History's Journal

February 2, 1918: The Practice of Capital Punishment

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At one-year anniversary ofteh promulgation of the Constitution of February 5, 1917, the daily El Democrata reported that in some articles of the Magna Carta had spelling and style errors that put at risk the impartial and clear practice of the articles. The first case was on article 22 of the Constitution about the practice of the deat penalty in our country.

The diary questioned if the national justice system would apply the death penalty to a defendant accused of murder, he should have acted with malice aforethought, premeditation, and advantage, as its was written in the Constitution or it was enough that the murderer would act with only one of these aggravating circumstances to apply capital punishment.

For journalist Rafael Martínez Rip-Rip, member of the Constituent Assembly of 1917 and director of El Democrata, its was not to judge the laws, but "to judge according to law". Although he was not in favor of the death penalty, he believed that an aggravating factor of the three stipulated by article 22 of the Constitution was sufficient to apply capital punishment to the murderer, however, it was in the hands of the judges its correct practice.

Finally, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ruled that article 22 of the Constitution remained as drafted on January 12, 1917: malice aforethought, premeditation or advantage.

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