National Catholic Reporter

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Death penalty

In a groundbreaking vote, Latino evangelicals call for end to death penalty

A leading group of Latino evangelicals has called for an end to state-sanctioned capital punishment, the first national association of evangelicals to do so.

In a unanimous vote Friday, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged its 3,000 member congregations to end capital punishment across the country.

"As Christ followers, we are called to work toward justice for all," coalition President Gabriel Salguero said. "And as Latinos, we know too well that justice is not always even-handed."

Pope Francis calls death penalty 'unacceptable,' urges abolition

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Pope Francis came out squarely against the death penalty once again, calling it "unacceptable" regardless of the seriousness of the crime of the condemned.

Pope Francis met with a three-person delegation of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty on Friday and issued a letter on the occasion urging worldwide abolition.

Citing his previous messages against the death penalty, the pope called capital punishment "cruel, inhumane and degrading" and said it "does not bring justice to the victims, but only foments revenge."

Executions are down and abolition may not be far behind

It looks like the death penalty may be on life support.

January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states -- Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- stopped executions planned for last month. February has just begun, but nine of its 12 scheduled executions have been halted.

Last year was not a good year for the death penalty, either, as death sentences hit a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low.

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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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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