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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…

Sri Lanka: Govt. will not change decision on death penalty for drug smugglers

President Maithripala Sirisena
President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday assured that he would not change the decision taken by the Government to implement the death penalty for drug smugglers under any circumstance, despite the objections raised by some factions against the move.

He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony held in Polonnaruwa, commencing the construction of the National Nephrology Hospital. 

Referring to a newspaper report that the Government had changed the decision, the President stated that the Government has not reversed the decision and will take necessary steps to carry out capital punishment for drug smugglers.

The President said he would summon the heads of the fields of judiciary, prisons, and law and order tomorrow to appoint a committee in this regard.

“This committee, which will consist of representatives of all the relevant fields, would make decisions about the convicted personnel who should be executed,” he said.

Source: ft.lk, July 23, 2018


Sri Lanka leader vows to end moratorium on death penalty


Colombo
Sri Lanka's president said the government will still end its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment despite requests by the European Union and other diplomatic missions not to do so.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the decision to implement the death penalty for drug smugglers "will not be changed under any circumstance and despite the objections raised by some factions against the move," according to the president's website.

Rising crime in Sri Lanka, including gang-related killings, narcotics, robberies and sex crimes have led to a public outcry for executions.

Last week, Sirisena said convicted drug traffickers will be hanged as a part of a crackdown on narcotics. The government has said it will execute prisoners who have allegedly taken advantage of the moratorium to continue their drug trade from prison. Drug trafficking carries the death penalty in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has maintained the moratorium since its last execution in 1976.

No date has been set for the 1st new execution. More than 400 convicts now in prison were sentenced to death, although many have had their sentences commuted to life or are appealing. Of them, 18 were sentenced for drug-related crimes.

Sirisena said he would summon judiciary, prisons and law enforcement heads this week to appoint a committee to decide who should be executed.

The government's decision to end the moratorium drew reaction from the European Union delegation and embassies of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Canada and Norway which asked Sirisena to maintain the moratorium and to uphold Sri Lanka's tradition of opposition to capital punishment.

The embassies stressed they oppose capital punishment "in all circumstances and in all cases" and that the death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible.

Source: Associated Press, July 23, 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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