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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 defense attorney files rare death penalty motion

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time in Fresno County Superior Court history, a defense attorney has filed a rare motion, arguing a death penalty qualification on a jury panel for an African American defendant will deprive them of equal protection.

Attorney David Mugridge's client, Leroy Johnson spent almost nine years in jail on murder charges.

Mugridge says studies show most African Americans are against the death penalty and he is worried those jurors will be disqualified based on their predisposition toward life rather than death.

He argues his client will not receive the right to a fair and equal sampling of all races.

"Theoretically as a defense attorney I'd love to have everybody on the jury be opposed to the death penalty, the people have the right to a fair and balanced jury just as much as the defendant does and I just want to make sure it ends up being fair and trial for both sides," said Mugridge.

Johnson's trial was supposed to start in January, but it could be postponed.

Mugridge also says this has only been done in the State of California once before.

Source: abc30.com, December 14, 2017


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