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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 r…

Iraq: Figures leaked by government official appear to show more than 19,000 people detained on terrorism grounds, many accused of ISIS links

Mosul, Iraq
Responding to an Associated Press report that the Iraqi authorities have detained or imprisoned at least 19,000 people accused of links to the Islamic State armed group or other terror-related offences, sentencing more than 3,000 of them to death, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

“We are deeply alarmed by this report and the Iraqi authorities’ mass use of the death penalty and the courts’ reliance on torture-tainted ‘confessions’ to secure convictions.

“Amnesty International has documented the flawed screening process by Iraqi forces to which men and boys fleeing areas of conflict have been subjected. Thousands of them have been arbitrarily arrested, forcibly disappeared, and routinely subjected to torture and horrific conditions in detention. 

“It is vital that all those detained are held in officially-recognised and supervised detention facilities.

“The Iraqi authorities must immediately address serious flaws in the criminal justice system and institute effective safeguards against torture and enforced disappearance, and ensure all defendants are given a fair trial, including the right to legal representation. 

“They must implement an immediate moratorium on executions as a first step towards total abolition of the death penalty.”

Leaked figures


The Associated Press said its figures are based partially on an analysis of a spreadsheet said to list all 27,849 people imprisoned in Iraq as of late January, a dataset provided by an official who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. 

AP said thousands more people were believed to be held in detention by other bodies, including the Federal Police, military intelligence and Kurdish forces. 

Source: Amnesty International UK, March 21, 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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