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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…

Zambian gov't to consult citizens on abolishing death penalty: official

Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Wednesday that it will next year consult citizens on whether the death penalty should be left in the country's statute books or removed.

Minister of Justice Given Lubinda said his ministry's agenda for next year will also include sensitizing citizens on the need to abolish the death penalty as well as refinement of the country's constitution.

The Zambian minister was speaking when he held a bilateral meeting with Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando on the sidelines of the 10th International Congress of Justice Ministers in Rome organized by the Italian government whose theme is "A World Without the Death Penalty."

While acknowledging that the death penalty has remained in the country's statute books for years, the Zambian minister said no death warrants have been signed by successive presidents since 1997, according to a statement released by the Zambian embassy in Rome.

According to him, successive presidents have relied on the constitutional provisions to grant the prerogative of mercy to convicts on death-row and commuting death sentences to life imprisonments.

"Death penalty in Zambia which is enshrined in the constitution is very topical and Zambia has been for all intents and purposes a de facto abolitionist state," he said.

On his part, the Italian minister commended the Zambian leaders on its efforts toward abolishing the death penalty.

He said the Italian government was happy that Zambia was making strides in engaging its people in seeing to it that the death penalty was abolished.

Human rights campaigners in Zambia have been calling for the death penalty to be removed from the statute books.

In July 2015, Zambian President Edgar Lungu commuted the sentences of 332 death-row prisoners to life imprisonment.

Source: Xinhua, November 30, 2017


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