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

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. …

China executes serial killer years after executing innocent man ... for same crime

China, execution
A Hohhot court in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Tuesday carried out a death penalty for a serial killer whose crime already served as the reason for another death sentence several years ago, local prosecution said.

Zhao Zhihong, who has been found guilty of committing nearly two dozen rapes and murders from 1996 to 2005, was sentenced to death in February 2015. 

His crimes also include a murder, for which an innocent man, the first to report to police about the victim, was executed in 1996. 

The innocent man was posthumously exonerated in December 2014. 

The Chinese authorities delivered an official apology to his parents and paid them $330,000 in compensation.

Zhao refused to meet his relatives before his execution, the prosecutor's office said.

China remains the world’s leading country practicing death penalties with thousands executed in the country each year. 

International human rights groups have repeatedly urged Beijing to abolish capital punishment on grounds that death-penalty processes are inhumane and prone to error.

Source: India Blooms News Service, Staff, July 31, 2019

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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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