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…

Taiwan's minister of justice: The crime issue cannot be solved by judicial sentencing or execution

Taiwan street
Chiu made the statement when he was asked by reporters whether more severe judicial punishment should be imposed in the face of rampant crimes in the society

In the wake of recent separate cases of abhorrent murders and dismemberment of the victims' bodies in Taiwan and calls from the society for more severe judicial punishment for the perpetrators to deter the prevalence of serious crimes, the country's Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san said on Wednesday that the crime problem cannot be solved by judicial sentencing and execution.

Chiu made the statement before attending a hearing in the legislature's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee when he was asked by reporters whether more severe judicial punishment should be imposed in the face of rampant crimes in the society.

Taiwan's media has been dominated by horrendous headlines of murders and dismemberment of victim's bodies this week.

As recent as last night (May 29), a 22-year-old man in Taoyuan ran amok and hurt his family with a knife, killing an aunt and injuring his mother and another aunt.

On May 28, a popular Taiwanese online streamer was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend with a fruit knife in Taipei.

News broke a few days ago that a fitness trainer based in New Taipei City murdered his girlfriend, who he met on Tinder, and disposed of her dismembered body in seven trash bags, before ultimately hanging himself on May 28.

A 67-year-old man in Taoyuan confessed on May 27 that he had stabbed his wife to death and beheaded and disemboweled her after she asked for a divorce.

A 5-year-old girl in central Taiwan died about a week ago of severe injuries inflicted by her uncle-in-law.

In answering the reporters' question, the justice minister said that the thinking of using severe judicial punishment to deter prevalence of serious crimes has been in existence in Taiwan's society for a long time, but the history of the amendments of the country's criminal law and enforcement of the law have not supported the philosophy.

Taiwan underwent tremendous changes in the family, school, society and economy structures, bringing pressure to people's life and as a result causing emotional problems, Chiu said, adding that social problems should be tackled from social perspectives and justice can only give the punishment that fits the crime.

He said the crime issue is a reflection of the social background and perpetrators' pressure and mental problems, and that the crime issue cannot be solved by judicial sentencing and execution. He added that social problems should be handled by establishing a network of social security and that involves responsibilities of different governmental agencies, such as the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

When asked whether executions of death row inmates will be forthcoming, Chiu said that Taiwan has not abolished the death penalty and has not hesitated to carry out the death penalty either. However, he said abolishment of the death penalty is a goal for the future.

Source: taiwannews.com.tw, May 30, 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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