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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…

Kenyan beauty queen sentenced to death for murder

Kenya Supreme Court
NAIROBI: A Kenyan court has sentenced a 24-year-old beauty queen to death for murdering her boyfriend by stabbing him 25 times, drawing criticism from rights groups who called the punishment "inhumane".

Ruth Kamande, who won a prison beauty pageant while awaiting trial, slashed her partner Farid Mohammed, 24, to death in 2015 and was convicted in May.

"I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend even where you feel disappointed or frustrated - don't do it," said High Court judge Jessie Lesiit passing sentence on Thursday (Jul 19).

"Instead, it is cool to walk away and thereafter to forgive."

The judge accused Kamande of "manipulative" behaviour that included accessing the victim's mobile phone as well as showing no remorse for the vicious attack which left "blood all over" the crime scene.

"I think passing any other sentence than the one prescribed (death) would turn the accused into a hero," said Lesiit.

Rights group Amnesty International called the sentence "cruel, inhumane and outdated".

"This sentence is a blow to Kenya's progressive record in commuting death sentences to terms of imprisonment," said Amnesty director Irungu Houghton.

The victim's family insisted the sentence matched the crime.

"We're glad that this day came and his grandparents, his sister were actually in court today when this verdict was given," the victim's tearful aunt Emmah Wanjiku told reporters after the sentencing.

"He had just started his job when his life was cut short."

Kamande's lawyer Joyner Okonjo said she would appeal the sentence.

Kenya has an effective ban on carrying out death sentences and no death row prisoner has been executed since 1987.

The country's Supreme Court ruled in December 2017 that the mandatory death sentence for murder and armed robbery was unconstitutional, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The death sentence remains on the statute books however.

Source: Agence France-Presse, July 20, 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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