In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

When it comes to the death penalty, guilt or innocence shouldn’t really matter to Christians.  

NASHVILLE — Until August, Tennessee had not put a prisoner to death in nearly a decade. Last Thursday, it performed its third execution in four months.
This was not a surprising turn of events. In each case, recourse to the courts had been exhausted. In each case Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, declined to intervene, though there were many reasons to justify intervening. Billy Ray Irick suffered from psychotic breaks that raised profound doubts about his ability to distinguish right from wrong. Edmund Zagorksi’s behavior in prison was so exemplary that even the warden pleaded for his life. David Earl Miller also suffered from mental illness and was a survivor of child abuse so horrific that he tried to kill himself when he was 6 years old.
Questions about the humanity of Tennessee’s lethal-injection protocol were so pervasive following the execution of Mr. Irick that both Mr. Zagorski and M…

India: Rajya Sabha passes bill including death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years

Indian children
The Rajya Sabha [The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India.] on Monday (August 6) passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018 mandating a maximum penalty of death to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.

The bill had already been passed by the Lok Sabha [the lower house] on July 30 and now just needs the President’s assent to finally become a law.

The bill, when in force as an act, will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that had been promulgated on April 21 in the wake of the horrific rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua.

There was extensive debate by the members of the Rajya Sabha with Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju replying to the questions posed by the Opposition parties ultimately paving way for the passage of the bill.

During the debate Rijiju did not accede to the proposal of the opposition members of sending the bill to a Select Committee for scrutiny. He, however, assured the members that he will look into the concerns raised by them.

Rijiju said that the government came up with the bill in the wake of rape incidents involving minor girls. “We have introduced certain changes in the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Court Procedure, Evidence Act and there are consequential effects on prevention of atrocities against children,” Rijiju was quoted as saying.

The new law allows death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls up to 12 years of age. The new law also stipulates no provision of anticipatory bail in cases of rape with girls aged 16 years. A minimum punishment of 20 years imprisonment is mandated for rape of girls under 12.

In the cases of gang rape with girls below 12 years of age, the punishment will be life imprisonment or death penalty. For the cases of rape with girls below 16 years, the jail sentence has been increased from 10 years to 20 years.

In the cases of rape of women, the minimum sentence of 7 years has been increased to 10 years and maximum punishment will be life imprisonment.

The new law also stipulates that in the cases of rape, investigation and trial will have to be completed within two months.

Source: Indian Legal, August 7, 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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