholics in the Diocese of St. Augustine who asked the Georgia courts to honor the priest's wishes.
Wright has indicated that the opinions are not relevant to her decision.
"When I make a decision to seek a particular punishment it is based upon fact and law, and not based on public opinion or sentiment," Wright told the St. Augustine Record last year.
Attending the Jan. 31 press conference were priests and deacons from the three dioceses.
"We have great respect for the legal system and we believe Murray deserves punishment for the brutal murder but the sentence of death only perpetuates the cycle of violence," Bishop Estevez said. "It is unnecessary and denies the dignity of all persons."
Archbishop Gregory explained why the bishops were taking their stand.
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"We do it because we love our faith, we love our country, and we hope our nation will take the lead in preserving, defending and protecting every human life," he said.