FEATURED POST

Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

Image
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…

Texas: Death row inmate scheduled for execution files appeal claiming he was high at time of slaying

 Erick Davila
With weeks to go before his scheduled execution, defense lawyers for Erick Davila are arguing that he should be spared death because he was high at the time of the slaying and didn't intend to kill more than one person.

The Fort Worth man was convicted of killing a rival gang member's mother and a 5-year-old girl at a children's birthday party in 2008. He was sentenced to death in 2009 and is slated for execution on April 25. But his lawyers have long argued that Annette and Queshawn Stevenson were not his intended victims, according to court filings.

Instead, lawyers say in a Tarrant County court filing, he was aiming for rival gang member Jerry Stevenson. When he opened fire on a children's birthday party, he missed his mark - in part due to bad vision, lawyers say - and killed a grandmother and young child instead.

He was sent to death row for killing more than one person - but his attorney, Seth Kretzer, says he only meant to kill the one. And killing just one person is not necessarily a death-eligible crime.

"The jury never learned that at the time of the shooting Davila was heavily intoxicated, likely to the degree that it would have rendered him temporarily insane," Kretzer wrote in a court filing.

In February, lawyers questioning Davila's codefendent learned that the convicted triggerman was on a cocktail of PCP, weed, and ecstasy the day of the crime.

"The fact that Davila was high on such powerful chemicals at the time of the shooting would have been the perfect compliment to Davila's defense that he did not intend to harm any women or children," Kretzer wrote.

But, he argued, due to bad jury instructions, the jury didn't realize that they needed to find Davila intended to kill two people to find him guilty of capital murder in the case presented. Defense lawyers at the time failed to raise the issue.

Now, in a petition filed last week requesting a stay, Kretzer raises claims from bad lawyering to withheld evidence to bad jury instruction and targets Texas's capital sentencing scheme as unconstitutional.

Source: chron.com, Keri Blakinger, April 2, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Tennessee executes Billy Ray Irick

Tennessee executes Cecil C. Johnson Jr.

Saudi Arabia crucified a man in Mecca while aggressively calling out Canada over human rights

Nebraska executes Carey Dean Moore

Yemen: Paedophiles shot and hanged from crane after boy, 10, is raped and killed

Paralysis, eye gouging, amputation, crucifixion: The Medieval punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

URGENT APPEAL for Anthony Haynes to be executed in Texas on 18 October

USA: State of Nebraska set to carry out first execution in 21 years

What happened in and outside Riverbend prison as Billy Ray Irick was put to death

Fentanyl Used to Execute Nebraska Inmate, in a First for U.S.