In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

When it comes to the death penalty, guilt or innocence shouldn’t really matter to Christians.  

NASHVILLE — Until August, Tennessee had not put a prisoner to death in nearly a decade. Last Thursday, it performed its third execution in four months.
This was not a surprising turn of events. In each case, recourse to the courts had been exhausted. In each case Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, declined to intervene, though there were many reasons to justify intervening. Billy Ray Irick suffered from psychotic breaks that raised profound doubts about his ability to distinguish right from wrong. Edmund Zagorksi’s behavior in prison was so exemplary that even the warden pleaded for his life. David Earl Miller also suffered from mental illness and was a survivor of child abuse so horrific that he tried to kill himself when he was 6 years old.
Questions about the humanity of Tennessee’s lethal-injection protocol were so pervasive following the execution of Mr. Irick that both Mr. Zagorski and M…

'Our plan is to proceed with the executions,' Ricketts says of 10 men on death row

Governor Pete Ricketts
LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday that despite the repeal of Nebraska’s death penalty, the state will not cancel its order for new drugs to carry out a lethal injection execution.

Ricketts said he agrees with the state attorney general that Nebraska, once it receives the drugs, should be able to execute the 10 men currently on death row.

"Our plan is to proceed with the executions," the governor said, at a press conference marking the end of the 2015 legislative session.

Ricketts said he had no timetable for when the lethal injection drugs purchased by the state from a broker in India will arrive in Nebraska.

Under Legislative Bill 268, the death penalty would be repealed, effective in three months, and replaced by life in prison.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, the chief sponsor of the law, said that while the Legislature cannot change the death sentences of those already on death row, LB 268 removed the statutory means for conducting an execution.

That, he said, leaves the 10 men on death row with a death sentence, but no way to carry it out.

The Attorney General’s Office earlier had generally agreed with that analysis, but on Friday, Attorney General Doug Peterson said that upon further review of court cases, he believes there remains a legal controversy over what happens to the 10.

Source: Omaha.com, Paul Hammel, May 29, 2015

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