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Nigerian bishops: death penalty is return to ‘savagery’

Catholic World News - July 01, 2013

The bishops of Nigeria have denounced the nation’s resumption of capital punishment following a seven-year moratorium as “a clear departure from modernity to savagery.”

“Just when we believe that Nigeria was on the verge of joining the civilized world in ending the death penalty, we are shocked to hear of the unfortunate execution of four convicted persons in Benin City Edo State,” the bishops said in a statement.

Calling for a constitutional amendment to “proscribe all laws that infringe on the rights of individuals, especially the right to life,” the bishops urged civil authorities “to show more restraint in carrying out functions that extinguish the rights to life and dignity of human persons.”

“Capital punishment neither gives the person the opportunity to conform to the norms of the society, nor give opportunity of deterrence of actual and potential criminals from future deeds of violence,” the bishops added.

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