Group close to pope urges California's Brown to commute all death sentences

November 29 2018

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ROME (Reuters) - A Catholic group close to Pope Francis and representatives of 25 countries on Wednesday appealed to outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown to commute all the state’s 742 death sentences before laving office.

The Sant’Egidio peace group made the appeal together with the justice ministers of South Africa, Benin, Zimbabwe and Malaysia, and 21 lower-ranking officials from other countries at a conference on the death penalty held in Italy’s parliament.

Mario Marazziti, a Sant’ Egidio leader, asked Brown to “declare a moratorium on all executions and begin the process of commuting the sentences into jail terms before leaving office”.

Brown, who once trained to be a priest of the Jesuit order, will leave office after completing his current two terms on Jan. 7, when Governor-elect Gavin Newsom is sworn in.

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[ Philip Pullella ]