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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…

One of the busiest death chambers in the US is fine-tuning its executions

Oklahoma's death chamber
Oklahoma holds one of the busiest death chambers in the US, but for the third year in a row, it has not carried out an execution.

The state—one of more than 30 in the US that has the death penalty—isn’t dialing back on the number of inmates it condemns to death. 

Instead, prison officials and state attorneys are trying to fine-tune its execution procedures after a series of blunders.

A number of botched executions resulted in 2014 being dubbed the worst year in history for the lethal injection. 

In 2015, Oklahoma used a wrong drug in its lethal-injection cocktail to execute Charles Warner—the first known instance of such a mix-up in the US. 

That same year, an inmate was moments away from execution before officials realized its lethal injection also had the wrong formula.

In a statement given to the Associated Press, Republican governor Mary Fallin said the “most solemn responsibility for a state is the taking of a life.”

“The state needs to be certain that its protocols and procedures for executions work,” she added while throwing support behind Oklahoma’s attorney general and Department of Corrections director to carry out these changes.

Currently, 47 of the total 2,817 death-row inmates awaiting execution in the US are in Oklahoma.

Source: Quartz, Lianna Brinded, December 28, 2017


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