Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Report of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment has reviewed testimony from experts

and members of the public, relevant Maryland laws and court cases, as well as statistics and

studies relevant to the topic of capital punishment in Maryland. After a thorough review of this

information, the Commission recommends that capital punishment be abolished in Maryland.

The following sections detail the findings that support the recommendations and address each

major issue the Commission was charged with studying

via www.goccp.maryland.gov/capital-punishment/documents/death-penalty-commission-final-report.pdf?PHPSESSID=46545f41c22d727da5e4116655bd9f92.


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Thou Shalt Not Kill. Unless…

The End of Death Row

A thoughtful, well-written article, by a man who earned the right to his opinion by confronting Texas “morality” at close range.  How many of us have thought this carefully about the homicides committed in our names?

via Thou Shalt Not Kill. Unless – Features – Utne Reader.


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Vatican set to issue changes in sex abuse rules

In the latest chapter of the Vatican’s attempt to come to grips with the sexual abuse crisis, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is expected to release a set of changes to the church’s rules for meting out ecclesiastical discipline against abuser priests sometime in the next few days.

Vatican sources caution, however, that the revisions are largely a matter of consolidating existing practice, rather than a dramatic new approach to how sex abuse cases are handled.

Sources also stress that the revisions affect only the internal ecclesiastical status of an accused priest. In a separate set of guidelines published in April, the Vatican said that civil law regarding reporting crimes of sexual abuse of a minor to the police and other authorities should always be followed.

Vatican
set to issue changes in sex abuse rules | National Catholic Reporter


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Quote of the Week:

Until the Vatican gets it through its thick skull that sexual abuse isn’t a sin but a crime, isn’t a moral weakness but a dangerous pathology, it’s going to continue putting up with predators within its ranks, thinking they can say they’re sorry and make it all go away. It will go on holding the devil responsible for its own worst acts. And it will continue condemning its youngest and most vulnerable members to hell on earth.

Read the rest here


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Wonking Class Hero — The Exonerator

Advocates for innocent people in prison are few, partly because lawyers are trained to honor the sanctity of the finality of court decisions. Advocates courageous and idealistic enough to proceed on behalf of an imprisoned innocent count themselves successful if they help achieve one exoneration during a lifetime of trying.

That McCloskey — who is not a lawyer — has directed investigations resulting in dozens of exonerations is, by any measure, astounding. Those prone to biblical language use a stronger word: miraculous.  Wonking Class Hero — The Exonerator


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Do great artists live by a different moral code than the rest of us?

Research of Culture | Miller-McCune Online Magazine

As French film critic Agnes Poirier told the Guardian of London: “We are prepared to forgive artists a lot more than we are prepared to forgive ordinary mortals.”

And, apparently, we cut them more slack than we do sports figures. You’d have to be pretty hard-core to equate raping a 13-year old girl with adultery, and yet…


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Texas Decides How Much A Year Of A Man’s Life Is Worth

Exonerated Texas Prisoners Find Prosperity

DALLAS (Sept. 4) — Thomas McGowan’s journey from prison to prosperity is about to culminate in $1.8 million, and he knows just how to spend it: on a house with three bedrooms, stainless steel kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer.

“I’ll let my girlfriend pick out the rest,” said McGowan, who was exonerated last year based on DNA evidence after spending nearly 23 years in prison for rape and robbery.

He and other exonerees in Texas, which leads the nation in freeing the wrongly convicted, soon will become instant millionaires under a new state law that took effect this week….

I am absolutely in favor of this, but it does make you think about all the ones who were executed, doesn’t it? Texas still has the highest rate of executions in the US, higher than any other Western country!


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What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report

…I wrote earlier today about Eric Holder’s decision to “review” whether criminal prosecutions are warranted in connection with the torture of Terrorism suspects — that can be read here — but I want to write separately about the release today of the 2004 CIA’s Inspector General Report (.pdf), both because it’s extraordinary in its own right and because it underscores how unjust it would be to prosecute only low-level interrogators rather than the high-level officials who implemented the torture regime….

What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com


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Warrior Spirits

During his first two weeks back, my brother, the demolitions expert, plied me with photos of the carnage and mayhem wreaked by his platoon. Fifteen memory cards worth of bizarre and disturbing photos — half-naked soldiers dancing in the desert, a severed goat’s head in a noose, Marines dressed in traditional women’s clothing found following a house raid.

I wanted to hit him, banish him, to create a giant dent in his soul. But he wouldn’t care, wouldn’t budge. This is what the Marines have trained him to do — warp, destroy, and believe it is for good. …

Warrior Spirits


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Trusting God Over Doctor

Children’s Health: Trusting God Over Doctor | Mother Jones

On May 20, 2009 a Wisconsin mother who followed an apocalyptic religious website said in a videotaped interview played at her trial that she did not call a doctor when her 11-year-old daughter was dying of untreated diabetes, but instead prayed for divine healing.


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Europe: US Had Best Take Some Of The Scheming Masses Too

BERLIN, May 28 — The Obama administration’s push to resettle at least 50 Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Europe is meeting fresh resistance as European officials demand that the United States first give asylum to some inmates before they will do the same.

Rising opposition in the U.S. Congress to allowing Guantanamo prisoners on American soil has not gone over well in Europe. Officials from countries that previously indicated they were willing to accept inmates now say it may be politically impossible for them to do so if the United States does not reciprocate.

Europeans Say U.S. Should Take Some Guantanamo Bay Detainees – washingtonpost.com