Saturday, June 24, 2006

Death penalty news

Reuters News Service reports today that the death penalty has been abolished in the Philippines:
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, seeking to shore up support from powerful Roman Catholic bishops, on Saturday signed a law abolishing the death penalty before her imminent visit to the Vatican.

The new law offers a reprieve for more than 1,200 convicts on death row who faced lethal injection.

Some critics said the law was a sop to win Church support for moves to change the constitution and to soften opposition from bishops to a revival of the mining industry.

``We yield to the high moral imperative dictated by God to walk away from capital punishment,'' Arroyo, a member of the huge Catholic majority in the Philippines, said in a speech.
. . .
The president's advisers denied her decision to abolish the death penalty was designed to woo the Church, which recently said it was concerned about the government's rush to amend the constitution to shift to a parliamentary system.

The entire article is here.