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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…

Parkland Shooting Suspect Spoke Of 'Voices,' Says He Attempted Suicide

Nikolas Cruz
(NBC News)-- Nikolas Cruz, the teen who confessed to having killed 17 people at a Florida high school, told investigators that he heard voices in his head telling him to "burn, kill, destroy" and that he tried but failed to kill himself two months before the massacre, according to a just-released transcript of his first formal interview with authorities.

Cruz, 19, is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine's Day. His attorneys have said he would be willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, an offer prosecutors have rejected.

Under Florida law, statements that are considered to be the "substance" of a confession must be withheld from the public until trial. As a result, long parts of the transcript of his interview with a Broward County sheriff's detective are blacked out.

It does, however, reveal a deeply troubled young man who, at one point, was overhead talking to himself, saying: "Kill me. Just f---ing kill me. F---."

School and government records previously made public have revealed that Cruz was diagnosed as developmentally delayed at age 3 and had disciplinary issues dating to middle school.

During the interview, he says that he had used a lot of marijuana and had taken a lot of the prescription tranquilizer Xanax.

He says that "two months ago" — which would be mid-December — he swallowed most of a bottle of ibuprofen in an attempt to kill himself because he was depressed by his mother's recent death. But he only got sick, he says.

It wasn't his first suicide attempt, he says, providing no details beyond the word "alcohol."

The transcript shows that Cruz shook his head "no" when he was asked whether he understand his constitutional right to remain silent. After extensive explanation by the detective, he eventually says he understands.

Repeatedly, he tells the detective, "I can't remember anything, dude."

He also seems unable to recall what city he was born in or the name of the friend he had temporarily been living with, although he does ask whether the friend is "okay."

Several times, the detective asks Cruz whether he wants some water. Cruz repeatedly refuses, at one point saying, "I don't deserve it."

Cruz's lawyers strenuously opposed releasing even the heavily redacted transcript, arguing that it would contaminate potential jurors, but they didn't object when a judge overruled them last month.

Gordon Weekes, Cruz's public defender, said he had no comment.

Source: lex18.com, August 8, 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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