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

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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. …

Chinese Police Clash With Tibet Protesters

BEIJING — Violence erupted Friday morning in a busy market area of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, as Buddhist monks and other ethnic Tibetans clashed with Chinese security forces. Witnesses say angry Tibetan crowds burned shops, cars, military vehicles and at least one tourist bus.

The chaotic scene was the latest, and most violent, confrontation in a series of protests that began on Monday and now represent a major challenge to the ruling Communist Party as it prepares to play host to the Olympic Games in August.

Beijing is facing the most serious and prolonged demonstrations in the remote Himalayan region since the late 1980s, when it suppressed a rebellion there with lethal force that left scores and possibly hundreds of ethnic Tibetans dead. The leadership is clearly alarmed that a wave of negative publicity could disrupt its elaborate plans for the Olympics and its hopes that the games will showcase its rising influence and prosperity rather than domestic turmoil. More>>>

Source: The New York Times

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