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…

Sudan Court Overturns Death Sentence of Teenager Who Killed Husband That Raped Her

Sudan woman
An appeals court in Sudan has overturned the death sentence of a teenager who killed her husband after he allegedly raped her, instead sentencing her to five years in prison, the BBC reports.

Noura Hussein, 19, was sentenced by an Islamic court in May to death by hanging for stabbing her husband and cousin, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad, whom she was forced to marry when she was 16 years old. He was also twice her age at the time of their wedding.

After refusing to have sex with him, Hussein said he raped her while his brother and cousins held her down. When Hammad allegedly tried to rape her again the next day, she stabbed him to death with a knife.

Fearing retribution, Hussein’s parents turned her into the police, according to the BBC.

Hussein’s case sparked international outrage. Over one million people signed an online petition, #JusticeforNoura, to overturn her death penalty, also gaining the endorsement of celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Mira Sorvino and Emma Watson.

The case has brought international attention to the issue of forced marriage in the Northeast African nation, where girls as young as 10 years old can be legally married and courts do not consider marital rape a crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty International hailed the court’s decision to overturn her sentence as “hugely welcome news,” but said Hussein’s five-year prison sentence was a “disproportionate punishment.”

“The Sudanese authorities must take this opportunity to start reforming the laws around child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape, so that victims are not the ones who are penalized,” Amnesty said in a statement.

According to a 2017 UNICEF report, one third of girls in Sudan are married before they turn 18.

Source: TIME, Casey Quackenbush, June 27, 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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