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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…

Ohio Parole board: No clemency for death row inmate

Ray Tibbetts
Ray Tibbetts
The execution of a 59-year-old man who killed his wife and the elderly man she cared for now may go forward after Ohio's parole board recommended Friday that Gov. John Kasich deny clemency.

Ray Tibbetts, 59, is scheduled to be executed on July 26.

The constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process, however, is still being considered in federal court. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reviewing a judge's order that found Ohio's execution procedures unconstitutional. 

Kasich's office has said it believes its appeal will be successful, allowing the state to move forward with the first executions since 2014 – when a man suffered during an execution.

Tibbetts is on death row for the 1997 killings of his wife, Judith Sue Crawford, and 67-year-old Fred Hicks in an Over-the-Rhine home. 

Prosecutors said Hicks, who used an oxygen tank to breathe, may have been asleep when Tibbetts stabbed him multiple times. Three knives and a blade broken from a knife handle were left in Hicks' body.

In voting 11-1 to recommend that clemency be denied, the parole board's report called the killing of Hicks "particularly senseless and gratuitous."

During his more than six years as governor, Kasich has commuted the sentences of five death row inmates to life in prison without parole. 

He has allowed 12 executions to go forward.

Source: cincinnati.com, March 10, 2017

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