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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…

South Dakota: Convicted prison guard killer to be executed in the fall

Rodney Berget
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Convicted prison guard killer Rodney Berget is set to be executed in the fall, South Dakota's attorney general said Wednesday.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement that Berget, 56, is scheduled to be executed between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. 

Jackley's office said the warden of the state penitentiary will choose the specific time and date, which will be announced within 48 hours of the execution.

Circuit Court Judge Bradley Zell issued a warrant of execution for Berget.

Berget pleaded guilty in April 2012 to killing Ronald "R.J." Johnson in a failed prison escape attempt in April 2011 along with fellow inmate Eric Robert, who was executed in 2012.

An attorney for Berget wasn't immediately available to comment to The Associated Press. 

Berget's mental status and death penalty eligibility have played a key role in court delays.

Berget in 2016 appealed his death penalty sentence, but later asked to withdraw it despite the advice of his lawyers, the Argus Leader reported .

"I want this to be the last day I appear in court," Berget said at a September 2016 hearing.

The last execution in South Dakota was the lethal injection of Donald Moeller on Oct. 30, 2012, for the killing of Becky O'Connell.

Source: redwoodtimes.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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