Moratorium on executions in Arkansas. America moves away from the death penalty.
February 17, 2014. An Arkansas judge decided to stop all the planned executions until the application method of the death penalty will not be revised. All U.S. States that practice the death penalty are involved in the problem. the Judge Wendell Griffen decided to give reason to nine death row inmates who have called for the suspension of the sentences in Arkansas. The current law in fact speaks of barbiturates to carry out the executions but it does not specify which ones and does not provide other information on the training of staff who practice the injection. The Sant'Egidio Community hopes that the dispute will be resolved, that still does not violate the 8th amendment, which protects against a "cruel and unusual punishment" and that soon the death penalty is suspended in all States.
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USA: Moratorium in Washington State. How the thinking changes about the death penalty in the U.S.
12 february 2014. The Governor Inslee has signed a moratorium on the death penalty in the hope that his gesture would let the Washington State to join what he called "a growing national debate about capital punishment". From now on if a death sentence will arrive on his desk, he will decide a postponement, that will not be a pardon and will not transform the sentence, but will enter into a change of thought. The death penalty has become embarrassing and it seems that George Lombardi, director of the Missouri prison system, has a hard time finding anyone who wants to do the job of executioner and must hide his identity. Irregular procedure for the purchase of drugs for lethal injection by a company of Oklahoma, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes it. Since 1976, Missouri has been carrying out 71 executions and the condemneds waiting in the death row are 48.
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Argentinian delegation against the death penalty with Sant'Egidio at the human Rights Committee of the Lower House
February 6, 2014. Lidia Guerrero de Saldano, an activist in the international campaign for the abolition of the death penalty and the mother of Victor Saldano, an Argentinian inmate who has spent 17 years on death row at the Huntsville prison in Texas following a highly controversial trial, appeared today at a hearing of the permanent committee on human rights, part of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Lower House. She was accompanied by representatives of the Community of Sant'Egidio, which has closely followed the case of her son both in Buenos Aires and Rome, and Juan Carlos Vegas, a lawyer and former member of the Argentinian Parliament. On Wednesday the pope greeted delegation in St. Peter's Square before his general audience. The delegation briefed the president of the human rights committee, Mario Marazziti, and other parliamentarians present at the meeting on developments in case of Victor Saldano, sentenced to death in Texas on counts of kidnapping and murder at the conclusion of a trial that the American Supreme Court deemed marred by racial prejudice. After 17 years on death row, the prisoner is affected by a severe psychological depression, bordering on madness. His lawyers are trying to obtain his transfer to a common jail. In response to the appeals of his guests, Marazziti asserted that the death penalty, which has no deterrent value against crime nor does it ensure the safety of the population, is the result of a purely retributive concept of punishment, which discounts any possibility of rehabilitation or re-education for the convicted felon. The committee is undertaking a fact-finding mission with the aim of creating an alliance between parliamentarians and parliaments capable of exercising a positive influence on a world-wide scale in order to alter the culture underlying legislation providing for capital punishment.
Papa Francesco incontra la madre e i legali difensori di Victor Saldano, condannato a morte in Texas
5 febbraio 2014. Anche la Comunità di Sant'Egidio di Buenos Aires, da sempre impegnata per la lotta alla pena di morte e per la salvezza di Vìctor, accompagnerà la delegazione. L'avvocato Vegas ha spiegato che i ricorsi fanno riferimento all'asserita discriminazione razziale che ha pesato sul processo, a presunti vizi del sistema giudiziario texano, a ipotesi di violazione dei diritti umani, nonché allo stato di totale prostrazione psicologica del detenuto dopo 17 anni nel "braccio della morte". "Parleremo al Pontefice, simbolo a livello mondiale per la forza della sua autorita' morale - ha detto il legale -, e gli faremo presente come tra le nostre richieste ci sia il fatto che Saldano, in virtu' del suo stato psicologico, sia almeno detenuto in un carcere comune". read all >
Papua New Guinea: concern in the Church for the 13 convicts who will be executed
1 february 2014. Here Fides Agency words of "Deep concern" and "Absolute opposition to the death penalty" expressed by Msg. Douglas Young, Archbishop of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, for the Minister of Justice Kerenga Kua's determination to execute within the year 13 convicts currently in the death row.
The letters that break the bars
December 29, 2013. Over the years, many correspondences have been showing that having someone to write it marks the time, opens up a space of love, it helps not to lose faith. The days pass all the same and nothing distinguishes them from each other. From "Famiglia Cristiana" a new appeal to send a greeting card for New Year to Anthony Farina, unjustly sentenced to death, for many years in the death row. For him, as for so many condemneds, to write and receive mail is like breaking the bars in order to make the words and affection, coming from outside, pass through.
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Appeal to a mobilization to save from a death sentence Anthony Farina
Appeal to a mobilization to save Anthony Farina from the death sentence
The Sant'Egidio Community, Reprieve and Hands Off Cain in the World Day for Human Rights renewed the mobilization to save Anthony Farina from the death penalty. The positive news for Anthony Farina, the Italo-American sentenced to death in the United States in his brother's stead, is the rejection, by the Federal Court 11th Circuit, of an appeal filed by the Florida Prosecutor against the decision of the death sentence retrial. On September 30, the court had in fact stated the unconstitutionality of the way in which the Anthony's death sentence was requested because the prosecution, addressing the jurors to invoke the death penalty, manipulated the words of the Bible , calling himself "agent of God" and "instrument of divine punishment", therefore improperly influencing the jury, in violation of the 8th Amendment .
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The Capital of Texas speaks shyly against the death penalty.
Austin, capital of Texas, the state where most of the USA executions occur, joins the initiative "cities for life", which puts together 1600 cities in the world to say no to the death penalty. For the first time under the City Town Hall a group of protesters of Pax Christi and other Catholic organizations. Militants read aloud the names of the 507 death row inmates killed since 1982 when the capital punishment was reintroduced. Obviously in Austin a public building could not be brightened, as it happens in Rome since 2002 with the beautiful lighting of the Colosseum thanks to the initiative of the Sant'Egidio Community, but we will go ahead working in order to help the Texans to be aware that there is an alternative to the capital punishment, and Texas will change mind as well. read all >
Bishops of Florida call for mercy for the condemned
October 11, 2013. Prior to the scheduled execution of William Frederick Happ, the Bishops of Florida call on Governor Rick Scott to demonstrate mercy and commute Mr. Happ's sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Happ is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. at Florida State Prison near Starke. The Church views all individuals, even those who have caused great harm, as possessing a human dignity that is sacred and instilled in us by God. A respect for all human life is recognized by those around the state who will gather prior to Mr. Happ's execution to pray for his victim, Angela Crowley, and all victims of violent crimes and their families, for persons on death row awaiting execution, and for the end of the use of the death penalty. read all >