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A study by Frank R. Baumgartner and Betsy Neil found that those executed between and suffered from serious mental illness at a far greater rate than those in the general population.

Statement on the Death Penalty

And Prosecutors also keep putting the innocent on death row. As of Oct. According to one study, 1 out of every 25 people sentenced to death is most likely innocent. Race clearly plays a role in the imposition of the death penalty. In , David Baldus found that defendants accused of killing white victims were 4.

The race of the defendant featured prominently in two capital punishment cases that made headlines in Many states are struggling after utilizing laws around capital punishment that violate the Constitution.


In execution after execution, people are awake as their lungs shut down. Most states use a three-drug cocktail to execute people. The first drug, historically an anesthetic, renders you unconscious; the second drug, pancuronium bromide, stops breath and acts as a paralytic; and the third drug, potassium chloride, stops your heart from beating. States are also experimenting with new drug combinations — but those are also causing problems.

A few justices are troubled by these botched executions. Drug companies across the world are trying to keep states from using their products in executions; Pfizer is one famous example. Amid this controversy, states are trying to keep their drugs and suppliers secret. Along with the problems of execution, the lives of prisoners on death row also deserve scrutiny. The majority of death row prisoners are held in solitary confinement.

Of the more than 2, state prisoners currently condemned to death, 61 percent are isolated for 20 hours or more a day. In Texas, death row prisoners spend up to 23 hours per day alone in an 8-byfoot cell with virtually no human contact or exposure to natural light. For 14 years in Arkansas, Bruce Ward, suffering from schizophrenia, was held every day in a by Guards passed his meals in through a slot. These conditions have devastating psychological effects. The isolation and sensory deprivation drives some prisoners to insanity: They suffer from delusions and hallucinations, mutilate themselves, and experience psychotic episodes in which they attempt suicide or smear the walls of their cells with their blood and excretions.

The suicide rate in solitary is five to 10 times higher than it is in the general prison population.

A Death Row Convict’s Final Words Set Two Innocent Men Free

Extended time on death row may amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Although the Supreme Court has rejected this claim, which is based on a case Lackey v. Clemency is almost never granted to people on death row. The Christian understanding of apostasy is "a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christian truth. Apostasy is the rejection of Christ by one who has been a Christian Oropeza states that apostasy is a "phenomenon that occurs when a religious follower or group of followers turn away from or otherwise repudiate the central beliefs and practices they once embraced in a respective religious community.

All connote an intentional defection from the faith. Speaking with specific regard to apostasy in Christianity , Michael Fink writes:. Apostasy is certainly a biblical concept, but the implications of the teaching have been hotly debated. Based on the concept of God's sovereign grace, some hold that, though true believers may stray, they never totally fall away.

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Others affirm that any who fall away were never really saved. Though they may have "believed" for a while, they never experienced regeneration. Still others argue that the biblical warnings against apostasy are real and that believers maintain the freedom, at least potentially, to reject God's salvation. In the recent past, in the Roman Catholic Church the word was also applied to the renunciation of monastic vows apostasis a monachatu , and to the abandonment of the clerical profession for the life of the world apostasis a clericatu without necessarily amounting to a rejection of Christianity.

Classical canon law viewed apostasy as distinct from heresy and schism. Apostasy a fide , defined as total repudiation of the Christian faith, was considered as different from a theological standpoint from heresy, but subject to the same penalty of death by fire by decretist jurists. The first was conversion to another faith, which was considered traitorous and could bring confiscation of property or even the death penalty. The second and third, which was punishable by expulsion from home and imprisonment, consisted of breaking major commandments and breaking the vows of religious orders, respectively.

A decretal by Boniface VIII classified apostates together with heretics with respect to the penalties incurred. Although it mentioned only apostate Jews explicitly, it was applied to all apostates, and the Spanish Inquisition used it to persecute both the Marrano Jews, who had been converted to Christianity by force, and to the Moriscos who had professed to convert to Christianity from Islam under pressure.

Temporal penalties for Christian apostates have fallen into disuse in the modern era. Jehovah's Witness publications define apostasy as the abandonment of the worship and service of God, constituting rebellion against God.

Execution Day For One Of The Youngest Men On Death Row In Texas

Watch Tower Society literature describes apostates as "mentally diseased" individuals who can "infect others with their disloyal teachings". Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commonly called the Mormons are considered by church leadership to engage in apostasy when they publicly teach or espouse opinions and doctrines contrary to the teachings of the church. Apostasy is also assumed in cases of a member engaging in activities forbidden by the church's teachings, such as adultery or homosexual relations.

In such circumstances the church will frequently subject the non-conforming member to a disciplinary council which may result in disfellowshipment a temporary loss of church participation privileges or excommunication a semi-permanent loss of church membership. Hinduism does not have a "unified system of belief encoded in a declaration of faith or a creed " [77] , but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena of India.

