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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…

South Dakota: Convicted prison guard killer to be executed in the fall

Rodney Berget
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Convicted prison guard killer Rodney Berget is set to be executed in the fall, South Dakota's attorney general said Wednesday.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement that Berget, 56, is scheduled to be executed between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. 

Jackley's office said the warden of the state penitentiary will choose the specific time and date, which will be announced within 48 hours of the execution.

Circuit Court Judge Bradley Zell issued a warrant of execution for Berget.

Berget pleaded guilty in April 2012 to killing Ronald "R.J." Johnson in a failed prison escape attempt in April 2011 along with fellow inmate Eric Robert, who was executed in 2012.

An attorney for Berget wasn't immediately available to comment to The Associated Press. 

Berget's mental status and death penalty eligibility have played a key role in court delays.

Berget in 2016 appealed his death penalty sentence, but later asked to withdraw it despite the advice of his lawyers, the Argus Leader reported .

"I want this to be the last day I appear in court," Berget said at a September 2016 hearing.

The last execution in South Dakota was the lethal injection of Donald Moeller on Oct. 30, 2012, for the killing of Becky O'Connell.

Source: redwoodtimes.com, 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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