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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…

Iran: Juvenile Offender Mohammad Reza Haddadi at Imminent Risk of Execution

Iran, executing juvenile offenders
Iran Human Rights (Apr 13, 2018): Mohammad Reza Haddadi, a juvenile offender who was arrested for murder during a robbery at the age of 15, is in danger of execution.

According to a close source, prison authorities have told Mohammad Reza Haddadi’s father that if they fail to obtain the consent of the plaintiff, their son might be executed very soon.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi, currently held at Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, was born on March 17, 1988, and has been in jail since 2002. He is convicted of murder during a robbery along with three other people. 

Haddadi had pleaded guilty at first, but later he explained that his friends promised him some money to admit the charge because he was a minor and he wouldn’t receive a death penalty.

The juvenile offender’s lawyer, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, told Iran Human Rights, “Last year, we were able to delay the execution. The Supreme Court has to apply Article 91 which states that if a juvenile confesses, it should be made clear to him that what would be the consequences. It means the juvenile must be fully aware of his confession and the consequences. A judge in Branch 101 of the criminal court of Kazerun refused to apply Article 91 and claimed that the juvenile was certain about his confession. Whereas, the forensics should decide whether the defendant was mature or not and whether he understood the consequences of his actions. If the judge had accepted our request, we could have saved Mohammad Reza Haddadi.”

The lawyer continues, “I asked the head of the Judiciary to permit the review of the case because there are some pieces of evidence which prove the defendant is innocent. Mohammad Reza comes from a poor family, and the other three deceived him. He only made that confession because he was ignorant and he needed the money they promised him for his family.”

It is worth mentioning that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iran has signed, clearly bans execution and life imprisonment of juveniles.

In 2017, at least five juvenile offenders were executed in Iran. Furthermore, at least three juvenile offenders were executed in January 2018 in Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, 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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