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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…

Arkansas lawmakers call for removal of Pulaski County judge after 2nd death-penalty protest

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen
At least 2 lawmakers are calling for the removal of a Pulaski County judge after he publicly protested against the death penalty for the 2nd time.

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen again lay motionless as he strapped himself to a cot Tuesday evening outside the Governor's Mansion.

In a statement, state Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, called the protest a "pathetic and depressing display."

"He has disgraced the office that he holds for years and now is using a desperate, attention seeking move to further bring shame on himself," Garner wrote.

State Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Berryville, agreed in a Wednesday morning post on Twitter.

"It is time for #ARLeg to move to impeach Judge Wendell Griffen. Our justice system must be fair and impartial, and is no place for activism," Ballinger said.

Griffen was barred by the Arkansas Supreme Court from hearing capital punishment cases after he rallied against the death penalty on Good Friday last year.

"We are still killing," the judge told onlookers Tuesday when asked why he returned.

Griffen has sued the state's Supreme Court justices, accusing them of violating his constitutional rights. A federal judge dismissed the high court itself but allowed proceedings against its 7 justices to continue.

Meanwhile, Griffen's attorney, Michael Laux, argued that the judge "has the constitutional right to do this, and we will prove it, if need be."

"Whether praying or protesting - it doesn't matter. Both are protected under the First Amendment," Laux said.

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Source: Arkanas Online, Brandon Riddle, April 18, 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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