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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Virginia: Hundreds of faith leaders call for veto of "electric chair" bill

Three local faith leaders are among more than 300 who are calling on Governor Terry McAuliffe to veto the "electric chair" bill.

House Bill 815 says that if lethal injection cannot be used to execute an inmate because of a lack of the necessary drugs, then the inmate shall be executed by electrocution.

According to a release, the group of interfaith clergy says it believes "the death penalty is wrong, ineffective, born of a mistaken conception of justice."

Reverend Eric Liles, Reverend Joshua Andrzejewski and Reverend Diana Brawley are among the hundreds of faith leaders calling on McAuliffe to veto the bill.

"At the heart of the Christian faith is a belief in redemption and a rejection of cruelty. Resurrecting a brutal killing machine such as the electric chair violates these values," said Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good in Fredericksburg. "Gov. McAuliffe has no moral choice but to veto this bill."

Pope Francis has spoken on the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty, saying it shouldn't be used no matter how serious the crime that was committed.

He also proclaimed 2016 the Year of Mercy.

The faith leaders are urging McAuliffe to honor the teachings of his Catholic faith, which says execution by the state would violate the sanctity of life.

Source: newsplex.com, April 8, 2016

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