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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Nebraska Republican Group Calls for Voters to Retain the Repeal of the Death Penalty

Gathering against the repeal...
Nebraska: Gathering against the repeal...
LINCOLN, NE – The Republican Liberty Caucus of Nebraska met in Lincoln on Saturday for its biennial convention where it passed a resolution by voice vote declaring that the organization "opposes capital punishment by any method and calls on voters in Nebraska to vote to retain LB 268".

The resolution cited the recent study by conservative Creighton economist Dr. Ernie Goss which found capital punishment to cost $14.6 million more than life without parole annually. It also stated that "the execution of an innocent person constitutes one of the greatest possible abuses of government power."

Founded in 1991, the Republican Liberty Caucus is a nationwide grassroots organization which promotes individual liberty and limited government within the Republican Party. It has chartered groups in many states, including Nebraska.

State Senator Laura Ebke of Crete, a past chair of the caucus and now a registered independent, said she understands the growing movement by conservatives of all party affiliation to oppose the death penalty.

“The passage of this resolution reflects a growing segment of Nebraska Republicans who recognize that the broken death penalty system can't be fixed. Those of us who don't trust the government with our retirement savings or healthcare, certainly can't trust it to make life and death decisions with perfect fairness and accuracy," Ebke said.

Matt Maly, of Nebraska Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, also spoke Saturday in opposition to bringing back Nebraska’s death penalty.

"The result of this vote doesn't surprise me. It was conservative legislators who lead the effort to get rid of this wasteful program and it's conservative voters who will keep it gone," Maly said.

“It’s obvious the closer we get to the November election, more and more Republicans and conservatives are deciding that the death penalty is a broken government program that we can do without. This overwhelming vote by a conservative group within the Republican Party sends the message that a growing number of Nebraska Republicans support what our conservative led legislature did and it's important that they get out and vote 'retain' on November 8th."

Source: Retain a Just Nebraska, September 25, 2016. Retain a Just Nebraska is a public education campaign to urge the retention of LB 268, the Nebraska Legislature’s vote to end the death penalty. Supporters include fiscal conservatives, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, murder victims’ families, and Nebraskans from all walks of life. It is a statewide coalition conducting public education on the smart alternative of life in prison without parole, which protects society without the many problems of our death penalty system.

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