National Catholic Reporter

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Capital punishment

Bishops welcome court's review of using lethal injection in executions

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The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review the use of lethal injections in carrying out executions is a welcome move, said the chairmen of two U.S. bishops' committees.

The court said Jan. 23 it will review the drug protocols of lethal-injection executions in the state of Oklahoma and consider whether such procedures violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"I welcome the court's decision to review this cruel practice," said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Georgia parole board refuses clemency for death-row inmate with low IQ

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The State Board of Pardons and Parole in Georgia on Tuesday rejected pleas from Catholic and other death penalty opponents that death-row inmate Warren Lee Hill be given clemency because he has a low IQ.

His execution by lethal injection scheduled for that evening was to go forward as scheduled at the state prison in Jackson, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervened. News reports said he had come within hours of execution three times before in recent years.

Texas Catholics ask Texas governor to stop exeuction of mentally ill prisoner

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Updated 11 a.m. central time: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has halted the execution of a Texas death row inmate with a history of schizophrenia, just hours before he was to be put to death in Huntsville. Read more: Federal Appeals Court Issues Stay For Panetti

Philippines called to lead campaign against the death penalty in Asia

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Hundreds of people who gathered at a public square here for a rally against the death penalty lit candles and joined in singing "Heal the World" to close a historic dialogue on human rights and respect for the dignity of life.

It may have ended months of work for the first Asia Pacific dialogue on the theme "No Justice without Life." But Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. and other speakers pointed out that much work remains for Filipinos to foster dialogue on the death penalty and ensure that the country's laws do not again allow executions.

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