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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…

Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa Releases Thousands From Prison

Emmerson Mnangagwa
ED Mnangagwa is commuting death sentences for some prisoners and releasing thousands of people from prison, including most women and everyone under age 18.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's announcement Wednesday is an effort to ease overcrowded prisons. 

"The exercise has not only gone a long way in decongesting our prisons but has served as a reminder to inmates and society that the purpose of imprisonment is founded on the pretext of reformation than retribution," Alford Mashango Dube, prison deputy commissioner-general, was quoted as saying by local media. 

"It is now left to society to ensure that those released reintegrate safely and well within their respective communities."

The mass amnesty is Mnangagwa's first act of clemency since he was sworn in in November. 

Mnangagwa has said he is against the death penalty because he once survived hanging when the southern African nation was still colonial Rhodesia.

Nearly 100 people are on death row in the country of 13 million. 

Those on it for at least a decade are having their sentences commuted to life in prison.

Zimbabwe's last execution was in 2005, partly because no one was willing to be the hangman.

All women except those serving life sentences are being freed. Also freed are prisoners who are disabled or terminally ill and those sentenced to life before Feb. 28, 1998.

About 3,000 prisoners are expected to benefit, said prison deputy commissioner-general Alford Mashango Dube. 

Zimbabwe's prisons currently hold about 20,000 inmates but have a capacity of only 17,000. 

Zimbabwe's former leader Robert Mugabe in November said he was considering resuming executions. But weeks later Mnangagwa took power with the military's assistance after factional fighting within the ruling party.

Source: pazimbabwe.com, March 22, 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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