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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…

Alabama should speed up executions, state auditor says

Walter Moody
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler said the decades Walter LeRoy Moody sat on Alabama's death row was another example of justice delayed equaling justice denied.

Moody was executed Thursday night for the 1989 pipe bombing death of Federal Judge Robert Vance in Birmingham. Moody, 83, became the oldest inmate executed in the United States since the return of executions in the 1970s.

Moody's tenure of close to 3 decades behind bars and 20-plus years on death row defeats the deterrent element of capital punishment, Zeigler said.

"Thirty years is too long to carry out a sentence. Killers are not worried about what may happen 30 years from now. They think in terms of the next 30 minutes," Zeigler said. "It is very little deterrent to a would-be killer that he might be executed 30 years later."

In 1991, a federal jury convicted Moody of 71 charges related to the death of Vance and Georgia civil rights attorney Robert Robinson, who was also killed by a pipe bomb blast. He was sentenced to 7 concurrent life sentences and 400 years. He was placed on death row in 1996 after being convicted of capital murder in state court.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average time on death row it 190 months, or almost 16 years.

Zeigler said Moody's long period on death row also meant taxpayers had to foot the bill for his room, board and medical expenses.

"We have got to correct this problem and start carrying out swifter justice," he said.

Zeigler said he is working on a plan - dubbed "Execution Delayed is Justice Denied" - that will "greatly speed up executions without increasing the danger of executing the wrong person."

A timeline for the plan to be released was not announced.

Source: al.com, April 21, 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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