“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

22 North Koreans executed for defection attempt

February 17, 2008: twenty-two North Koreans, sent back to the North by South Korean authorities earlier this month after their fishing boats drifted into South Korean waters, were reportedly executed by a firing squad.

The group were shot dead last week by North Korean military authorities of South Hwanghae Province, which believed they had attempted to defect to the South, Yonhap News Agency reported, quoting an unidentified government source.

"The rumour was spreading out among locals. Local people have been shocked that all of the 22 were executed by a firing squad without distinction of age or sex,'' the source said. The group were spotted on the western waters off South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island on Feb 8 and interrogated by an investigation team of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Navy, NIS officials said.

The group included eight men, 14 women and three students.

Source: Korea Times, 17/02/2008

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