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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

California death row inmate James Majors found dead

James Majors
A man on California death row has been found dead, prison officials say.

SAN QUENTIN (KRON) — A San Quentin State Prison inmate on death row died Thursday morning of unknown causes, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Condemned inmate, 69-year-old James David Majors of Sacramento County, was pronounced dead around 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning at a nearby hospital, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said.

The cause of death is unknown pending autopsy results.

Majors was on death row at San Quentin State Prison since February 1991.

He was sentenced to death by a Sacramento County jury for the Jan. 25, 1989 robbery and first-degree murders of Thomas Probst, Jeanine Copeland and Patrick Mungavin at a home in Fair Oaks, according to officials.

Majors and his accomplice, Robert Reese, came to Sacramento from Arizona with the intention of buying a pound of methamphetamine.

He and Reese shot and killed the three victims and stole methamphetamine, money, and jewelry from a safe in the home.

The victims were discovered by Copeland’s 8-year-old son.

Reese was found shot to death in Arizona a month after the murders, officials said.

California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.

Since then, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says, “71 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 25 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, one was executed in Virginia, eight have died from other causes, and two (including Majors) have their cause of death pending. There are currently 749 offenders on California’s death row.”

Source: KRON4.com, January 28, 2017

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