DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     December 3, 1998     vol. 9, no. 235

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CWNews.com) - The Missouri Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to change the planned date of execution for a convicted murderer that was originally set for the same time Pope John Paul II will be visiting the city.

          The court had originally set January 27 as the execution date for Darrell Mease, 42, who was convicted in the murder of his former drug-dealing partner, the man's wife, and their handicapped son in 1988. But the court later changed the date to February 10 without additional comment.

          Kent Gipson, a lawyer who has challenged many of Missouri's death sentences, said he thinks the court changed the date because of the potential embarrassment of carrying out the execution while the Holy Father is visiting the state. The Pope has been a vocal opponent of the death penalty, even directly lobbying US governors to grant clemency for death row inmates. "Somebody figured out they had set the date for the night the Pope was in town and didn't want any undue attention called upon the death-penalty machine," Gipson said.

          The Holy Father is scheduled to arrive in St. Louis on January 26 and leave the next day after attending a youth rally.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 3, 1998       volume 9, no. 235


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