Death penalty | Texas Public Radio

Death penalty

From Texas Standard:

Pope Francis says the death penalty is "inadmissible" under all circumstances. The Vatican announced the change Thursday what the Catholic Church has maintained for centuries. Until now, Catholic teaching has left some room for support of capital punishment.

Within hours of the announcement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he'd introduce legislation to end the death penalty in his state. However, it’s not clear whether the same could happen in here. Texas has used the punishment the most over past decades – by a wide margin. And the Pope’s statement isn’t a major change of course.

The Catholic Church now formally considers the death penalty "inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and is pledging to work for its abolition worldwide.

It's a shift for the church, which used to consider the death penalty a "means of safeguarding the common good" in response to "certain crimes." The update to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the book of official teachings of the church, was announced Thursday.

Ken Piorkowski / Wikimedia Commons | http://bit.ly/2zXBhaP

This week on "Texas Matters," we look at the death penalty.

Texas has executed 553 prisoners since capital punishment resumed in 1976, which is more than any other state. Over 11 years, Michelle Lyons watched 278 men and women take their last breath at the hands of the state.

Lyons joins us to discuss her experiences witnessing executions first as a newspaper reporter and then working for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the book, “Death Row: The Final Minutes.”


my_southborough via Creative Commons

A San Antonio man scheduled to be executed this month is asking the governor for clemency.


From Texas Standard.

Texas is re-upping a request to “opt in” to a federal law that would speed up the execution appeals process in the state, potentially leading to quicker executions.

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