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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…

Kenya: Supreme Court to decide on legality of the death penalty

Kenyan courtroom
The Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver a judgment on the constitutionality of the death sentence.

Death row convicts Francis Karioko Muruatetu and Wilson Thirimbu Mwangi, who have been in jail for the last 14 years since 2003, had filed the case at the apex court while seeking that the mandatory death penalty should be scrapped from the Kenyan law.


Abolished


The duo were convicted alongside 5 other suspects, including the wife of former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja, for the grisly murder of businessman Lawrence Githinji Magondu.

As of December 2010, 139 countries out of 197 under the UN had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The decision to be delivered is expected to be a landmark one.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists Kenyan chapter, Legal Resources Foundation, Katiba Institute and the Death Penalty Project are listed as amicus in the case.

Death penalty


Notably, in Kenya, there have been no executions since 1987 for accused persons sentenced to death.

Those sentenced to death are to serve a lifelong jail term unless pardoned by the President.

Murder and robbery with violence attract the death penalty in the Kenyan criminal law.

Mandatory death sentence now unconstitutional in Kenya


Mandatory death sentence is no longer lawful in Kenya.

This is after the Supreme Court on Thursday declared Section 204 of the Penal Code, which stipulates mandatory death sentence, as unconstitutional.


'Valid'


However, the top court specified that this decision does not affect validity of the death sentence.

The decision means death sentence is still lawful but not mandatory.

Murder and robbery with violence are the offences in the Kenyan criminal law that attract a death penalty.

The top court judges directed the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and other relevant agencies to prepare a detailed professional review of all murder and robbery with violence cases similar as pertains sentencing.

They also ordered that a copy of the judgment be forwarded to Speakers of Parliament and the National Council for Law Reporting to give way forward for any necessary amendments to death sentence.

The judges also ordered that the 2 Kenyans who filed the suit should have a priority hearing before the High Court and be freshly sentenced.

Murder


Death row convicts Francis Karioko Muruatetu and Wilson Thirimbu Mwangi, who have been in jail for the last 14 years, filed the case.

They asked the apex court to scrap mandatory mandatory death penalty from the Kenyan law.

The duo were convicted alongside 5 others - including the wife of former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja for the murder of businessman Lawrence Githinji Magondu.

As of December 2010, 139 countries out of 197 under the UN had already abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists Kenyan chapter, Legal Resources Foundation, Katiba Institute and the death penalty project were listed as amicus in the case.

Source: nation.co.ke, December 13, 2017


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