Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Report of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment


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


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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 creates new structure for Anglicans

The Associated Press: Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans

…the new canonical structure is a response to the many requests that have come to the Vatican over the years from Anglicans who have become increasingly disillusioned with the ordination of women, the election of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions in the 77-million strong Anglican Communion. He declined to give figures on the number of requests that have come to the Vatican, or on the anticipated number of Anglicans who might take advantage of the new structure.

The new canonical provision allows married Anglican priests to become ordained Catholic priests — much the same way that Eastern rite priests who are in communion with Rome are allowed to be married. However, married Anglicans couldn’t become Catholic bishops….

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Citing cost, states in U.S. consider halting death penalty – International Herald Tribune

When Governor Martin O’Malley appeared before the Maryland Senate last week, he made an unconventional argument that is becoming increasingly popular in cash-strapped states: abolish the death penalty to cut costs.

O’Malley, a Democrat and a Roman Catholic who has cited religious opposition to the death penalty in the past, is now arguing that capital cases cost three times as much as homicide cases where the death penalty is not sought. “And we can’t afford that,” he said, “when there are better and cheaper ways to reduce crime.”

Lawmakers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Hampshire have made the same argument in recent months as they push bills seeking to repeal the death penalty, and experts say such bills have a good chance of passing in Maryland, Montana and New Mexico.

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U.S. executions, death sentences on decline

Religion News: Report: U.S. executions, death sentences on decline

WASHINGTON (AP) — New death sentences in the United States were at or near a three-decade low this year and the number of people executed will be the lowest since 1994, according to a new report.

And the US is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 1st Century.

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Actions For Restoring America

How to begin repairing the damage to freedom in America after Bush.

Barack Obama will become chief executive of a nation that has been greatly weakened – in particular, our freedoms, our values, and our international reputation have been greatly undermined by the policies of the past eight years.

Presidents have enormous power not only to set the legislative agenda, but also to establish policy by executive order, federal regulation, or simply by refocusing the efforts and emphases of the executive agencies. The new president must use all of these tools to restore our freedoms and move the country forward.

Doing so will require determined action in the face of inevitable opposition. It will require conveying to the American people why grants of unchecked power do not actually make us safer, and why Americans must stand firm in protecting the values that at our best we have always represented and defended at home and around the world.

It will not be easy to undo eight years of sustained damage to our fundamental rights. But it can be done.

This paper lists many of the actions that the new president should take in order to decisively signal a restoration of American values and a rejection of the shameful policies of the past eight years.

ACLU | Transition Plan

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High Court Will Not Reconsider Decision on Child Rape

The state of Louisiana and the Justice Department had asked the court to reconsider the 5 to 4 decision because the court was not made aware of what they consider a crucial element: that Congress in 2006 made child rape a capital offense under military law.

No one presented that fact — it seems none of the parties knew at the time that it existed — when the court said in June that there was no evidence of a national consensus in favor of putting child rapists to death. The court also found that in its “independent judgment,” child rape could not be compared to murder in terms of warranting the death penalty.

High Court Will Not Reconsider Decision on Child Rape –

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Florida will resume executions

TALLAHASSEE — Executions in Florida are scheduled to resume this summer after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday lifted a stay on the lethal injection of convicted child rapist and murderer Mark Dean Schwab.

Gov. Charlie Crist moved swiftly after the high court’s decision and said that Schwab would be executed July 1.

State set to resume executions in July

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Buddhist Peace Fellowship Event:

 Event Details:

Living and Dying in Prison
Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:00 PM
DePaul University Student Center, Lincoln Park Campus, room 314A
Chicago, IL USA

Living and Dying in Prison: the Michael Lambert Story.

Michael Lambert was executed in Indiana in 2007, after practicing Zen in prison under the guidance of local clergy Tricia Teater. Rev. Teater will speak, as well as exonerated death row inmate Delbert Tibbs, Jane Bohman from the
Ilinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and Andrea Lyon, faculty
of DePaul University College of Law and Director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases.

Ron Kidd
Sponsored By:
Chicago BPF Chapter and the DePaul University Student

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Death-penalty logjam taken up by Supremes

Death penalty proponents warn that if the high court embraces Baze’s argument, it will create legal grounds for open-ended death penalty appeals by permitting constitutional challenges to any execution method whenever a less painful alternative is identified.

Death penalty opponents don’t disagree. “These are tough issues that are going to have to be litigated,” says Mr. Elliot of the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “Looking at the larger picture, it is going to give us an opportunity to examine whether, at the end of the day, the death penalty is worth all the trouble.”

Lethal injections: U.S. Supreme Court takes up death-penalty logjam |