(Photo: Archive, Reuters)
The state of Arizona in the U.S. will once more toughen its penalties against illegal immigration, this time with a measure that considers the trafficking of undocumented immigrants as a crime eligible for the death penalty in the state.
A law project approved on Tuesday night by the Arizona House of Representatives extended the definition of "serious crime" so that traffickers of undocumented immigrants can be candidates to the death penalty in the border state.
With a majority of 35 votes in favor and four against, the HB-2313 law initiative, includes in the definition of "serious crime", a series of aggravating criteria which might be used so that undocumented immigrant traffickers processed in the state can be eligible for a bigger sentence, according to a report by the Associated Press, according to ABC Arizona.
In Arizona, an individual can only be sentenced to death if he or she is declared guilty of first degree murder and a jury finds aggravating circumstances. With the new measure, "participating in or helping an organization with human contraband", might be the aggravating circumstance that could be used to sentence an undocumented immigrant trafficker to death.
Supported by republican congressman Justin Piece, this is the second law project approved in Arizona in the last month that has been harshly criticized by democrats in the state.
Last Thursday, Feb. 20, Arizona legislature approved a law initiative backed by republicans that allows individuals and businesses to refuse service to homosexual people and other groups based on their religious beliefs, according to CBS.
The controversial measure caused a strong pressure from large American companies that consider this measure to be discriminatory, which finally caused the state Governor, Jan Brewer, to veto the law.
Before being promulgated by Governor Jan Brewer, the new HB-2313 law must be approved by the Senate in the coming days.