In general Hinduism is more tolerant to apostasy than other faiths based on a scripture or commandments with a lower emphasis on orthodoxy and has a more open view on how a person chooses his faith. The Vashistha Dharmasastra , the Apastamba Dharmasutra and Yajnavalkya state that a son of an apostate is also considered an apostate. Apostasy is generally not acknowledged in orthodox Buddhism. People are free to leave Buddhism and renounce the religion without any consequence enacted by the Buddhist community.

There are multiple verses in the Quran that condemn apostasy, [96] including one that appears to support the death penalty. Although this influence has stemmed from the Ahmadiyya view point on apostasy through their constant preaching and defending of "True islamic teachings. For years and still ongoing Sunni and Shia Jurists have been killing apostates based on hadiths. The concept and punishment of Apostasy has been extensively covered in Islamic literature since the 7th century.

Similarly, doubting the existence of Allah , making offerings to and worshipping an idol, a stupa or any other image of God, confesses a belief in the rebirth or incarnation of God, disrespecting the Quran or Islam's Prophets are all considered sufficient evidence of apostasy. Many Muslims consider the Islamic law on apostasy and the punishment for it to be one of the immutable laws under Islam.

The punishment for apostasy includes [] state enforced annulment of his or her marriage, seizure of the person's children and property with automatic assignment to guardians and heirs, and death for the apostate. According to some scholars, if a Muslim consciously and without coercion declares their rejection of Islam and does not change their mind after the time allocated by a judge for research, then the penalty for male apostates is death, and for females it is life imprisonment.

According to the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, there is no punishment for apostasy, neither in the Quran nor as it was taught by Muhammad. Today, apostasy is a crime in 16 out of 49 Muslim majority countries; in other Muslim nations such as Morocco , apostasy is not illegal but proselytizing to Muslims is. Apostasy is legal in secular Muslim countries such as Turkey.

In an effort to circumvent the United Nations Commission on Human Rights's ruling on an individual's right to conversion from and denunciation of a religion some offenders of the ruling have argued that their "obligations to Islam are irreconcilable with international law. If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.

And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. In 1 Kings King Solomon is warned in a dream which "darkly portray[s] the ruin that would be caused by departure from God": []. If you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight.

Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples. The prophetic writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah provide many examples of defections of faith found among the Israelites e.

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Israelite kings were often guilty of apostasy, examples including Ahab I Kings —33 , Ahaziah I Kings —53 , Jehoram 2 Chronicles ,10 , Ahaz 2 Chronicles —4 , or Amon 2 Chronicles —23 among others. Amon's father Manasseh was also apostate for many years of his long reign, although towards the end of his life he renounced his apostasy cf. During the Spanish Inquisition , a systematic conversion of Jews to Christianity took place to avoid expulsion from the kingdoms of Castille and Aragon as had been the case previously elsewhere in medieval Europe.

Although the vast majority of conversos simply assimilated into the Catholic dominant culture, a minority continued to practice Judaism in secret, gradually migrated throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Ottoman Empire, mainly to areas where Sephardic communities were already present as a result of the Alhambra Decree. Tens of thousands of Jews were baptised in the three months before the deadline for expulsion, some 40, if one accepts the totals given by Kamen, most of these undoubtedly to avoid expulsion, [] rather than as a sincere change of faith.

These conversos were the principal concern of the Inquisition; being suspected of continuing to practice Judaism put them at risk of denunciation and trial. Other apostates who made their mark in history by attempting the conversion of other Jews in the 14th century include Juan de Valladolid and Astruc Remoch. Abraham Isaac Kook , [] [] first Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in then Palestine, held that atheists were not actually denying God: rather, they were denying one of man's many images of God.

Since any man-made image of God can be considered an idol, Kook held that, in practice, one could consider atheists as helping true religion burn away false images of god, thus in the end serving the purpose of true monotheism. Medieval Judaism was more lenient toward apostasy than the other monotheistic religions.

According to Maimonides , converts to other faiths were to be regarded as sinners, but still Jewish. Forced converts were subject to special prayers and Rashi admonished those who rebuked or humiliated them. There is no punishment today for leaving Judaism, other than being excluded from participating in the rituals of the Jewish community - including leading worship, Jewish marriage or divorce, being called to the Torah and being buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Controversies over new religious movements NRMs have often involved apostates, some of whom join organizations or web sites opposed to their former religions. A number of scholars have debated the reliability of apostates and their stories, often called "apostate narratives". The role of former members, or "apostates", has been widely studied by social scientists.

At times, these individuals become outspoken public critics of the groups they leave. Their motivations, the roles they play in the anti-cult movement , the validity of their testimony, and the kinds of narratives they construct, are controversial. Some scholars like David G. Bromley , Anson Shupe , and Brian R. Wilson have challenged the validity of the testimonies presented by critical former members.

Wilson discusses the use of the atrocity story that is rehearsed by the apostate to explain how, by manipulation, coercion , or deceit , he was recruited to a group that he now condemns. Sociologist Stuart A.