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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…

Number of inmates awaiting death penalty in Japan at end of 2017 expected to be 123

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
The number of death row inmates in Japan as of Dec. 31 is expected to stand at 123, having remained above 100 since 2007, Justice Ministry officials said Thursday.

In 2017 four convicts on death row were executed and four others died of illness, while death sentences were finalized for two other people.

Of the four who were executed, three had been awaiting news about their requests for retrials. Of the three, one was aged 19 at the time of the crime.

The hangings of inmates seeking retrials were the first since December 1999, while that of an inmate who committed a crime as a minor was the first since August 1997. 

Both executions drew criticism from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and groups opposed to the death penalty.

Capital punishment in Japan has drawn international criticism and the federation has called for its abolition by 2020, demanding the introduction of lifetime imprisonment instead.

However, a majority of the Japanese public supports the death penalty. 

A 2014 government survey showed that 80.3 percent of Japanese people aged 20 or older favored capital punishment, down from a record 85.6 percent in the previous survey in 2009.

Source: Japan Times, December 28, 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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