The state of Georgia executed Robert Wayne Holsey on Tuesday night after all appeals were exhausted, but before dying, Holsey apologized for his crime and asked the family of his homicide victim for forgiveness.
"Mr. Robinson, I'm sorry for taking your son's life that night," Holsey told the father of Deputy Will Robinson, according to witness and WMAZ reporter Randall Savage. "I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and my family."
Holsey murdered Deputy Robinson in 1995 after robbing a convenience store. Just two years later, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. However, there were several appeals for his life to be spared, especially after his lawyer admitted to drinking nearly a quart of vodka per day during Holsey's trial. That lawyer was disbarred and sentenced to 10 years in jail for stealing client funds. more >>
Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
A lawsuit is moving forward against a Washington State florist who refused to supply floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony based on her religious objection, which could put her at risk of serious financial loss and the loss of her business.
Baronelle Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is being sued by the Washington State attorney general's office for refusing to supply flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding ceremony. Instead, she referred the couple to another nearby florist who could supply flowers for their wedding.
The attorney general's office filed its lawsuit against Stutzman in 2013, and after the judge who was presiding over the case joined the federal bench, another judge has been appointed to the case and began hearing arguments on the case last week. Judge Alex Ekstrom is expected to set the start of the trial for sometime in the Spring. more >>
Pastor Donnie McClurkin is calling for New York pastors, civic leaders, organizations, politicians and government officials to meet at his Perfecting Faith Church for a prayer rally in light of the recent protests coming as the result of a grand jury deciding not to indict a police officer for killing Eric Garner.
McClurkin, the senior pastor at the church and gospel singer, called for people to come together for a prayer rally at his Freeport, N.Y. church Tuesday at 7 p.m. during a time of protesting around the country.
"I believe that the church body should not be a spectator, but a participant and leader in dealing with such issues as the recent verdict announced," McClurkin said in a statement obtained by The Christian Post. "This is a time for the church to unite and raise their voices to God in prayer." more >>
The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot dead by a police officer while holding a toy gun, revealed that her 14-year-old daughter was also tackled to the ground by police in the incident, handcuffed and put in the back seat of a police car.
"I asked the police to let my daughter go and they wouldn't at that time and I asked them, 'What's going on?' But they wasn't telling me anything, just saying, 'Calm down, calm down,'" Samaria Rice said at a news conference on Monday, according to ABC News.
"I knew she was crying for me but I couldn't see her hands," Rice said of her daughter, who was inside the recreational center at the time of the shooting. The mother noted that she had to decide whether to stay with her injured son or arrested daughter, but decided to go with Tamir. more >>
I finished teaching my Finance class last Thursday night about 9 pm. As I headed outside our campus building in lower Manhattan, I heard loud beating of propellers from the police helicopter that ominously hovered overhead. There were at least a dozen police vehicles with flashing blue and red lights nearby. I found myself on the edge of a demonstration at the Staten Island Ferry, just across Battery Park from the campus. People were protesting the decision of the grand jury to not indict a New York City policeman in the homicide of Eric Garner.
The media and racial advocates are focused almost exclusively on the facts of a black man's death from a heart attack following a violent struggle with a group of white police. As a white man who has never experienced racial discrimination of the kind faced by black men (e.g., I've never been stopped by police for DWB - driving while black), the racial overtones of the video encounter of this case do not strike me with the same visceral force as they would to a black man.
I am angered however at the senselessness of the whole tragic episode. Why were the police even involved in this confrontation of a man who was bothering nobody? Mr. Garner was engaged in a peaceful act of enterprise (obviously, not free enterprise), trying to earn a little income to live a little better. How does that threaten public safety, in a way that justifies police force? Selling untaxed cigarettes? Really? Does that call forth the power of the police state? Is the state (and the city - according to Mayor Di Blasio, "the law is the law") so offended by this act of defiance to its over-regulating, over-bearing, and over-taxing ways that police force is called for? Were the neighbors offended by his private enterprise, and called in the police? Did his customers complain? more >>