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…

Japan: Killer of two buried alive gets life sentence, escapes gallows

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
SAGA – The Saga District Court on Monday sentenced a 69-year-old man to life in prison for murdering a man and a woman by burying them alive in the city of Saga in 2014.

In the trial, prosecutors demanded that Teruyoshi Oho be given the death penalty for killing South Korean national Ra Si-chan, then 76, and his associate Chie Matsushiro, 48. 

The defense counsel argued Oho was innocent.

According to the indictment, Oho suffocated the pair on Aug. 15, 2014, by burying them alive in their car in a 5-meter hole dug at a soil treatment company he ran in the city.

The prosecutors said Oho called Ra to the site after the latter urged him to pay back about ¥40 million he had borrowed. 

Oho made his employees dig the hole beforehand and dumped the car into it using heavy machinery, they said.

Noting the crime was “premeditated based on a strong intention to kill,” the prosecutors said there were no special circumstances in Oho’s case meriting a reprieve from capital punishment.

But Oho’s defense team argued that the pair’s cause of death was not known and that his debts were not a valid reason for the killings. It also claimed the hole was for “dumping industrial waste.”

Source: japantimes.co.jp, August 8, 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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