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The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Rajasthan passes bill to award death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age

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In a significant development, the Rajasthan State Assembly on Friday cleared an amendment bill for death penalty for the culprits in the rape cases involving girls below 12 years of age. With this, Rajasthan has become the second state after Madhya Pradesh to pass the bill.

The Rajasthan government on Tuesday tabled the bill to award death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls below 12 years of age.

Under Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, section 376-AA in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) -

Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.

A similar provision, 376-DD, was added for gang-rape.

In the 'Statement of Objects and Reasons' for bringing in the Bill, the Rajasthan government said, "It has come to the notice of the State Government that the offence relating to child rape and child gang-rape are taking place every now and then. Such crimes are heinous and turn the life of the victim into hell."

The statement added, "It is the prime duty of the society and the State to protect its offspring against all odds and give them an environment conducive to their mental and physical development. Therefore, such offences need to be dealt with an iron hand. The State Government is of the considered view that to protect the girl child up to twelve years of age from such heinous crimes, a deterrent punishment which may extend to the death of the offender should be provided for."

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a reply to the Budget debate in the Assembly in February, had announced that the state government will bring in more stringent punishment "including capital punishment", for the rape of girls below 12 years.

Source: India Today, March 9, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?