Remembering Nelson Mandela: “An ideal for which I am prepared to die. Washington Post. ” … By Masuma Ahuja and Emily Chow, Published: Dec. 5, 2013. “Nelson Mandela, the first president of a democratic South Africa and a respected leader of the anti-apartheid movement, died at 95 after several months of health issues. Mandela joined the the African National Congress in 1943 and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964, after eight months of trial with seven others. Before the trial, Mandela made his iconic, impassioned speech — “An ideal for which I am prepared to die” — from the dock…”
“Nelson Said No To Death Penalty” – Trinidad Newspapers - December 9, 2013. “A commendable legacy of Nelson Mandela is the abolition of the death penalty in South Africa. He denounced it as an act of the utmost cruelty and barbarity and its abolition became “one of the touchstones of commitment to a new social order.” Soon after his release in February 1990, then president FW de Klerk at the request of Mandela announced an immediate moratorium on executions. The last hanging was on February 2, 1989…”
Supreme Court to revisit death penalty for mentally disabled. USATODAY. Maggie Clark, Pew/Stateline Staff Writer, December 6, 2013.
“How should states decide if someone convicted of a crime has an intellectual disability, when the answer means life or death? This spring the Supreme Court will wade back into these murky waters, 12 years after it took the death penalty off the table for criminals with mental disabilities but left the details to the states.
In its 6-3 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, authored by Justice John Paul Stevens, the court prohibited states from executing anyone with “mental retardation.” Mental health professionals define it as substantial limitations in intellectual functions such as reasoning or problem-solving, limitations in adaptive behavior or “street smarts,” and evidence of the condition before age 18. (Mental retardation is the term used in law, but most clinicians and The Associated Press refer to the condition as intellectual disability.)
After the decision, most states stuck with the three-pronged clinical definition, but Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas set their own standards. Under Florida’s law, if you have an IQ over 70, you’re eligible for execution regardless of intellectual function or adaptive behavior.
Freddie Lee Hall, who has been on Florida’s death row for more than 30 years and scored in the mid-70s on IQ tests, is arguing the state’s standard amounts to unconstitutional punishment…”
Religion and the Death Penalty (DPIC): “In recent years, a growing number of religious organizations have participated in the nation’s death penalty debate. The purpose of this Web page is to provide access to information regarding the efforts of these faith groups and to highlight recent developments related to religion and the death penalty. The Death Penalty Information Center seeks to provide an overview of this topic and does not endorse any religious viewpoint on this issue.”
VOICES OF FAITH, KANSAS CITY STAR. “How does your religion view capital punishment?
December 6, 2013. Arvind Khetia, engineer: In Hinduism, God is not seen as the one handing out reward or punishment. However, there is a recognition of the universal law of karma, also known as the doctrine of justice.