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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…

Japan: Death penalty sought for man over 2016 dagger killing at Osaka home

Inside Tokyo's Fuchu prison
OSAKA - Prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for a 25-year-old man who allegedly stabbed a man to death with a dagger and injured his three children at their home in Osaka Prefecture in 2016.

During the trial at the Osaka District Court, the prosecutors said Yuma Kobayashi aimed to kill the entire family, whom he was unacquainted with, while they slept. Defense lawyers have argued he is mentally incompetent and cannot be held criminally responsible for the attack.

According to the indictment, Kobayashi broke into the house of carpenter Yukinobu Kawakami, 43, in the city of Kadoma on Oct 19, 2016, killing him with a dagger and injuring his 20-year-old and 19-year-old daughters as well as his 17-year-old son.

Kobayashi, who had a history of schizophrenia, has denied the allegations, saying there are many things he does not recall doing. The defense team told the first court hearing earlier this month that Kobayashi "brought the dagger upon receiving orders from three unidentified men through brainwaves and found Kawakami in a pool of blood."

Calling his acts "extremely cruel," the prosecutors said Kobayashi "flagrantly made light of lives" and that the death penalty cannot be avoided.

Under a system that allows victims to take part in trials, a surviving family member told the court Thursday that the defendant "should repay with his life" for his crime. Kobayashi made remarks against that statement, prompting the court to temporarily halt the session.

The prosecutors indicted Kobayashi in March last year as they concluded following psychiatric examinations that he can take criminal responsibility.

Source: Japan Today, March 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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