Jul 17 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on California’s Death Penalty, Congressional Attack on DCs Gun Laws, and The End of Australia’s Carbon Tax

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A federal judge has ruled California’s death penalty unconstitutional. Judge Cormac Carney based his ruling on the fact that California’s death penalty seems arbitrary, and amounts to a sentence that “no rational jury or legislature could ever impose: life in prison, with the remote possibility of death.” As such, he rules that it violates the 8th Amendment which protects people from “cruel and unusual punishment.” California has not executed anyone since 2006. The ruling could be appealed by the state to the 9th circuit court. In the mean time, it has the potential to trigger anti-death penalty rulings in other states. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Despite the fact that gun violence continues to plague the nation, Congressional lawmakers this week eviscerated gun control laws in Washington DC where some of the strictest regulations have been in place. The attacks on DC’s gun laws were made in the form of a rider to an appropriations bill, effectively preventing the city from spending local funds to enforce its laws. House Representative Thomas Massie made the Orwellian statement on the floor of the House, that “Strict gun-control laws do nothing but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their families.” The measure now heads to the Senate, which in recent days passed the Sportsman Act, a major gun expansion bill. Click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

And finally in a major blow to climate justice, Australia’s Senate has undone that country’s carbon tax in a vote of 39-32. The vote was lauded by Australia’s virulently pro-fossil fuel Prime Minister Tony Abbott who made the tax cancelation part of his campaign promise. The tax on corporate producers of greenhouse gases amounted to a mere twenty five Australian dollars per ton of carbon dioxide produced and a new report found it had already helped to reduce millions of tons of CO2 since its enactment. Climate activists called the vote “a monumentally reckless backward leap.” Click here for a Commondreams article about the story.

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