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Hemline issue skirts around the death penalty debate

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There used to be a high-profile gossip columnist with a mass-market US tabloid famous for signing off her often jaw-dropping revelations with the catchphrase, “Only in America, kids. Only in America”.

Obviously that was back in the era when Americans had cornered the market on mad behaviour and before the rest of Western nations got up to speed (as we are today) with serial lunacy.

But hitting the headlines in recent days is a story straight from the “only in America” file.

A female journalist was turned away from covering an event in Alabama on the grounds that her skirt was too short.

The event in question, hosted by the Alabama Department of Corrections, was the execution by lethal injection of Joe Nathan James Jr.

The reporter, Ivana Hrynkiw Shatara, had been scheduled to witness this gruesome despatch along with other media attendees and relatives of both the condemned man and the young woman he had murdered.

Told she was not appropriately dressed for the occasion, owing to her hemline, Ivana says she tried to pull the skirt down over her hips a bit to lengthen it. This still didn’t pass muster.

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Fortunately she was able to borrow a pair of waders from a photographer also covering the execution (I’m not sure what exactly waders are; I’d have thought very long wellies). But Ivana was still deemed inappropriately attired because of her “open-toed” appearance. Whether she was wearing a pair of sandals or........

© Belfast Telegraph

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