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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…

Thailand: Six men sentenced to death over Krabi execution-style killings

Thailand village massacre
BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Krabi Provincial Court on Wednesday (March 28) handed down the death penalty to six men for the shocking massacre of a village head and seven of his family members, including three children.

The brutal killings occurred at the victims' home in Krabi province last July. Three people survived the execution-style attack.

National police commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda came to the courtroom to listen to the verdict in the high-profile case.

The public was shocked last year to learn that Worayuth Sunglung, a village headman in Ao Luek district, had been shot in the head along with relatives after being held hostage for hours.

Shortly after the killings, police arrested eight suspects including Surifath Bannopwongsakul, also known as "Bang Fath". All of the suspects were prosecuteded.

Surifath reportedly had a dispute with Worayuth after he failed to return land-title deeds to the latter. Worayuth had initially submitted the deeds as collateral for a loan, but after Worayuth repaid his debts, Surifath did not return the documents.

Both men had threatened each other over the issue several times before the massacre occurred.

Krabi Provincial Court on Wednesday convicted Surifath and five other defendants of the massacre, with all of them sentenced to death. Two other defendants, one of them a woman, received jail terms for more minor roles in the crime.

Tawatchai Boonkong was convicted just of intrusion into a private property and stealing valuables of the deceased. He received a 19-month jail term.

Chalita Sangkhachart, the only female defendant in the case, was sentenced to 12 months in jail for hiding the valuables stolen from Vorayuth's wife, who died in the massacre.

Six defendants convicted of the killings were also ordered to pay 60,000 baht (S$2,500) in compensation each year, for a certain period of time, to eight plaintiffs.

Anchalee Prikdam, who survived the massacre, said she was satisfied with the verdict.

Worayuth's father-in-law, Jaree Butrterb, said he would consult with relatives before deciding whether to appeal or to file civil lawsuits against the convicts for financial compensation.

Kriangsak Saraphi, a lawyer for the defendants, said his clients were upset.

"We will definitely file an appeal," he said.

While capital sentences are not infrequent in Thailand, the last execution was more than 10 years ago.

Source: The Straits Times, March 29, 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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