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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…

Afghan national executed in Eastern Iran

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (Jan 3 2018): Official sources reported that the number of executions at Mashhad Central Prison on Sunday has risen to two.

According to Mashregh News, a young man who was arrested and sentenced to death for murder at the age of 19 was hanged at Mashhad Central Prison on the morning of Sunday December 31. 

The boy was an Afghan citizen and he was arrested and sentenced to death for murdering his fellow countryman in Mashhad on May 24, 2014.

The official media had previously reported the execution of another prisoner at the same prison on murder charges.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 142 of the 530 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented due to murder charges. 

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 4, 2018


Iran Hangs 18-Year-Old Boy Convicted Of Murder When He Was 16


Amir Hossein Pojahedfar
Reports from Iran say an 18-year-old man who was convicted of raping and killing a child when he was 16 has been hanged, despite calls by United Nations rights officials and Amnesty International to stop the execution.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, judiciary chief for Tehran Province, said that the execution took place on the morning of January 4, according to local media.

Amirhossein Pourjafar was sentenced to death in September 2016 after being convicted of the rape and murder of a 6-year-old girl from Iran's Afghan community.

Pourjafar had originally been scheduled to be executed in October, but the execution was postponed following international pressure.

"The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution of this juvenile offender and annul the death sentence against him in compliance with their international obligations," Asma Jahangir and Agnes Callamard, 2 UN special envoys, said in a joint statement on January 3.

Amnesty International also called on Tehran to halt putting Pourjafar to death, saying that Iran was a signatory to an international treaty banning the execution of people who commit crimes under the age of 18.

Iran applies the death penalty for crimes including rape, homosexuality, murder, and drug trafficking, as well as apostasy.

Source: rferl.org, January 4, 2018


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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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