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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

The 13 countries where being an atheist is punishable by death

Atheism
Around the world, a number of countries continue to criminalize atheists and humanists, with 13 having laws which enable them to impose the death penalty.

It's often said that the world is becoming an increasingly secular place. 

Just last week David Cameron sparked backlash when he used his Easter message to describe the UK as "a Christian country". 

Critics pointed out that just 30 per cent of people in the UK describe themselves as religious, making Britain one of the least religious countries in the world. 

53 per cent of people say they have no faith, while 13 per cent claim they are committed atheists.

However, despite the prevalance of atheism and humanism in the UK, many may be surprised to know that having no faith can be a life or death matter around the world. 

In thirteen countries, you can be sentenced to death for not having a faith:

1. Afghanistan.

2. Iran.

3. Malaysia.

4. Maldives.

5. Mauritania.

6. Nigeria.

7. Pakistan.

8. Qatar.

9. Saudi Arabia.

10. Somalia.

11. Sudan

12. United Arab Emirates

13. Yemen

In a number of other countries, the death penalty is not a formal punishment on statute books but atheists and humanists have been murdered by religious extremists on account of their beliefs.

In countries including India and Bangladesh, police have been accused of condoning these murders by failing to investigate them properly. 

At least 3 atheist bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh after penning posts advocating that scientific proof should inform opinion above religious beliefs.

Source: The Times of India, March 31, 2016

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