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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…

Psychological Association of the Philippines joins call against death penalty revival

In a statement, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) said: "Capital punishment does not deliver on its hopes for better justice, closure for all parties concerned, and better crime prevention. It does not give full cognizance of the implications of its irreversible effect, the reality of the limits and inevitable class discrimination of the judicial process, and the misconception of closure and justice itself."

The group said "the practice of capital punishment point[s] to its discriminatory nature," adding that majority who were meted the death penalty have "incomes below minimum wage, unable to afford the legal services to defend themselves in a long process."

PAP also pointed out "judicial flaws" that include "incompetent counsel, inadequate investigatory services, or even outright police and prosecutorial violations of judicial procedures." It also noted that "torture or ill treatment of suspects to coerce confessions or implicate others during investigation is common in the country."

"History also points to gross misapplications of the death penalty law, with vulnerable individuals protected by Philippine law from capital punishment finding themselves on death row," PAP also said.

To recall, the bill which was approved by the House on March 1 via voice voting only lists drug-related offenses as crimes punishable by death: the importation, sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, transportation and manufacturing of drugs, and maintenance of a drug den.

Source: Business World Online, March 7, 2017

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