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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…

South Carolina lawmakers to consider electrocuting death row inmates if lethal injection drugs unavailable


South Carolina lawmakers are set to discuss a proposal Wednesday afternoon that would allow the state to execute death row inmates using the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are not available. 

Under current law, criminals sentenced to the death penalty in South Carolina can choose whether to die by lethal injection or electrocution. 

But because the state does not currently have access to the necessary drugs to complete a lethal injection, authorities have not been able to execute anyone in 6 years. 

A bill proposed by state Sen. William Timmons, R-Greenville, would allow the state to electrocute death row inmates if those drugs remain unavailable, even if they elect for lethal injection. 

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The Senate Corrections and Penology Study Committee is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to debate the measure. 

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has also called on the Legislature to pass a "shield law," which would allow companies to sell the drugs to the state confidentially in order to avoid public scrutiny. 

Source: Post and Courier, Jamie Lovegrove, January 10


Todd Kohlhepp victims plead with senators to improve South Carolina system for executions


Victims of Upstate serial killer Todd Kohlhepp on Wednesday pleaded with senators to improve the state's execution system after the state's prisons director said his agency no longer has the ability to carry out lethal injections. 

Sen. William Timmons of Greenville, a former prosecutor, has proposed 2 bills to change that. 

The 1st would shield firms that supply lethal injection drugs and the 2nd would require those sentenced to death to be executed in an electric chair if lethal injection is not available. 

The Senate panel that took both bills up heard testimony and asked for additional information before adjourning. 

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, who chairs the subcommittee, said he believes the panel will meet again soon and pass out at least 1 of the bills. 

"I think some of the attention over the last couple of months has educated legislators as to how big of an issue it is," he said. "Right now I'm optimistic something will move forward. I think there clearly is a problem. It's a problem for solicitors. It's a problem for the Department of Corrections and we need to try and fix it." 

Timmons said he is hopeful both of his bills will pass. 

Source: Anderson Independent Mail, January 10, 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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