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Memphis Commerical Appeal Editorial and Analysis

On Sunday, January 25, the Memphis Commercial Appeal published an editorial and lengthy analysis of the current state of Tennessee’s death penalty.

Read the editorial by CLICKING HERE. Read the analysis by CLICKING HERE.

Editorial:

“There is nothing government does that is more profound than to take the life of a citizen.”

The editorial endorses reforms that the Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty has discussed: recording all custodial interrogations, proportionality review, adequate representation, and exempting those with severe mental illness.

“what could be more important than perfecting laws and policies to ensure fairness and equity in the application of capital punishment?”

“Reforming the system does not equate to being soft on crime. It does not equate to harboring sympathy for criminals or excusing unforgivable behavior.” Murderers must be held accountable. However, the reality of our system is one that is inefficient (over half of Tennessee death sentences have been overturned), lengthy (the average time spent on death row is over 10 years), and costly.

“In the meantime, there can never be enough caution in the application of the ultimate penalty.” Sadly, Steve Henley is scheduled to be executed on February 4th amidst myriad issues plaguing his case. Visit Steve Henley’s new website by CLICKING HERE.

Analysis:

“More than half of the 184 persons sentenced to death in Tennessee since capital punishment was restored in 1977 have had their sentences set aside. Convicts on death row spend an average of 10 years there. One has managed to delay his execution since 1978. Twenty-six men have spent 20 years or more fighting the ultimate punishment. Four have been executed. One inhabitant recently died there with no help from the state.”

The article discusses at length the work of the study committee and its attempts to reform a broken system. The new political landscape and the political risk of endorsing death penalty reform cast a shadow on the excellent work of the committee and the need to fix this broken system.

The case of Gary Cone which came out of Memphis is a harbinger of things to come. There will be more sentences reversed, more Supreme Court appearances, and more resources wasted on a policy that does not address the most critical issues of justice: fairness and equality.

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Resistance and Remembrance: Philip Workman Anniversary

(Portions of this reflection written by Stacy Rector are taken from “Pizza Resistance in Tennessee” in Hospitality (August 2007), a publication of the Open Door Community in Atlanta, Georgia)

One year ago—May 9, 2007—the state of Tennessee executed Philip Workman for the death of Memphis police officer, Lt. Ronald Oliver, who was killed in a shootout following the armed robbery of a Wendy’s restaurant. Evidence in the case indicated that though Workman was guilty of the armed robbery, he was not guilty of shooting the police officer, who was most likely killed by “friendly fire.”

Philip Workman had six execution dates set and was moved to death watch four different times during his incarceration on Tennessee’s death row. The final time Workman went to death watch he was asked what he wanted to eat for his last meal. Workman requested that a homeless person be given a vegetarian pizza. He didn’t ask for lobster or steak or chocolate cake. He didn’t ask for one thing for himself. His last act—his last meal—he gave to someone else, to a homeless stranger, someone most rarely consider on their best day, must less their last day.

The state refused to deliver the pizza. The reason: the state could not use taxpayer money for such a charitable purpose. So with an empty belly but lips full of prayer, Philip Workman was strapped to a gurney, and after 17 agonizing minutes, breathed his last. The state had taken his life, and yet…

The pizza began showing up. Donna Spangler, a Nashville resident and some of her friends, donated 150 pizzas–$1,200 worth—to the Nashville Rescue Mission. Linda Carter, a member of Second Presbyterian Church, Nashville, took nine large pizzas to the Campus for Human Development and shared dinner with the homeless there. The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals heard about Philip’s request and delivered 15 pizzas to the mission. The Oasis Center, a shelter for teenagers in Nashville, received 17 pizzas from a Minneapolis Radio station.

And the pizzas kept multiplying. Pete Gathje and Jenny Case reported that in Memphis at Emmanuel House, a house of hospitality, 20 large pizzas were served courtesy of Elizabeth Vandiver from Washington. In Portland, Oregon, the Sisters of the Road Café—a drop in eatery for the homeless—began receiving pizza. In Connecticut, Bob Nave, Executive Director of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, reported 500 homeless people enjoyed 150 pizzas. And, Fabian Hathorn, along with other French activists, sent $200 to the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing to buy pizzas for the homeless. All told, over 1,500 homeless people nationwide enjoyed a pizza party because Philip Workman, executed by Tennessee as the “worst kind of monster,” chose to remember a homeless person as his last act on earth.

Today we remember the compassion of Philip Workman in his most agonizing hour. We remember Lt. Ronald Oliver, Philip Workman, and all those affected by their deaths. Today we remember that there is much work to be done, and we recommit ourselves to resisting and ultimately abolishing the death penalty in Tennessee. Let us on this day strive to live as people who affirm with Martin Luther King Jr.:

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Fairly, there are numerous aspects you would like to think about medications. All discount medicaments save money, but few online drugstores offer better deals than other online drugstores. There isn’t anything you can’t order online anymore. Remedies like Deltasone ordinarily is used to treat diseases such as eye problems. Glucocorticoids naturally occurring steroids, which are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. There are varied drugs for every conditions. Cialis is a remedy prescribed to treat many illnesses. What do you already know about long term side effects of cialis? What consumers talk about how long does it take for cialis to take effect? A general sexual claim among men is the erectile disfunction. Sexual problems mostly signal deeper problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Albeit the erectile disfunction itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the early warning symptoms of other underlying heartiness conditions that can be very dangerous. Unfortunately nearly all over-the-counter medicines have sometimes dangerous aftereffects, from muscle aches to death. If you buy any erectile dysfunction medicaments like Cialis, check with a physician that they are sure to take with your other drugs. Do not take unwanted medications. Take Cialis to your local chemist’s shop which will dispose of them for you.