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…

North Korea | Chagang Province forestry official executed for illegal corn farm

Locals in Kopung County, where the execution took place, say it was the 1st public execution they've ever witnessed in the area

The head of a local forest management office in Chagang Province was recently executed for removing saplings from state-owned land and planting corn in their place, Daily NK has learned.

The man’s execution came after the Chagang Province People’s Committee’s launched an inquiry into why the local forest management office in Kopung County failed to grow the state-set quota of saplings and send them over to the committee on Arbor Day (Mar. 2).

Forest management offices throughout North Korea are required to cultivate saplings to plant on Arbor Day each year.

The people’s committee’s inquiry found that the director of the Kopung County forest management office, a man in his 50s, had removed saplings planted last spring and planted corn seeds in their place. The man then distributed the harvested corn to his colleagues and their families while the remaining corn stalks were given to the 22 cows owned by the office.

Interestingly, the man had planted “Pyongyang No. 12” corn seeds, which typically produce corn stalks with 2 or 3 ears of corn. The corn stalks are typically twice as large as normal stalks, making them particularly good for animal feed. He reportedly had acquired the seeds in Pyongyang.

The man’s actions were in accordance with the North Korean communist party’s call for the people to become “self-reliant” in food; however, the authorities reportedly chose to execute him because he failed to receive permission to turn state-owned land into a corn farm. His actions also went against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s calls to “reforest” the country.

On the day of the man’s execution, local high school students (age 15 and over) along with other locals from the county gathered near a market. Sources in the province told Daily NK that a vehicle with a speaker broadcast the man’s crime before he was shot with 9 bullets as he stood tied up at a stake.

“Locals say that it’s the 2st time a public execution has ever occurred in Kopung County,” one source told Daily NK.

“The man’s colleagues and their families were made to stand at the very front watching his execution and had to watch him being shot to death without showing any emotion,” he added.

Source: dailynk.com, Staff, May 9, 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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