DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     January 29-31, 1999     vol. 10, no. 20

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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MISSOURI GOV. COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE CITING PAPAL PLEA

          JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (CWNews.com) - Missouri's governor on Thursday commuted the death sentence of a convicted murder, after a plea for clemency by Pope John Paul II.

          Darrell Mease had been convicted of murdering a drug partner and two others in 1998 and had been scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. The state Supreme Court postponed the execution until February in December, apparently because of the Holy Father's visit to St. Louis this week, although the court denied the claim.

          Now, Gov. Mel Carnahan has decided to accede to the Pope's plea for mercy. "In reaching this decision, I took into account the extraordinary circumstances of the pope's request and the historical significance of the papal visit to St. Louis and the state of Missouri," Carnahan said in a statement. He emphasized that he still supports capital punishment.

          The Holy Father said in his homily during Mass at the Trans World Dome on Wednesday that the death penalty is "both cruel and unnecessary." He said human life must not be taken away "even in case of someone who has done great evil." The pontiff added that society could protect itself against criminals without "definitively denying criminals the chance to reform."

          Following the Mass, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano invited Carnahan to Archbishop Justin Rigali's residence to discuss Mease's execution.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 29-31, 1999       volume 10, no. 20
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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