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“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

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The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

Florida: Death penalty opponents call on DeSantis to stop execution

Bobby Joe Long
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Death penalty opponents are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to stop the execution of serial killer on death row.

Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed Thursday at Florida State Prison for the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County.

In 1985, Long pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay Area.

Long’s attorney has filed appeals to try to block the execution, a process that likely will continue leading up to Thursday.

If given a lethal injection, he would be the first death row inmate executed since Gov. DeSantis took office in January.

Death penalty opponents want DeSantis to stop the execution, saying capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime.

“Once you cross a threshold, it can be tough to go back from," Michael Sheedy of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We believe that he does recognize the really serious nature of this. We are hopeful, again, that he will stay this execution.”

28 inmates were executed under the watch of former governor Rick Scott during his eight years in office, the most of any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.


Source: mysuncoast.com, Staff, May 21, 2019


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