Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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…

Tanzania President Magufuli releases 61 death-row inmates, a day after pardoning a total of 8,157 prisoners

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday signed documents for the release of the 61 inmates who were on death row, a day after pardoning a total of 8,157 prisoners during the Uhuru fete in Dodoma on Saturday.

Among pardoned prisoners sentenced to life in jail were musicians Nguza Viking alias Babu Seya, and his son Johnson Nguza, alias Papii Kocha. 

According to a State House press statement, President Magufuli had put ink on paper at Chamwino State House in Dodoma and congratulated the Prison Department for its role in facilitating positive behavioural changes amongst prisoners who had committed different offences.

However, Dr Magufuli stressed that, whereas he had pardoned the prisoners in question, the judiciary system should continue to discharge its core function of administering justice in compliance with the law.

Meanwhile, the Head of State called on the Prison Department to engage inmates in production activities, including agriculture and public works. “I preferred to use Article 45 (1) of the Constitution… though it was never applied… you know it is surprising to pardon someone who was convicted to death because it never happened, but I did this for the sake of Tanzanians.

“Continue to administer justice… a person who is sentenced to a jail term should indeed be jailed. And I have directed the Prison department to ensure that no prisoner stays idle and relax; all must work,” he stressed.

In a related development, the Prison Service Commissioner General, Dr Juma Malewa, thanked the President for his historical decision to pardon a big number of inmates, pointing out that the gesture was a moral boost for those serving terms in various prisons.

Dr Malewa said Prisons officials had advised the pardoned inmates who were released on Saturday after the President had made a public announcement to that effect, to become positive example setters for other community members.

Source: Daily News, December 11, 2017

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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