FEATURED POST

In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

Image
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…

Mauritanian blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed released after 3 years in detention

Mauritania village
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is relieved to learn that Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, a Mauritanian blogger sentenced to death in 2014 for "blaspheming" the Prophet in a blog post, was finally freed yesterday. 

Detained for the past three years, Mohamed was released after an appeal court in the northern city of Nouadhibou reduced his sentence to two years in prison. Prosecutors have nonetheless appealed against the court's decision, calling it too lenient. 

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed's judicial ordeal began when a Nouadhibou criminal court found him guilty of apostasy and sentenced him to death in December 2014, although he gave a public apology and denied intending to insult the Prophet in his December 2013 blog post. 

A Nouadhibou appeal court upheld the death sentence on 21 April 2016 but changed the charge on which was convicted to "atheism" and asked Mauritania's supreme court to rule on the sincerity of his professed repentance. 

The supreme court referred the case to a different appeal court, the one that finally issued its ruling yesterday. As well as giving Mohamed a two-year jail term, the court fined him 60,000 ouguiyas (150 euros). 

However, prosecutors filed an appeal today against this decision, saying it was much too lenient and again seeking the death penalty for Mohamed. 

"It is a relief to know that Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed is free at last and we hope he will not be subjected to another trial as a result of the prosecution's appeal to the supreme court," RSF editor in chief Virginie Dangles said.

"This blogger should never have had to spend three years of his life in prison because of what he wrote. His case has deeply divided Mauritanian society and we urge the authorities to lose no time in doing whatever is necessary to protect him." 

Mohamed's lawyer said she was not sure if it would be safe for her client to remain in Mauritania, given the hostile climate and the fact that prosecutors are again seeking the death penalty. 

Thousands of people have protested to demand the death sentence whenever his case has come before a court. Another hostile street demonstration took place in the capital, Nouakchott, a week ago. 

No one has been executed in Mauritania since 1987 and Mohamed was the first person in his country to be sentenced to death for apostasy. RSF and other free speech organizations had constantly called for his release for the past three years. 

Mauritania has fallen in RSF's World Press Freedom Index in recent years and is now ranked 55th out of 180 countries.


Source: RSF, November 14, 2017


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas executes Joseph Garcia

Death penalty in Tennessee: What I saw when I watched David Earl Miller die in the electric chair

Alvin Braziel Jr. scheduled to be last inmate executed by Texas in 2018

Tennessee executes David Earl Miller

Tennessee: David Earl Miller moved to death watch as his execution approaches

In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

Iranian Juvenile Offender Milad Azimi Saved from Execution

Mississippi justices reject challenges over execution drug

Texas: Border Patrol agent charged with capital murder, prosecutors will seek death penalty

Hours before execution, Tennessee governor rejects killer’s plea for mercy