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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…

Nevada schedules what could be 1st execution in a decade, but has no drugs to carry it out

Nevada's brand new $850,000 death chamber
Nevada's brand new $850,000 death chamber
Nevada has a problem on its hands after a Clark County judge ordered an inmate executed: the state has no apparent way to carry it out.

District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti signed an order Thursday ordering Scott Raymond Dozier's execution for the week of Oct. 16. Dozier, 46, has voluntarily given up opportunities to appeal his decade-old death sentence and has repeatedly requested to die.

He was convicted in 2007 of robbing and killing a 22-year-old man at a Las Vegas hotel before dismembering the body. He was also convicted of another murder in Arizona.

Although the state has about 80 people on death row, most die in prison, and a volunteer is rare. Nevada hasn't had an execution since 2006, and only carried out 12 executions since 1977.

The state is required by law to use a lethal injection, but a drug needed to create the lethal injection cocktail has expired. Nevada found none of the 247 vendors it contacted last year were willing to replace it.

Numerous major pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply drugs that they know will be used for execution. This spring, Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda suggested the agency might procure drugs from other states that don't anticipate using them.

On Thursday, the agency was unable to provide details on how they would proceed beyond a short statement.

"The Department is seeking guidance from the Attorney General's Office and will follow all appropriate and legal protocol to ensure state law is followed," it said.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt's office didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Nationwide, difficulties with the drug supply have prompted states to take drastic, controversial measures with the death penalty. 

Officials in Arkansas scheduled 8 executions in 11 days this spring in a race against the expiration dates of their lethal injection drugs, although only 4 were carried out.

Source: The Nevada Independent, July 29, 2017

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