FEATURED POST

Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

Image
ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Prison that held first Georgia electric chair being torn down

 Milledgeville prison, Georgia
ATLANTA -  A central Georgia county is tearing down an old, empty prison that was home to Georgia's first electric chair and was linked to an infamous lynching.

The two-story brick building that anchored the Georgia State Prison Farm in Milledgeville is being torn down by Baldwin County, to the outrage of some locals and history buffs.

Demolition of the structure on Georgia 22 began last week.

Built in 1911, the prison was Georgia's main correction facility for more than two decades. Beset by chronic overcrowding, it was replaced by the Reidsville prison in the mid-1930s.

In 1924, the Milledgeville prison housed Georgia's first electric chair, dubbed "Old Sparky." That same year, Howard Hinton, 22, was the first of 162 Georgia prisoners to die by state-ordered electrocution at the prison, according to a state Department of Corrections history of Georgia's death penalty.

The penitentiary's numerous occupants included Bill Miner, an infamous stagecoach and train robber who was confined there until his death in 1913.

But its most notorious link was with the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory superintendent who was tried in Atlanta amid a climate of anti-Semitic prejudice and convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl. Frank was abducted from the prison and later lynched near Marietta, nearly 120 miles away. It was unclear if the kidnappers, many of them well-to-do Marietta citizens, had help from inside the prison. Frank was posthumously pardoned by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1986.

No official public announcement was made about the demolition, Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar said in an email.

The building was beyond repair and would've cost over $5 million just to stabilize, county commission chairman Tommy French said in a press release that was sent out after demolition began.

Baldwin County acquired the historic prison in 2013 when it failed to sell at a tax sale.

Edwin Atkins, who had organized a Facebook group dedicated to preserving the building, is one of the local residents distraught over its demolition. He said locals were unaware of the demolition until someone happened to drive by.

"It's part of my family history, but more than that, it's part of Georgia's history," Atkins said. His great-grandfather, the Rev. Edwin C. Atkins, was the prison chaplain. During his 14-year stint there, he preached sermons to the convicts and prayed with death row inmates before their executions. He maintained a detailed journal of daily occurrences in the prison, which Atkins still keeps today as a family heirloom.

Atkins was part of a grassroots effort to save the prison and the inmate artwork, much of it religious, that was still visible on its walls. Atkins recognizes the grim history of the prison, especially the disproportionate number of black prisoners who were put to death there, but calls it a "landmark in capital punishment."

"If you don't respect and promote your past, you don't know where you're going in the future," Atkins said.

Historian Hugh Harrington called the disrepair of the prison a "major failing" on the county's part. Harrington is the author of three books on Milledgeville's history.

"I think as a society, we need to know what came before us," Harrington said.

Members of the Milledgeville community are currently raising funds for a museum at the site of the Central State Hospital Depot. Baldwin County would "love" to donate the cornerstone of the prison to them, Tobar said. A historic marker for the prison will also be placed on site of the prison.

Atkins said he's pushing to have the cornerstone left on the old prison site.

Source: wsbradio.com, August 1, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Tennessee executes Billy Ray Irick

New Study: Death Penalty Costing Nebraska Taxpayers $14.6 Million Each Year

Nebraska executes Carey Dean Moore

The Brits on death row around the world hoping to escape execution

Paralysis, eye gouging, amputation, crucifixion: The Medieval punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

USA: State of Nebraska set to carry out first execution in 21 years

Should 'Late Adolescence' Protect Young People from Execution?

Fentanyl Used to Execute Nebraska Inmate, in a First for U.S.

Tennessee executes Cecil C. Johnson Jr.

URGENT APPEAL for Anthony Haynes to be executed in Texas on 18 October