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 man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Death-row cell, Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal Wednesday from a 37-year-old Rio Grande Valley man on death row for stabbing and beheading his common-law wife's 3 children 15 years ago.

John Allen Rubio's appeals lawyer argued unsuccessfully that Rubio's attorneys at his 2010 trial in Cameron County were deficient, that the trial court failed to sufficiently pay for his appellate investigation of the case and that the Texas death penalty sentencing procedure was unconstitutional.

The state's highest criminal court also refused a second supplemental appeal from Rubio as legally improper and declined to consider the merits of the arguments in that appeal.

"I have to say overall I am not surprised by the court's actions." Rubio's attorney, David Schulman, said. "I'm very, very disappointed."

He said he would ask the appeals court for a rehearing, saying he was "shocked" the judges refused the supplemental appeal that included arguments that prosecutors refused to discuss a plea bargain, that mitigating evidence that could have changed the outcome wasn't presented to jurors, and that the trial defense team was hampered by insufficient money from the trial court.

If the request failed, Schulman said other attorneys were prepared to take Rubio's case into the federal courts.

Rubio was convicted twice of the March 11, 2003, slayings of 3-year-old Julissa Quesada, 14-month-old John E. Rubio and 2-month-old Mary Jane Rubio in a squalid Brownsville apartment. The appeals court in 2007 overturned his 1st conviction, ruling that statements from the children's mother, Angela Camacho, were wrongly allowed as evidence during the 1st trial. Camacho pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence for her role in the slayings.

Records show Rubio's brother and his girlfriend stopped by the apartment, spotted the slain infant, ran outside screaming and flagged down a police officer. The officer testified that after he saw decapitated body of a child in a back bedroom, Rubio held his wrists out and said, "arrest me."

At his 2nd trial, Rubio pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, a defense rejected by a jury.

Defense experts testified his childhood - filled with violence at home, "toxic" parents, drug use and prostitution - damaged him developmentally.

Rubio told authorities the children were possessed. Defense experts diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, a determination disputed by prosecution experts.

Source: The Associated Press, May 24, 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