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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…

Iran: More than One Execution Every Four Hours in July

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (JULY 13 2017): Following a pause in executions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, executions in Iran have dramatically increased since Saturday July 1.

In the past twelve days, Iran Human Rights has reported on 56 executions carried out in Iran. 31 of the 56 prisoners were reportedly hanged on drug related charges. Only seven of the 56 executions were reported by official Iranian sources, including the Judiciary and state-run media.

Iran Human Rights considers the volume of executions in Iran inhumane and calls for their immediate halt. "In the past twelve days in Iran, we have witnessed more than one execution every four hours. This is unprecedented, even for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is crucial that the international community reacts to this," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

"It is incomprehensible that the death sentences for prisoners with drug related charges are being hastily carried out at the same time that a bill is being reviewed by the Iranian Parliament to stop the death sentences for many prisoners with drug charges. It is possible that the Iranian authorities intend to carry out the death sentences for as many prisoners with drug related charges as possible before passing the bill. If this is the case, then we will be witness to a massacre."

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam calls on the international community and civil societies inside and outside Iran to help prevent a massive human tragedy before it is too late by reacting to the wave of executions in Iran.

Previously, Iranian parliament members had requested from the Iranian Judiciary to stop drug related executions for at least five thousand prisoners pending further investigation. However, the request has not stopped the Judiciary from carrying out death sentences for prisoners with drug related charges.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 12, 2017

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