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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…

Iraq executes Islamic State member who partook in Shingal massacre

Former IS militants tried in Iraqi courts.
An Iraqi Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced to death by hanging a member of the Islamic State (IS) who admitted to having taken part in the murder of Yezidis (Ezidis) in the Nineveh Province.

"The convicted man had confessed to the killing of many civilian men and women in the Sinjar (Shingal) district as well as fighting against the security and military forces in Mosul," the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council's spokesperson, Judge Abdul-Sattar Birqdar, said in a statement.

In IS' August 2014 invasion of the predominantly Ezidi-inhabited town of Shingal, over 15,000 people were killed or abducted, and nearly 50,000 displaced from their homes.

Though it has been years since IS' ouster, a severe lack of essential services, stability, and government efforts to revitalize the region have kept its population from returning to their homes.

"The 2nd body in the Nineveh Criminal Court sentenced to death" the IS member "who was known as al-Muhajir," Birqdar noted.

At the end of June, based upon the directive of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the government executed 12 convicted terrorists in response to IS' abduction, murder, mutilation, and later dumping of Iraqi self-described security forces.

A week before Baghdad's action, IS released a video showing the abducted security personnel and gave the government a 6-day deadline to release female prisoners affiliated with the organization.

Last month, Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi army's Joint Operations Command (JOC), said he had seen the IS video, released on June 23, and claimed authorities were working on finding the location of the hostages.

In the end, Baghdad's promised efforts failed as the bodies of the abductees were found on the road connecting Kirkuk to the capital.

According to Iraq's counterterrorism law, aiding or membership in the extremist group carries the penalty of life in prison or death.

"The court issued its decision to hang to death the accused under the provisions of Article 4/1 of [Iraq's] anti-terrorism law," spokesperson Birqdar concluded.

Source: kurdistan24.net, July 26, 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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