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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…

Arkansas Parole Board releases former death row inmate Timothy Howard

DNA testing
An Ashdown, Arkansas man is freed from death row after two decades of maintaining his innocence in the murder of a Little River County couple and attempted murder of their child.

Timothy Howard was released from prison 20 years to the day that Brian and Shannon Day were discovered at separate crime scenes.

Brian was shot and dumped inside a U-haul truck.

His wife, Shannon, was found strangled inside their home.

The couple's baby was found inside a duffle bag with a cord around his neck, injured but alive.

Howard was sentenced to two death sentences in 1999.

His convictions were thrown out in 2013.

Then in 2015, a new trial for Howard was ordered after the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the lab compromised DNA samples.

Prosecuting attorney Bryan Chesshir represented the case 18-years later, and says there shouldn't have been questions regarding DNA.

He says the evidence was irrefutable.

"The person who testified for the DNA testified that the only way it couldn't have been him was if it had been a sibling with identical DNA," said Chesshir.

In the second trial, Howard was convicted on lesser charges of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder and sentenced to 38 years in prison.

He was denied parole in 2015, but released last Wednesday after 20 years behind bars, where most of that time was spent on death row.

Howard is currently on maximum suspension, which requires employment, periodic drug testing, no association with the victim or the victim's family and obedience to a curfew.

Source: ktbs.com, December 15, 2017


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