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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…

U.S.: Upcoming executions demonstrate unlawful nature of death penalty

NEW YORK — Three executions set for this week all demonstrate the irreparable failings of the death penalty, experts from Amnesty International USA said today.

“Three states are set to put prisoners to death this week, and every single one of these cases raises disturbing questions about the fairness of the legal proceedings that put them on death row,” said Kristina Roth, senior program officer for criminal justice programs at Amnesty International USA. “These cases show that there is no justifiable way for the state to put a prisoner to death. The death penalty system is irrevocably broken and should be done away with for good.”

Prisoners scheduled for execution this week are

Patrick Hannon, who has been on death row in Florida for over 26 years, or more than half of his life. Hannon’s co-defendants received lighter sentences due in part to what two Florida Supreme Court judges attributed to ineffective counsel. 

Hannon is scheduled to be put to death on November 8;

Ruben Cárdenas Ramírez is a Mexican national who was denied consular assistance as was his right under the law and interrogated without counsel for days despite asking for a lawyer. He has also been denied requests for DNA testing that could exonerate him. 

He is scheduled to be put to death in Texas on November 8 as well.

Jack Greene’s execution was scheduled this August when the state of Arkansas was able to obtain fresh supplies of the lethal injection drug midazolam. His would be the first execution since the state sought to execute eight prisoners in 11 days this past spring before the last supply of the drug expired, resulting in four executions taking place. Greene has been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder and his lawyers say he is not competent enough to know why he is being put to death.

Source: Amnesty International USA, November 7, 2017


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

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