Sorcery killings lead Papua New Guinea to mull law to institute firing squads

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Sorcery killings have become such a problem in Papua New Guinea that political leaders are pushing for the creation of firing squads as a cost-effective way of dealing with crime.

The South Pacific nation does have the death penalty, and it was last used in 1954 — and it was a hanging, The Associated Press reported. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said lawmakers are introducing a bill in two weeks, when Parliament next meets, to implement a firing-squad option, AP said.

“Among the methods discussed include death by firing squad, which was considered more humane and inexpensive than other methods,” Mr. O’Neill said in the AP report.

The capital punishment bill comes on the heels of several high-profile killings in the country that were related to sorcery. In February, a Mount Hagan mob stripped, tortured and burned alive a woman accused of witchcraft in front of hundreds of witnesses. And in July, police arrested 29 who were believed to be part of a cult of cannibals, on suspicions of murdering seven witch doctors.

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