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Herdsmen Killings: CAN, PFN Kick Against Death Sentence On Five Christians In Yola

Samson-Ayokunle

Fred Ezeh, Abuja; Judex Okoro, Calabar

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) have kicked against a Yola High Court ruling which sentenced five Christians to death for allegedly killing a herdsman.

It was also a day CAN President, Dr Samson Olasupo, in a statement by his media aide, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, expressed worry that the Nigerian security system is gradually being infiltrated by people of questionable characters.

CAN be asked the Federal Government to prevail on Adamawa State Government, to reverse the death sentence passed on the five Christian youths who allegedly killed a Fulani herdsman.
The association made reference to recent media reports which indicated that Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of a High Court in Adamawa, sentenced Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi to death for culpable homicide.

The convicts were said to have allegedly, on June 1, 2017, at Kadamun village in Demsa Local Government Area conspired and attacked three Fulani herdsmen, killing one of them, Adamu Buba, whose body was later found in a nearby river.

CAN also insist it does not support jungle justice or criminality but was unhappy that hundreds of Christians in Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Plateau states, are killed on daily basis, with neither arrest nor prosecution from the government.

It, thus, solicited the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, in the death sentence passed on the Christian youths in Adamawa, even as it asked its legal team to carefully study the judgment to avoid a miscarriage of justice and recurrence.

On its part, the PFN National Publicity, Bishop Emmah Isong, told newsmen, in Calabar, yesterday said the leadership, at all levels, vehemently oppose some policies that tend to divide Nigerians along religious lines rather than uniting the people and that although they are not supporting criminality in any form, but there must seem to be justice done whenever there is a clash between Christians and Muslims.

“Although we are not backing anybody to commit a crime, we rather feel that justice must seem to have been done in the case of the five Yola people. The entire leadership of PFN protests totally against the judgment and call for an appeal to squash it.

“It is high time the federal government intervened, to ensure that those Christians are not killed to forestall further religious conflict within that axis. Instead of killing people for herdsmen, the federal government should rather find a way to curtail their activities and provide adequate security to all Nigerians, which the present administration promised on ascension to power in 2015.”  (The Sun)

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Arkansas Executes Jones; Plans 2nd Lethal Injection In A Single Night

 

ANDREW DeMILLO and KELLY P. KISSEL

FILE - This combination of undated file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Jack Jones, left, and Marcel Williams. The two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday, April 24, 2017, in what could be the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years have asked an appeals court to halt their lethal injections because of poor health. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP, File)© The Associated Press FILE – This combination of undated file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Jack Jones, left, and Marcel Williams. The two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death…  

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an execution stay for inmate Marcel Williams, which will allow Arkansas to put to death two inmates in a single night.

Justices rejected Williams’ request for a stay Monday night. Williams is scheduled for execution at about 8:15 p.m.

Williams had argued that his obesity could make it difficult for officials to place an IV, and also that his previous lawyers were ineffectual at trial and during earlier appeals.

Arkansas earlier executed inmate Jack Jones Monday night. The two executions would be the first time since 2000 that a state has conducted a double execution.

EARLIER: VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas executed inmate Jack Jones Monday night and prepared for another lethal injection in what would be the nation’s first double-execution since 2000.

Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 Monday night, 14 minutes after the procedure began at the state’s Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas. There were no apparent complications, and Jones’ chest stopped moving two minutes after officials checked for consciousness.

Jones, who’d argued that his health conditions could lead to a painful death, gave a lengthy last statement. His final words were: “I’m sorry.”

“I hope over time you can learn who I really am and I am not a monster,” he said in the roughly 2-minute statement.

Barring any last-minute stays, inmate Marcel Williams will be executed later Monday.

Jones was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He was also convicted of attempting to kill Phillips’ 11-year-old daughter and was convicted in another rape and killing in Florida.

Jones said earlier this month that he was ready for execution. He used a wheelchair and he’d had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes.

The state conducted its first execution last week after a nearly 12-year hiatus. Initially, Gov. Asa Hutchinson scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period in April. The eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The state said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of midazolam, one lethal injection drug, expires on April 30.

The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions, then inmate Ledell Lee was executed last week.

Williams, set for execution at 8:15 p.m., has appeals pending with the U.S. Supreme Court. Williams’ “morbid obesity makes it likely that either the IV line cannot be placed or that it will be placed in error, thus causing substantial damage (like a collapsed lung),” his attorneys wrote in a court filing asking justices to block the execution.

Both men were served last meals on Monday afternoon, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves said. Jones had fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three candy bars, a chocolate milkshake and fruit punch. Williams had fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, two sodas and potato logs with ketchup, Graves said.

Before Lee’s execution Thursday, Arkansas hadn’t put an inmate to death since 2005. In several of the 31 states where executions are legal, drug shortages have often forced delays as manufacturers prohibit their use in executions. Arkansas believes that secrecy it grants to suppliers can solve that problem, though it still has difficulty obtaining the drugs. Courts have also forced rewrites of Arkansas’ lethal injection protocols, causing further delays. Jones and Williams committed their crimes more than two decades ago.

In recent pleadings before state and federal courts, the inmates said the three drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners — midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride — could be ineffective because of their poor health.

Jones, 52, lost a leg to diabetes and was on insulin. Williams, 46, weighs 400 pounds, is diabetic and has concerns that the execution team might not be able to find a suitable vein to support an intravenous line.

The poor health of both men, their lawyers claimed, could make it difficult for them to respond during a consciousness check following a megadose of midazolam. The state shouldn’t risk giving them drugs to stop their lungs and hearts if they aren’t unconscious, they have told courts.

In a response filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the state said the inmates had filed an “avalanche” of lawsuits to obtain stays. The men’s attorneys countered that the state forced their hands.

“If there was an ‘avalanche’ of litigation, as the state complains, that’s because the state created an avalanche of execution dates,” Julie Vandiver wrote.

The last state to put more than one inmate to death on the same day was Texas, which executed two killers in August 2000. Oklahoma planned a double execution in 2014 but scrapped plans for the second one after the execution of Clayton Lockett went awry.

Arkansas executed four men in an eight-day period in 1960. The only quicker pace included quadruple executions in 1926 and 1930.

Williams was sent to death row for the 1994 rape and killing of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson, whom he kidnapped from a gas station in central Arkansas.

Authorities said Williams abducted and raped two other women in the days before he was arrested in Errickson’s death. Williams admitted responsibility to the state Parole Board last month.

“I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” Williams told the board.

Jones was given the death penalty for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He strangled her with the cord to a coffee pot.

In a letter earlier this month, Jones said he was ready to be killed by the state.

“I forgive my executioners; somebody has to do it,” wrote Jones.

The letter, which his attorney read aloud at his clemency hearing, went on to say: “I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven’t the right.”

Including Jones, eight people have been executed in the United States this year, four in Texas, two in Arkansas and one each in Missouri and Virginia. Last year, 20 people were executed, down from 98 in 1999 and the lowest number since 14 in 1991, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.                       AP

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