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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…

One of the busiest death chambers in the US is fine-tuning its executions

Oklahoma's death chamber
Oklahoma holds one of the busiest death chambers in the US, but for the third year in a row, it has not carried out an execution.

The state—one of more than 30 in the US that has the death penalty—isn’t dialing back on the number of inmates it condemns to death. 

Instead, prison officials and state attorneys are trying to fine-tune its execution procedures after a series of blunders.

A number of botched executions resulted in 2014 being dubbed the worst year in history for the lethal injection. 

In 2015, Oklahoma used a wrong drug in its lethal-injection cocktail to execute Charles Warner—the first known instance of such a mix-up in the US. 

That same year, an inmate was moments away from execution before officials realized its lethal injection also had the wrong formula.

In a statement given to the Associated Press, Republican governor Mary Fallin said the “most solemn responsibility for a state is the taking of a life.”

“The state needs to be certain that its protocols and procedures for executions work,” she added while throwing support behind Oklahoma’s attorney general and Department of Corrections director to carry out these changes.

Currently, 47 of the total 2,817 death-row inmates awaiting execution in the US are in Oklahoma.

Source: Quartz, Lianna Brinded, 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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