In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

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…

Pakistan: Death row prisoner asks High Court's permission to pursue higher education

PESHAWAR: A death row prisoner on Saturday filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court seeking permission to pursue higher education after completing masters in English from Hazara University as a private candidate during incarceration in Haripur jail.

Sajjad Ahmad in his writ petition said that he has been in lockup for the last 15 years and has spent most his time pursuing his education.

According to the PHC officials his writ petition will be put before the two-judge bench for hearing on January 16.

Ahmad said that he was awarded the death penalty in a murder case by a sessions’ court in which he has professed his innocence.

He filed an appeal in the high court, however, it was rejected.

He said that he has not filed an appeal against the death penalty with the case underway in the supreme court.

Ahmad remains hopeful that his writ petition will be accepted.

“Under the laws of this country, it is the right of every person to get education,” told the petitioner.

“The court has to issue an order to make the arrangement so that education can be pursued.”

“Gaining education will be also help in living out a decent life, if the top court clears him of murder charges,” his lawyer Muhammad Khurshid Khan said.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) through its chief secretary, K-P inspector general of prisons, superintend of Haripur jail and principle of Ayub Law College are the respondents in the case.

Khan added that the prisoner belongs to an educated family of district Nowshera. His two brothers are doctors and another is engineer.

“He was a third year student at the Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, when he was implicated in the murder due to which he couldn’t completed his medical education”.

He has done his Bachelor of Arts from Allama Iqbal Open University in 2008 and MA in Political Science as a private student from Hazara University in 2013 and then another masters in English Literature in 2015.

“I have passed my whole jail life in the pursuance of education,” he added.

He said that he is more interested in doing his LLB as under the Pakistan Prisons Rule number 215, any convicted prisoner can appear examination including LLB in an academic year.

Source: The Express Tribune, Hidayat Khan, January 13, 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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