the death penalty is still needed. These acts aren't being done by some random, clueless junkie trying to sell copper to get their fix. The number and location shows someone, or someones, are deliberately cutting the fiber whether because they're t'rrists (unlikely), general vandals (possible) or some neo-luddite who thinks it's fun to screw around (possible).
As the article relates, the penalties aren't severe enough. Well guess what is. . .