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…

8 Iraqis from same family risk death penalty over IS killings

Khasfah sinkhole
BAGHDAD : Eight Iraqis from the same family risk being sentenced to death after admitting to involvement in killing 370 people while members of the Islamic State group, the judiciary said Wednesday.

The men face charges under Iraq's anti-terror legislation over the killings at Khasfah, a sinkhole in northern Iraq just eight kilometres from Mosul, the former capital of IS's self-declared "caliphate".

"The eight terrorists arrested have admitted to participating in the Khasfah massacre," said Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar. "They participated in the execution of 370 civilians and members of security forces and the arrest of 400 people in Mosul," who were then held in IS jails, he added in a statement.

After IS overran Mosul in 2014, Khasfah became one of Iraq's largest mass graves as jihadists carried out a series of executions at the site.

Witnesses said the victims were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs, before being forced to kneel. They were then shot and pushed into the crater.

More than 300 people, including around 100 foreigners, have been sentenced to death or life in prison by Iraqi courts over their membership of IS, according to judicial sources.

Iraq declared victory in December over the jihadist group, which at its peak controlled nearly a third of the country as well as large swathes of neighbouring Syria.

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 2, 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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