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Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

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For the past 3 months, Christopher Anthony Young has awoken in his 10-by-6 foot concrete cell on death row and had to remind himself: He's scheduled to die soon.
As the day crept closer, the thought became more constant for Young, who's sentenced to die for killing Hasmukh "Hash" Patel in 2004.
"What will it feel like to lay on the gurney?" he asks himself. "To feel the needle pierce my vein?"
Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when Young murdered his father, has anxiously anticipated those moments, as well. He wonders how he will feel when he files into the room adjacent to the death chamber and sees Young just feet away through a glass wall.
For years, Patel felt a deep hatred for Young. He wanted to see him die. Patel knew it wouldn't bring his father back. But it was part of the process that started 14 years ago when Young, then 21, gunned down Hash Patel during a robbery at Patel's convenience store on the Southeast Side of San Antonio.
3 mont…

Indonesia: Buddhists caned under sharia law

Member of the Buddhist minority gets whipped in Jantho, Aceh province on March 10, 2017
Buddhist citizen gets whipped in Jantho, Aceh province on March 10, 2017.
Jantho, Indonesia - Indonesia's only province to impose sharia law caned Buddhists for the first time Friday, after two men accused of cockfighting opted for punishment under the strict Islamic regulations.

Alem bin Suhadi, 57, and Amel bin Akim, 60, both ethnic Chinese and members of the Buddhist minority, were whipped in front of dozens of local officials and residents in the city of Jantho, Aceh province.

The two men grimaced as they received nine and seven lashes respectively on their backs, a sentence that was mitigated because they had spent over a month in detention since police nabbed them for cockfighting in Aceh Besar in January.

"When they were arrested, two chickens and 400 thousand rupiah of betting money were confiscated by the police," said prosecutor Rivandi Aziz.

Caning is common in Aceh for breaking the province's strict Islamic laws, for offences ranging from drinking alcohol, to gambling to gay sex. 

In the past only Muslim residents could be caned but that changed in 2015, when Aceh's regulations were overhauled. 

Non-Muslims who violate Islamic law can either choose to be tried under the national legal system or sharia. 

The two Buddhists would likely have faced jail under Indonesian nation law. "We live in Aceh, so we have to obey the regulation in our region," Alem told AFP shortly after being caned. 

A Muslim was also lashed seven times for betting on cockfights Friday, while another man accused of abusing three teenagers was lashed 112 times. 

Aceh, on Sumatra island, began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency. 

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 10, 2017

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