Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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…

San Antonio man 1 of 2 more Texas killers given execution dates

The Walls Unit, Huntsville, where Texas carries out its executions.
Two more Texas killers, including a San Antonio man behind the 2004 slaying of a convenience store owner, now have dates with death.

Christopher Young, who was on probation when he committed the string of crimes in Bexar County that landed him on death row, is now set to die on July 17, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel.

In addition to abducting, raping and robbing a woman, Young was convicted in the killing of 53-year-old store owner Hasmukh "Hash" Patel.

Last year, Young's case sparked pushback from religious leaders who said he deserved a new trial in light of alleged religious discrimination during jury selection.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down his latest appeal in January and Texas prisons received notification of an impending death date earlier this month, Desel said. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Tuesday, TDCJ also received notice that Clifton Williams, an East Texas man convicted of robbing a 93-year-old woman before strangling her and setting her body on fire, was given a June 21 execution date.

News of the upcoming executions comes just a day after a Harris County judge signed off on an execution warrant for Danny Bible, a serial rapist and murderer whose string of rapes, robberies and slayings crossed multiple states.

On appeal, his attorney argued the 66-year-old is no longer a future danger as he is in a wheelchair as the result of a 2003 car crash.

3 Texas killers have already been executed this year, and now 6 more executions are on the calendar.

Source: Houston Chronicle, March 23, 2017

Houston Ice Pick Killer And Serial Rapist Gets June Execution Date

Danny Bible
Danny Bible, a serial murderer and rapist, has been in jail for over 40 years. Now, a judge has set a date for the convicted criminal's execution.

On March 19, a Harris County judge signed a death warrant for Bible. The wheelchair-bound murderer will be put to death on June 27, according to Chron.com.

Josh Reiss, the head of the Post-Conviction Writs Division at the Harris County District Attorney's Office, described the infamous murderer.

"He was the 'Ice Pick Killer.' He was a serial killer. A serial rapist and we're going to pursue justice for these victims," said Reiss, according to ABC 13.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg offered her take on the situation.

"Some criminals' actions are so heinous, they earn the label 'worst of the worst,'" Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement Monday, according to Chron.com. "The jury who listened to the facts and saw the evidence of the crimes Danny Bible committed clearly reached that conclusion by sentencing him to death."

Bible's attorney, Margaret Schmucker, was unsurprised by this most recent development.

"It was not an unexpected event today," Schumucker said, according to Chron.com. "I do think it's unfortunate that the state of Texas is going to execute someone who is so little future danger that he can't even get out of a wheelchair."

Bible's known crimes began in 1979, when the body of Inez Deaton was found near the Houston bayou. Deaton had been stabbed with an ice pick 11 times. Deaton's murder remained unsolved for 20 years.

Between the murder and his eventual incarceration, Bible was involved with a handful of violent incidents, including several beatings of a girlfriend in Montana. He eventually returned to Texas, where he murdered his sister-in-law Tracy Powers, her infant son Justin, and a roommate of Powers' named Pam Hudgens.

Bible was caught in 1984 and pled guilty to the killing of Hudgens, for which he was sentenced to 25 years in prison (and another 20 for an unrelated robbery). He was released on parole 8 years later.

Bible was not reformed by his time in prison and sexually abused 5 younger relatives, including a 5-year-old.

Tera Robinson, a Louisiana woman, would be Bible's next victim. In 1998, Bible broke into her motel room and attempted to rape her. When he could not finish the act, he bound and gagged her. Robinson managed to escape and alert police, but not before Bible fled to Florida.

Bible was caught and brought back to Louisiana, where he confessed to a handful of crimes. Police, however, suspect he may have been involved in much more than he was admitting to.

West Baton Rouge Parish detective Randall Walker reflected on Bible's proclivities.

"There's no telling what we've got here," Walker said, according to Chron.com. "A serial killer can't kill 3 or 4 people and then just quit."

In 2003, Bible was sentenced to death.

Curiously, one attempt at putting Bible to death has already been botched. The car driving Bible to his execution in July of 2003 was involved in a crash. Officer John Bennett died in the wreck. Bible recovered for months at a hospital and now requires a wheelchair as a result of the crash. The injuries incurred led to a series of appeals in which lawyers argued that Bible was no longer a danger due to his deteriorated physical condition.

Appeals continued for over a decade, with lawyers arguing the constitutionality of the death penalty and discussing concerns about jury biases. In 2016, Bible's appeals were rejected.

There are currently no pending appeals for Bible.

3 executions have already ocurred in Texas in 2018, and 3 more executions are currently scheduled.

Source: oxygen.com, March 23, 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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