UN Votes Against Death Penalty
By EDITH M. LEDERER, AP
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday called for a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing executions, approving a resolution opposed by the U.S., China and Iran.
The vote in the 192-member world body was 104-54 with 29 abstentions. The resolution is not legally binding but carries moral weight and reflects the majority view of world opinion.
Two previous attempts to have the General Assembly adopt a moratorium on the death penalty — in 1994 and 1999 — failed.
Amnesty International, which campaigned for a resolution, said that since then, the number of countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or practice has risen.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the resolution "a bold step by the international community."
"I am particularly encouraged by the support expressed for this initiative from many diverse regions of the world. This is further evidence of a trend towards ultimately abolishing the death penalty," he said.
The Vatican, a leading opponent of capital punishment, also welcomed the vote. "It shows that despite persistence of violence in the world, an awareness of of the value of life ... is growing in the human family," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said on Vatican Radio. "This vote is interpreted as a sign of hope and a step forward on the road to peace."
"The value life...is growing in the human family." With all due respect to Rev Lombardi, I thought the value of life was given in the Bible, Genesis 9:6.
"Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. (New American Standard).
Apparently, the Catholic Church like some Protestant denominations no longer consider the Bible as the cornerstone of their faiths. For thousands of years, it's been clear to Jews and Christians that the value of life has been sacrosanct and the penalty for taking a life was death but in these post-modern years we have decided that we are too wise, too educated, too "scientific" so to speak. It's a brave new world and the "human family" is writing its new rules on the fly. As we say in the south, "Lord, help us."