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…

Oklahoma, Business Groups Get Supreme Court Review in Murder Case

Oklahoma
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an unusual death penalty case that could have outsize implications for businesses operating in Oklahoma.

The justices will review a lower court decision that stripped Oklahoma of the power to prosecute American Indians in much of the eastern part of the state. The ruling also called into question Oklahoma's regulatory authority in historically tribal territories.

Business groups and the Trump administration joined Oklahoma in urging Supreme Court review. Oklahoma told the justices the federal appeals court decision "will impose intolerable and destabilizing uncertainty throughout half the state."

In throwing out Patrick Dwayne Murphy's death sentence, the appeals court said that only the federal government had the power to prosecute him because the murder Murphy committed took place on land that is still part of the Creek Nation reservation.

The 3-judge panel said in a 126-page opinion that Congress didn't take the necessary steps to "disestablish" the Creek reservation in preparation for Oklahoma becoming a state in 1907.

"Because Mr. Murphy is an Indian and because the crime occurred in Indian country, the federal court has exclusive jurisdiction," the panel said. "Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction."

Murphy was convicted of the 1999 mutilation and murder of his former girlfriend's lover, George Jacobs. Both men were members of the Creek Nation.

Five Tribes


Although the Murphy case directly concerns only the Creek Nation, the appeals court's reasoning could also affect land once inhabited by the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes, which have similar histories.

Murphy's lawyers urged the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal. They said the appeals court correctly relied on a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that requires Congress to show a clear intent to change a reservation's boundaries.

The Trump administration said the ruling would upend century-old understandings. The U.S. government would suddenly have exclusive responsibility to prosecute crimes committed by or against Native Americans in most of 8 counties, including the city of Tulsa, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the court.

"That expansion could result in a massive increase in the federal government's Indian-related law-enforcement responsibilities," Francisco argued in court papers.

Trade groups for the Oklahoma oil and gas, ranching and farming industries said the ruling also would reverberate outside the criminal context, stripping power from the state and giving it to Native American tribes. The groups said tribes would potentially be able to impose taxes, issue regulations and force businesses and individuals into tribal courts.

The case is Royal v. Murphy, 17-1107.

Source: Associated Press, May 22, 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

New Study: Death Penalty Costing Nebraska Taxpayers $14.6 Million Each Year

Nebraska executes Carey Dean Moore

The Brits on death row around the world hoping to escape execution

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

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

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

Tennessee executes Cecil C. Johnson Jr.

Should 'Late Adolescence' Protect Young People from Execution?

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