• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Published annually since 1972, the Historic Documents series has made primary source research easy by presenting excerpts from documents on the important events of each year for the United States and the World. Each volume pairs original background narratives with well over 100 documents to chronicle the major events of the year, from official reports and surveys to speeches from leaders and opinion makers, to court cases, legislation, testimony, and much more. Historic Documents is renowned for the well-written and informative background, history, and context it provides for each document. Each volume begins with an insightful essay that sets the year’s events in context, and each document or group of documents is preceded by a comprehensive introduction that provides background information on the event. Full-source citations are provided. Readers have easy access to material through a detailed, thematic table of contents, and each event includes references to related coverage and documents from the last ten editions of the series. Events covered in the 2018 Edition include:  • Historic U.S. and South Korean diplomatic advances with North Korea  • Investigation of Russian influence in U.S. elections  • Chinese constitutional changes granting presidential terms for life  • March for Our Lives and gun control demonstrations  • Changes to U.S. immigration and trade policies  • Legalization of marijuana in Canada  • Resignation of Australian prime minister  • Pope declares death penalty inadmissible Volumes in this series dating back to 1972 are available as online editions on SAGE Knowledge.

Pope Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable : August 2, 2018
Pope Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable
Linda Grimm

For hundreds of years, the Catholic Church permitted executions as a form of criminal punishment, until Pope John Paul II revised Catholic doctrine to significantly narrow the circumstances in which the church viewed the death penalty as an appropriate sentence. In 2018, at Pope Francis’s direction, the doctrine was further revised to declare the death penalty “unacceptable” in all cases. While senior Catholic officials characterized the change as consistent with recent church teachings, some conservatives argued the pope was rewriting doctrine to suit his personal views. Some also questioned the revision’s significance since most countries no longer use the death penalty.

Pope Francis Challenges Death Penalty

Since his ...

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