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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…

Bangladesh court sentences 39 people to death for murder

A Bangladesh court Tuesday sentenced dozens of men to death for the brazen daylight murder of a ruling party official in 2014, officials said.

Ekramul Haque, the then Awami League leader in eastern Feni district, was dragged from his vehicle by a mob and hacked with machetes before being shot at point blank range.

The 47-year-old was then placed back inside his vehicle, which was torched. A number of those travelling with the local party leader were injured in the brutal assault.

Court inspector Nojibul Islam told AFP that a judge in Feni district Tuesday sentenced 39 men to death by hanging for the crime. Sixteen others were acquitted.

"We will go to appeal in the higher court against the order," said defence lawyer Rana Das Gupta.

Bangladesh has a history of delivering death sentences in mass trials.

In November, a court upheld death sentences against 139 soldiers for the grisly murders of dozens of senior army officers in a 2009 mutiny.

Last August, 10 Islamist militants were sentenced to death over a failed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by detonating a bomb at one of her rallies.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 13, 2018


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