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

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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…

Indonesia: Presidential Guard Member Caught With Drugs at N. Sumatra Airporti

Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Medan. A member of Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces (Paspampres) was caught on Monday trying to bring a small amount of narcotics on board a civilian airplane at Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatra.

Police said Pvt. First Class Frestiyan Ardha Pranatha had half a pill of ecstasy and 0.35 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in his head wear when he was trying to board a Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta.

"He was detained by Kualanamu Airport security officials during an X-ray check," said Adj. Sr. Comr. M. Edi Faryadi, the head of police in Deli Serdang district, where the airport is located.

Edi added that the suspect had been handed over to the military police and taken to Jakarta.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said the palace "deeply regretted" the incident and added that the government was expecting appropriate punishment.

"[This goes for] whoever gets caught, but especially for Paspampres members, who are carefully selected," Pramono said.

"This is not good, and it is not a good example," he added. "If necessary, [the soldier has to be] removed [from his position]."

The fight against drug abuse is one of President Joko Widodo's stated policy priorities and sparked international outrage last year when 14 drug convicts, including 12 foreigners, were executed.


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