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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…

Scalia family donates late justice’s papers to Harvard Law School Library

US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
The family of the late Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has announced that it will donate his papers to the Harvard Law School Library.

The bulk of the Antonin Scalia Collection consists of judicial papers from his tenure on the Supreme Court and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Collection also includes papers from earlier in the Justice’s career, including his prior government service in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Office of Telecommunications Policy, as well as his academic career as a law professor at the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. Various other materials, including drafts of speeches and articles, correspondence, and records pertaining to his professional appearances and awards, will also be included.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the family of Justice Scalia for donating these papers to the Harvard Law School Library,” said Martha Minow, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Justice Scalia will be remembered as one of the most influential jurists in American history — he changed how the Court approaches statutory interpretation, and in countless areas introduced new ways of thinking about the Constitution and the role of the Court that will remain important for years to come. His papers will be a tremendous resource for students, scholars, and the general public for generations to come.”

The Antonin Scalia Collection will be made available for research on a schedule agreed upon by the Scalia family and the Harvard Law School Library. Materials pertaining to Justice Scalia’s work on the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit Court will begin to be opened for research in 2020, although materials regarding specific cases will not be opened during the lifetime of other Justices or judges who participated in the case. 

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Source: Harvard Law Today, March 6, 2017

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