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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…

Iraq Shelves Death Sentence Of German Woman Who Joined IS

IS female militants
An Iraqi court has lifted the death penalty handed to a German woman for belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group, sentencing her to life in prison instead, German foreign ministry sources said Tuesday.

The German woman of Moroccan origin, identified by German media as Lamia K., was condemned to death by hanging in January for providing “logistical support and helping the terrorist group to carry out crimes”.

“The foreign ministry confirms that the death penalty against a German citizen in Iraq was commuted to a life sentence. The verdict is not yet final,” a ministry source told AFP.

The woman continues to receive consular assistance from the German embassy in Baghdad, the source added.

Lamia K. left Germany with her two daughters in 2014 to join IS.

One of the daughters was killed while with the jihadists, a judicial source told AFP.

Lamia K. and her other daughter were arrested by Iraqi forces during the final stages of the battle to oust IS from its stronghold Mosul last July.

According to German news agency DPA, the commutation of her death penalty comes after Lamia K. appealed the verdict. An Iraqi life sentence usually translates to 20 years in jail, or 15 years with good behaviour, DPA added.

While hundreds of foreign suspected jihadists are being held by Iraqi authorities, Lamia K. was believed to have been the first European woman sentenced to death in the country for links to IS.

Her surviving daughter, in her early 20s, was given a one-year jail term for illegal entry into Iraq, Die Welt daily reported.

In February, a 17-year-old German teenager was sentenced to six years in prison for membership of IS and illegally crossing into Iraq.

Iraqi authorities announced the defeat of IS last December after a gruelling three-year battle.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 24, 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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