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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…

Chinese convicts executed after stadium trial

Chinese Drug Dealers Are Being Sentenced To Death in a Sports Stadium
BEIJING (AFP) - Thousands of spectators filled a stadium in China to watch 10 suspects be sentenced to death for crimes ranging from drug-dealing to homicide before they were taken away to be executed at the weekend.

An online video of the rare public trial, held in southern Guangdong province on Saturday, showed the handcuffed suspects paraded around a track by uniformed police officers as onlookers watched from the sidelines.

The convicts also stood on a podium as their sentences were read over loudspeakers, while officials sat on a stage flanked by military guards.

Rights groups say China executes more people than any other country, but Beijing does not give figures on the death penalty, regarding the statistics as state secrets.

A public announcement last week from Lufeng City People's Court had invited citizens to sit in on the "open-air stadium trial", as it was dubbed by the state-run Global Times.

File photo: Sentenced to death and immediately taken off to a nearby execution ground.
Beijing News, which circulated the trial video along with several other Chinese media outlets, criticised the court for making a spectacle of the sentences.

Ten of 12 suspects were handed the death penalty and taken away for immediate execution while curious locals, including many young people in school uniform, looked on.

"Places may hold public trials in order to intimidate criminals and raise society's sense of security, but they should not violate the basic humanity of the law," a Beijing News commentary said Monday.

The column noted that "from a legal standpoint, the death penalty should not be enacted immediately after the final ruling... the local court deliberately put together this scene for dramatic effect."

According to Global Times, an open-air trial for drug trafficking was also held in Lufeng in 2015, with 10,000 people in the audience.

The city is one of the country's largest producers of methamphetamine.

Source: France24, December 18, 2017

➤ Related content: China sentences ten to death in front of cheering crowd of thousands


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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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