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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…

Burkina Faso abolishes death penalty in new penal code

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso's parliament has abolished the death penalty by adopting a new penal code that strikes it as a possible sentence.

Justice Minister Rene Bagoro said Thursday that the revised document paves the way for "more credible, equitable, accessible and effective justice in the application of criminal law."

The death penalty was kept in the version of the criminal code adopted in 1996, but Burkina Faso has not imposed capital punishment recently.

Many rights movements, including Amnesty International and Catholic Church activists have pressed the government for a decade to remove it from criminal statutes.

The decision to abolish the death penalty comes amid a landmark trial this year over a failed 2015 coup. 

Two former presidential aides are among more than 80 people facing the military tribunal.

Source: The Associated Press, May 31, 2018


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