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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…

Death penalty is no longer needed in Washington

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It is time to abolish the death penalty in Washington state.

A proposal in the Legislature sponsored by state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-College Place, is worthy of support.

Walsh offers strong arguments for ending capital punishment, starting with concern that families must endure the long and emotional appeals process in murder cases. Media coverage opens old wounds. And when the convicted killer is executed, families don't feel vindicated, she said.

"The death penalty is not accomplishing a wonderful relief for these families," Walsh said.

Beyond that, the appeals process is very expensive. A Seattle University study in 2015 found the appeals process in death penalty cases cost $1 million more than keeping the killer in prison for life.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has put a moratorium on executions while he is in office. The public reaction, which has been essentially very little, indicates the public either agrees or does not care.

The last execution in Washington was in 2010 at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla. To that point this newspaper accepted the death penalty as an option to punish those convicted of the most heinous acts imaginable.

The state has used capital punishment sparingly - and appropriately - since the death penalty was reinstated in 1981 and used for the 1st time in 30 years in 1993. 5 inmates have been executed - 2 by hanging and 3 by lethal injection - since capital punishment was reinstated.

A total of 110 executions have been carried out in the state (and before that territories) since 1849.

In 2009, the Union-Bulletin did an in-depth look at the death penalty. It was clear the costs of implementing the death penalty were enormous - about $20 million from 1981 through 2009 - with the appeals processing accounting for most of the spending.

Sentencing some to death is far more expensive than life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Some of the arguments for retaining the death penalty are based on the emotion of seeing a brutal killer pay the ultimate price, rather than as a deterrent to crime, or even justice.

A better approach, given the excessive expense and lack of relief for families, is to bring closure to these cases more quickly.

A sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole serves taxpayers as well as justice.

Source: Union-Bulletin,  Editorial Board, January 17, 2018


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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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