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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…

Florida seeing steady decline in number of death sentences

Florida's death row
Florida has been seeing a steady decline in the number of criminals sentenced to death. Currently, there are 347 inmates on death row, but "only" 96 have been put to death since 1979.

In fact, 2016 and 2017 saw a record low, with only 6 people sent to death row combined; a number far fewer than any single year since the death penalty was reinstated nearly 50 years ago.

Experts claim that a possible reason for these low numbers is the fact that jury convictions for death sentences have to be unanimous

Florida halted executions in January of 2016 after the U.S. Supreme Court claimed that the state’s sentencing process was unconstitutional, which led to the requirement of the unanimous jury vote.

Nationally, death sentences have dropped dramatically down 90 percent in the last 20 years.

Ingrid Delgado with the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops says that Floridians’ attitudes towards the death penalty is also changing.

"We're cautiously optimistic that the higher standard is going to continue to lower number of death sentences," Delgado said. "In general, we support an end to the use of the death penalty, as society can be kept safe with alternatives like life without parole."

However, experts say that the trend toward fewer death sentences isn’t likely to continue.

"It would not be unreasonable to anticipate that the numbers may increase again since the legislature has final responded to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Mark Schlakman, a human rights attorney.

There has already been 1 person sentenced to death in Florida since the start of 2018.

Source:  WCTC news, April 14, 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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