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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…

Uganda: President's misguided death penalty vow threatens a decade of progress

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Responding to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's threat to "hang" death row prisoners as a crime deterrent after more than a decade without an execution in the country, Amnesty International's Death Penalty Adviser Oluwatosin Popola said:

"President Museveni's threat to resume executions to 'prevent crime' is misguided since there is no credible evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. Rather, it is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the right to life.

"While the backlog of criminal cases in Uganda is something that needs to be addressed and expedited, resorting to the death penalty as some kind of 'quick-fix' is not the answer.

"Uganda's refusal to carry out executions in recent years has been a credit to President Museveni, but resuming them now would destroy more than a decade of progress, not to mention buck the global trend towards abolition.

"Rather than talking of hanging criminals, the President must instead lead Uganda to fully abolishing the death penalty, just as 19 other African countries have done."

Background


President Museveni tweeted that "being lenient is causing people to think they can cause harm and get away with it".

He was also quoted as saying, "Criminals think they have a right to kill people and keep their heads ... I think I am going to revise [my position] a bit and hang a few ... If you see how they kill people, they deserve to be killed."

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty at all times - regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution.

Source: Amnesty International, January 20, 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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