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Thursday, February 22, 2018

A triple execution will take place this Thursday

Por mayli2017

The death penalty, capital punishment or execution consists of causing the death of a condemned person by the State, as punishment for a crime established in the legislation; the crimes for which this sanction is applied are often referred to as "capital crimes". The execution of criminals and political dissidents has been used by most societies at some point in their history, both to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. Currently, the legal situation of the death penalty varies greatly depending on the regions of the world.

Thus, it has been abolished and penalized in almost all European countries (except Belarus), and most of those in Oceania (such as Australia, New Zealand and East Timor). Most Latin American countries have abolished the death penalty, while in countries such as the United States of America, Guatemala and most of the Caribbean states it is still applied. In Asia, the death penalty is allowed in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Japan. In Africa, it is still used in several countries, especially in the northeastern part of the continent (Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and Sudan).

The death penalty in the US could live its deadliest day, this Thursday since 2010, if three scheduled executions are carried out in Texas, Florida and Alabama. The state of Florida will execute Eric Branch, 47, for the rape and murder of a student in 1993. Branch assaulted Susan Morris in the parking lot of the University of West Florida, took her to a wooded area where he raped her and assassin. To then flee in the vehicle of his victim to the state of Indiana, where he was arrested days later.

The execution of Branch is scheduled at the State Prison of Florida, in Starke, at 18.00 local time (ET). Meanwhile, in Alabama, the execution of Doyle Lee Hamm, a 61-year-old prisoner sentenced to death for murdering a motel receptionist during a robbery in 1987, is envisaged. Hamm suffers from cancer and his lawyers are using his health condition to try to prevent its execution but it is the Supreme Court that ultimately decides its fate. In case of proceeding, the execution is also scheduled at 18.00 local time (19.00 ET) in the Holman prison of Atmore. Finally, the state of Texas intends to execute Thomas "Bart" Whitaker for the murders in 2003 of his mother, Patricia Whitaker; of his brother, Kevin Whitaker; and the attempted murder of his father, Kent Whitaker. "Bart" Whitaker, 38, hired his friend Chris Brashear to kill the entire family and collect the $ 1.5 million of insurance.

The execution, however, is questioned because the father of "Bart", the only survivor of the attack, has led during this time a campaign to have his son commuted to the death penalty to life imprisonment. Yesterday, in a very unusual decision, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that Governor Greg Abbott use his authority to commute Whitaker's sentence. Abbott, who in his three years as governor has allowed 30 executions without intervening in any, told the press today that the case deserves a very serious consideration on his part. The execution is scheduled, initially, at 18.00 local time (19.00 ET) in Huntsville prison.

The last time the United States saw three executions in a single day was on January 7, 2010, with the deaths of Vernon Smith in Ohio, Kenneth Mosley in Texas and Gerald Bordelon in Louisiana. Years ago it was common for several executions to occur on the same day, but with the current agony of capital punishment in the United States, it is rare that they coincide in the same week. In fact, so far in 2018, there have been three executions in the United States, all of them in Texas.