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“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

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The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

Uganda gay bill may lose death penalty clause

The Ugandan parliamentarian behind an anti-gay bill that attracted worldwide condemnation has said the most controversial part of the legislation - the death penalty provision - is likely to be dropped from the bill.

David Bahati said yesterday that if the parliament committee the bill currently sits before recommends that the death penalty provision be removed, "I would concede."

"The death penalty is something we have moved away from," Mr Bahati said.

After his anti-gay bill was proposed some 18 months ago, it attracted international condemnation, including from President Barack Obama. Since the initial uproar, the bill has languished in committee.

But Stephen Tashobya, the chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, said the legislation may come up for a vote before parliament's session ends on May 12.

"We shall try and see how far we can go with the bill," he said.

Source: The Scotsman, April 27, 2011
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