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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Florida Governor Rick Scott continues death penalty fight with State Attorney Aramis Ayala

Rick Scott, left, Aramis Ayala
Scott gives Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala's office until Dec. 11 to provide answers about seeking the death penalty in the Emerita Mapp case.

Gov. Rick Scott's office demanded that Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala provide a series of answers about the pursuit of the death penalty in a case involving an April murder in Kissimmee.

In a Monday letter, Scott's general counsel said Ayala failed to "file a timely notice of intent" to seek the death penalty against Emerita Mapp, who had been charged with 1st-degree murder in the stabbing death of Zackery Ganoe.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a notice to seek the death penalty was filed by Ayala's office in October after a panel of seven attorneys in her office recommended the death penalty.

Ayala's decision to form the panel came after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Ayala was wrong in refusing to pursue the death penalty. After the verdict, Ayala said she would comply with the ruling.

But Scott's general counsel, Daniel Nordby, insisted in a 3-page letter to Ayala on Monday that she her office had failed to file notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Mapp.

"As you should have been aware, Florida law required a notice of intent to seek the death penalty to be filed within 45 days from the date of Mapp's arraignment," Nordby said. "Inexplicably, the notice was not filed until Oct. 31, 2017 - well beyond the 45-day deadline and more than 35 days after you acknowledged your 'responsibility to follow the law.' on Sept. 1."

Nordby charges that Ayala knew the deadline had lapsed, but "knowingly" filed the notice.

"This suggests negligence - and, at worst, willful disregard - in the faithful performance of the duties of your constitutional office."

He outlined several steps her office needed to take before Dec. 11, including:

-- The procedures of the death penalty review panel, the number of cases reviewed and the number of cases that have resulted in an unanimous decision to seek the death penalty;

-- The date on which the panel unanimously recommended the death penalty in the case against Emerita Mapp and the date State Attorney Ayala accepted that recommendation; and

-- Explanation of State Attorney Ayala's decision to refuse State Attorney King's offer of assistance in developing a procedure to review cases for death penalty consideration.

Eryka Washington, a spokeswoman for Ayala's office, said Scott's letter was received Monday afternoon. She said a comment will be forthcoming once it is reviewed.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, December 5, 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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