MADPET is for the Abolition of Death Penalty, an end of torture and abuse of rights by the police, an end to death in custody, an end to police shoot to kill incidents, for greater safeguards to ensure a fair trial, for a right to one phone call and immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, for the repeal of all laws that allow for detention without trial and an immediate release of all those who are under such draconian laws.
Friday, August 03, 2018
Pope Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable in All Cases(New York Times, 2/8/2018)
Pope Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable in All Cases
ROME — Pope Francis has declared that the death penalty is wrong in all
cases, a definitive change in church teaching that is likely to
challenge faithful Catholic politicians, judges and officials in the
United States and other countries who have argued that their church was
not entirely opposed to capital punishment.
Francis added the change to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church,
the book of doctrine that is taught to Catholic children worldwide and
studied by adults in a church with 1.2 billion members.
Francis said executions were unacceptable in all cases because they are
“an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” the Vatican
announced on Thursday.
The church also says it will work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
Francis’ decision is likely to put many American Catholic politicians in
a difficult position, especially Catholic governors, like Greg Abbott
of Texas and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, who have presided over
And it could set off a backlash among American Catholic traditionalists
who have already cast Francis as being dangerously inclined to change or
compromise church teaching on other issues, like permitting communion
for Catholics who have divorced and remarried without getting a church
It could also complicate the lives of judges who are practicing Catholics.
In a 2002 article,
Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, said, “I do not find the
death penalty immoral,” and added that he was confident that Catholic
doctrine allowed for it to be used in some cases.
He wrote that it would be a bad idea if Catholic judges had to recuse
themselves in death penalty cases or if Catholic governors had to
promise commutations of death sentences, and commented, “Most of them
would never reach the governor’s mansion.”
The new teaching appears to make the conflict much sharper, if not definitive.
President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett M.
Kavanaugh, is Catholic, as are Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor. One
of the other finalists for the vacancy created by the retirement of
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is also
She wrote a 1998 law review article suggesting that Catholic judges
should consider recusing themselves in some death penalty cases that
might conflict with their religious beliefs.
Abolishing the death penalty has been one of Francis’ top priorities for
many years, along with saving the environment and caring for immigrants
and refugees. He mentioned it in his address to
the United States Congress on his trip to America in 2015, saying that
“from the beginning of my ministry” he had been led “to advocate at
different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty.”
He added, “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is
sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and
society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of
crimes.” - New York Times, 2/8/2018