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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…

Iranian authorities cut off man's hand for stealing

Judicial amputation, Iran (file photo)
Iran Human Rights (Jan 18, 2018): Iranian authorities have amputated one hand of a prisoner who was charged with stealing sheep. 

The amputation was carried out at Mashhad Central Prison. 

According to a report published by Khorasan Newspaper, the sentence was carried out on Wednesday, January 17. 

The prisoner, named Ali Kh., was arrested for sheep robbery in 2011 when he was 28. 

The prisoner’s hand was amputated by a guillotine, and after the amputation, he was sent to the prison’s clinic for medical treatment. 

The Islamic Penal Code of Iran permits amputation of hands and legs for defendants charged with robbery.

Based on Article 201 of the Islamic Penal Code, robbery is first punished by the amputation of four fingers of the thief’s right hand; for the second time, it’s punished by the amputation of the thief’s left foot, and for the third time, the defendant is sentenced to life in prison. The thief is sentenced to death for the fourth time.
Moreover, based on Article 202 of the Islamic Penal code, if a thief is charged with robbery for the second time after his fingers were amputated, his left foot will be amputated.

According to Khorasan News, the amputation sentence for this prisoner was issued by the “experienced judges of the Appeal Court” who “considered the verdict completely legal considering the solid evidence and proofs”.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) condemns physical punishments, considers it against human rights and emphasizes the necessity of a change in Iran’s laws to put a stop to these inhumane punishments. 

IHR emphasises that the amputation of hands for theft are often carried out without the news being announced, and this is only the head of an iceberg.

“Besides being a medieval punishment,” Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for IHR, argues “it also demonstrates the extreme hypocrisy in the Iranian Judiciary where a thief is sentenced by cutting off his hand, but there are reports about the head of the same Judiciary’s 63 personal bank accounts, filled with public money, which are not even investigated.”

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 18, 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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