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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…

China remains world's top executioner, Iran next, says Amnesty report

Chinese death-row inmates
China has remained the world's top executioner amid a decline in global executions, Amnesty International's annual report on capital punishment said on Thursday.

Amnesty International recorded at least 993 executions in 23 countries in 2017, down by 4 % from 2016 (1,032 executions) and 39 % from 2015 when the London-based organisation reported 1,634 executions, the highest number since 1989.

Besides China, 84 % of all reported executions took place in just 4 countries -- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) resumed executions in 2017, the report said.

Executions noticeably fell in Belarus (by 50 %) and Egypt (20 %). However, it increased in Palestine from 3 in 2016 to 6 in 2017; in Singapore from 4 to 8; and in Somalia from 14 to 24.

In 2017, Guinea and Mongolia abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes.

While Kenya abolished the mandatory death penalty for murder, Burkina Faso and Chad also took steps to repeal this punishment with new or proposed laws.

"The progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition... It is high time that the rest of the world follows their lead and consigns this abhorrent punishment to the history books," said Amnesty's Secretary General Salil Shetty.

The report also showed Amnesty International recorded commutations or pardons of death sentences in 21 countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the US.

The organisation recorded at least 2,591 death sentences in 53 countries in 2017, a significant decrease from the record-high of 3,117 recorded in 2016. At least 21,919 people were known to be on death row at the end of 2017.

Source: ibtimes.sg, April 12, 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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