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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 …

Florida Supreme Court removes 2 killers from death row

Florida's death chamber
Florida's death chamber
The Florida Supreme Court is ordering that two murderers be removed from death row and sentenced to life.

The court issued its ruling Thursday, reducing the sentences of men convicted of unrelated double-murders in Polk County and Jacksonville.

Robert McCloud was convicted of the October 2009 murders of Tamiqa Taylor and Dustin Freeman during a drug robbery committed in Poinciana. 

The court ruled that he shouldn't have been sentenced to death when three co-defendants received lesser sentences — especially since a jury determined McCloud wasn't the shooter.

Terrance Phillips was convicted of the December 2009 murders of Mateo Hernandez-Perez and Reynaldo Antunes-Padilla in Jacksonville. 

The court considered the fact that Phillips was 18 at the time of the crime and borderline intellectually disabled in reducing his sentence.

Source: The Associated Press, November 17, 2016

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