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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…

Alabama inmate who twice avoided execution dies in prison infirmary

Alabama's death chamber
A 66-year-old man who killed a Birmingham woman and then escaped from prison and killed a 68-year-old man has died.

Donald Thigpen died Tuesday night in the William Donaldson Corrections Facility in Jefferson County after serving 45 years for the murders which happened in the 1970s.

Thigpen was found unresponsive in his infirmary bed at 7:55 p.m., according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office, and pronounced dead five minutes later. There was no foul play in his death.

Thigpen was convicted in May 1972 shotgun shooting death of his girlfriend, Cassie Lee Davis. The shooting happened in one of Birmingham's public housing communities where the victim lived. Authorities said Birmingham Housing Authority officials had told Davis that Thigpen could not live with her and that had been conveyed to Thigpen.

Witnesses testified that Thigpen, while gathering his belongings to leave, picked up the single-barrel, sawed-off shotgun from a table, pointed it at Davis and fired. He then left the apartment and returned a moment later, asking, "Did I kill her?" The shooting happened in front of a public housing manager.

Thigpen was convicted and sentenced to death. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals later reduced to the sentence to life in prison.

While serving that life sentence, Thigpen and 10 other inmates in April 1975 escaped from Alabama's Holman Prison. The next day, Thigpen and another one of the escapees, came across a 68-year-old farmer who was building a fence along a roadway way.

Authorities said one of the escapees killed Henry Lambeth with an ax or fence post and fled in his pickup truck. Again, Thigpen was sentenced to death but escaped execution when the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled out the death penalty statute under which Thigpen was sentenced.

Source: AL.com, Carol Robinson, June 6, 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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