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…

Death penalty debate rekindled in Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Speculation surrounding the reintroduction of the death penalty has heightened in Turkey following comments made by head of a minor Turkish party allied with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Mustafa Destici, leader of the Great Unity Party (BBP), suggested a proposal to reinstate the death penalty for offences such as murder, treason and sexual offences against children would be introduced to Turkey's parliament in October. 

He also suggested a referendum could be held in which the electorate could decide on the issue. 

Debate about the death penalty, abolished in 2004, has been ongoing in Turkey since the attempted coup of July 2016, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having frequently said he would endorse any legislation that reinstates the punishment.

However implementing any such decision would be problematic according to Ozturk Turkdogan, head of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD). 

Turkdogan, a lawyer, pointed out that Destici's proposal would require changing Turkey's constitution, rather than laws and that gaining the necessary numbers of votes in Turkey's 600 seat parliaments to do this, or even to bring the issue to a referendum, would be difficult.

He also pointed out that Turkey is a signatory to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Additional Protocol No. 2 and a member of the European Court of Human Rights, both of which prohibit the death penalty.

Any reintroduction of the death penalty, Turkdogan said, would also be tantamount to "economic suicide", because it would result in the official end of Turkey's decades old-bid for European Union membership.

Source: ahvalnews.com, August 6, 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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