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Senate panel passes bill for harsher beheading penalties

January 13, 2015

Decapitation soon could be punishable by death in Indiana.

The state Senate Criminal Law Committee unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for beheadings.

Indiana law already provides life without parole or the death penalty for anyone convicted of torturing or mutilation before a killing. It also provides a possible death sentence for dismembering a homicide victim. The bill would extend the definition of mutilation to include decapitation since the current statute is unclear.

Supporters of the bill cite an increase in beheadings including one last year in Oklahoma as a reason for the change.

Religious groups say the death penalty is "recycling violence" and isn't necessary when perpetrators are already in custody.

The bill now goes before the full Senate for consideration.

 

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