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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…

Ohio Parole Board rejects mercy for Cincinnati killer claiming "homosexual panic"

Robert Van Hook
The Ohio Parole Board has recommended against mercy for a condemned killer whose attorneys cite a history of abuse and untreated mental illness.

The board ruled 8-1 Friday against the clemency request by death row inmate Robert Van Hook.

They say he experienced a "homosexual panic" of self-revulsion before killing a man he picked up at an Ohio bar.

Van Hook is scheduled to die July 18 for strangling and stabbing David Self in Cincinnati in 1985.

Prosecutors say courts have fairly considered Van Hook's childhood and mental health claims previously and there are no grounds for sparing him.

They also dismiss Van Hook's "homosexual panic" claim as nonsense, saying he made a practice of luring gay men to apartments to rob them.

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office also notes Van Hook has an extensive history of violence while incarcerated, including stabbing a fellow death row inmate in November.

The parole board heard arguments last week for and against Van Hook's clemency request.

Gov. John Kasich will have the final say.

Source: Associated Press, June 3, 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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