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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…

Ohio: Jury recommends death penalty for serial killer Anthony Kirkland

Anthony Kirkland
A jury has recommended the death penalty for serial killer Anthony Kirkland.

The jury -- 6 white men, 4 white women and 2 black women -- recommended that Kirkland be executed for his crimes.

It was the 2nd death sentence for the convicted serial killer. He was previously sentenced to die by a jury that convicted him of his most recent 2 murders. But Ohio's Supreme Court overturned that sentence last year, citing comments made by the prosecutor at trial.

The guilty verdict stood in his most recent trial, but a new jury was forced to decide if Kirkland died or spend life in prison.

Kirkland admitted to killing 5 women and girls.

He first murdered Leona Douglas in 1987. Following a 16-year prison term, he murdered an additional 4 women between 2006 and 2009.

Casonya Crawford 14, was strangled by Kirkland and set on fire in May 2006.

Mary Jo Newton was strangled and set on fire by Kirkland June 2006. A few months later, Kimya Rolison was stabbed to death then set on fire by Kirkland.

Esme Kenney 13, was killed in March 2009. She was jogging in Winton Hills near her home when Krikland attacked her, strangled her, then burned her body.

As the jury filed in and Anthony Kirkland entered the courtroom Monday, the tension could be felt among the loved ones of his victims.

Chief assistant prosecuting attorney Mark Piepmeier started the closing arguments, stating Kirkland deserves death.

Piepmier challenged the validity of the defense's medical expert, insisting Kirkland knew what he was doing.

Kirkland's attorney, Richard Wendel, said Kirkland's mental state draws the comparison of a car with no brakes, which is why Kirkland wanted life without parole.

"Anthony is confused on why he would kill people that didn't deserve it," Wendel said.

As the faces of Kirkland's victims loom as reminders for the jury, Piepmeier and Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters outlined the gruesome detail of the horror that led up to their deaths.

The defense reminded the jury of Kirkland's childhood.

"The 5-year-old Anthony Kirkland never had a chance," Wendel said.

Wendel argued Kirkland didn't truly see the faces of his victims or understand the magnitude of his actions.

"It was too late. With a brain subject to neglect, abuse, violence, he has the brain to misjudge non-threat with threat. Anthony goes into 'fight or flight' ...," Wendel said.

"Any one of you could prevent the death penalty," Wendel said.

"For you to not choose the death penalty -- that is you saying, 'Sorry, Cassandra and Esme were not that important,'" Piepmeier said.

Source: WLWT news, August 7, 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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