- Jan 17, 2020
Pope Francis on Wednesday said the death penalty “is in itself contrary to the Gospel because it is voluntarily decided to suppress a human life, which is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator and of which God only in the final analysis is the true judge and guarantor.” The pontiff said capital punishment “is an inhumane measure that humiliates, in any way it is pursued, human dignity.”
Marcellus Williams, 48, was scheduled to be executed August 22. His attorneys said the DNA evidence, unavailable during his 2001 trial, proved his innocence. His DNA was not found on the murder weapon, but another man’s was. Williams says he was innocent and convicted on the testimony of individuals who were convicted felons.
A case of a man sentenced to death in 1986 has made it to the Supreme Court, which decided that a defendant has a right to a mental health evaluation. The Court found precedent in the case and the decision could have several important implications for the justice system.
Catholic bishops in the Philippines lauded a 21-day march aimed at criticizing the war on drugs issued by President Duterte which has already cost thousands of lives. Catholic leaders have been vocally opposed to the revival of a harsh death penalty in the country .
Catholics and Church leaders in the United States celebrated the decision by judges in Arkansas to halt the execution of eight inmates in 10 days. The state had planned the executions to take place before the sedative used in the lethal injections expired. It would have been only the third time eight inmates were executed in less than a month.
Two Georgia bishops and one from Florida have appealed to drop the death penalty in the case of a man convicted of killing a 71-year-old priest, saying that “no human life loses it dignity” and noting the priest had specifically signed a request that death not be imposed should he be murdered.