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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…

Judge says Texas death row inmate's sentence should be reduced due to false evidence at trial

Jury box
Paul Storey's case had been granted another review less than one week before he was scheduled to be executed. 

A Tarrant County judge has recommended that a death row inmate’s sentence be changed to life without parole after reviewing evidence that there was false evidence introduced at his trial.

Paul Storey was sentenced to death in September 2008 for the 2006 murder of Jonas Cherry, the assistant manager at a miniature golf course near Fort Worth that Storey and another man were robbing. 

Storey was set for execution in April 2017, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted Storey’s execution less than a week before it was set to take place. His defense attorneys accused prosecutors of lying to jurors during his original trial. The state’s highest criminal court sent the case back to the Tarrant County trial court to review those claims.

According to court documents, a prosecutor told the jury during Storey’s 2008 trial that “it should go without saying that all of [Jonas Cherry’s] family and everyone who loved him believe the death penalty was appropriate.” But Cherry’s parents, Glenn and Judith, say that was a lie.

“We do not want to see another family having to suffer through losing a child and family member,” the Cherrys said in a letter to the governor about Storey's case. “Due to our ethical and spiritual values we are opposed to the death penalty.”

Judge Everett Young wrote Tuesday that “had this evidence been disclosed, there is a reasonable probability” that the jury would have decided differently. 

Those omissions amounted to several constitutional violations, Young said.

The case now returns to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which has final say over Storey’s case.

Source: Texas Tribune, Emma Platoff, May 9, 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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