Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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 loses long battle to hide execution drug supplier

Texas' death chamber
A court has cleared the way for the disclosure of an execution drug supplier that the nation's busiest death penalty state has fought for years to keep under wraps

The Texas Supreme Court has cleared the way for the disclosure of an execution drug supplier that the nation's busiest death penalty state has fought for years to keep under wraps.

The decision Friday is expected to only identify the supplier Texas used in 2 2014 executions.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a measure into law the next year allowing the state to keep future supplier records secret.

Republicans hold all seats on the Texas Supreme Court and issued no comment while keeping in place a lower ruling to reveal the supplier identity.

Attorney Maurie Levin sought the supplier name in 2014 on behalf of a death-row inmate. 

She called the decision a victory for transparency.

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Alabama must reveal details of its lethal injection procedure.

Source: Associated Press, June 2, 2018

Texas Supreme Court: state must reveal execution drug supplier

The Texas Supreme Court has dumped the state's appeal to hide where it buys execution drugs, forcing the state to reveal which pharmacy it bought from after years of fighting to keep the information secret. But it may make no difference.

The court ruled without comment Friday, backing a 2017 decision from the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals that found exemptions to the state's open records law cannot hide the pharmacy's identity. 

Prison officials have argued the information should remain secret to protect the drug suppliers from protests from death penalty opponents.

"They have been fighting tooth-and-nail about releasing information about their lethal injection drug supply from 4 years ago," Maurie Levin, one of the three plaintiff lawyers on the case, said about the state's fervent opposition. She said the ruling will effect naming the pharmacy that was used in 2014.

The ruling will have a limited effect, Levin said, because the Texas Legislature changed state law in 2015 to keep secret the names of pharmacies providing the state execution drugs.

Source: Houston Chronicle, June 2, 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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