Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…

Taiwan executes man who killed 6 relatives in arson attack

Weng Jen-hsien
Only 2nd execution since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016

A man who used gasoline to burn 5 relatives to death during Lunar New Year’s Eve in Feb. of 2016, including his parents and a caregiver, has been executed, reports said Wednesday (April 1).

While capital punishment still receives widespread public support in Taiwan, executions have become rare, and many in President Tsai Ing-wen’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party want to move toward its abolition. 

Wednesday evening’s execution was only the 2nd since Tsai first became president in May 2016.

Weng Jen-hsien's sentence had been repeatedly upheld, as judges said he had shown no remorse and still posed a threat to the surviving members of his family, UDN reported. 

Weng, 54, had harbored a grudge against his parents and seven siblings because as the youngest brother, he had been left to do most of the work on the family farm in Taoyuan City.

Just before the Lunar New Year holiday in 2016, Weng reportedly bought gasoline, which he bottled separately. 

When his relatives were gathered for the traditional Lunar New Year’s Eve party, he entered the room and doused them with the gasoline before setting them on fire. 

His parents, their caregiver, 2 cousins, and a cousin’s wife perished, while 5 other relatives survived with burns.

Source: Taiwan News, Staff, April 2, 2020

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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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