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…

Death penalty debate rekindled in Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Speculation surrounding the reintroduction of the death penalty has heightened in Turkey following comments made by head of a minor Turkish party allied with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Mustafa Destici, leader of the Great Unity Party (BBP), suggested a proposal to reinstate the death penalty for offences such as murder, treason and sexual offences against children would be introduced to Turkey's parliament in October. 

He also suggested a referendum could be held in which the electorate could decide on the issue. 

Debate about the death penalty, abolished in 2004, has been ongoing in Turkey since the attempted coup of July 2016, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having frequently said he would endorse any legislation that reinstates the punishment.

However implementing any such decision would be problematic according to Ozturk Turkdogan, head of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD). 

Turkdogan, a lawyer, pointed out that Destici's proposal would require changing Turkey's constitution, rather than laws and that gaining the necessary numbers of votes in Turkey's 600 seat parliaments to do this, or even to bring the issue to a referendum, would be difficult.

He also pointed out that Turkey is a signatory to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Additional Protocol No. 2 and a member of the European Court of Human Rights, both of which prohibit the death penalty.

Any reintroduction of the death penalty, Turkdogan said, would also be tantamount to "economic suicide", because it would result in the official end of Turkey's decades old-bid for European Union membership.

Source: ahvalnews.com, August 6, 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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