UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 27th, 301 AP.

Nystonia Courts find first candidate for death penalty

The Nystonian Courts are faced with their first candidate for the death
penalty, as prosecutors are pressing High Court Judge Joh'nn Uroja to sentence
the defendant to death.

Edward B. Jess, 28, has been found guilty today of grand theft and murder in a
daring robbery nine weeks ago. He and four other men attempted to rob a diamond
jewelry warehouse in the south of Nystonia state, in the town of Warsley,
pop. 53,000, but state police arrived to foil their getaway. During the robbery
attendants and security guards at the warehouse for the Shecker Diamond Company
were terrorised and beaten, and one guard shot and killed. Police engaged with
the thieves in a running gun battle, shooting dead three and wounding two of
the bandits but suffering five casualties and one fatality of their own.

The thieves had attempted to escape with over Û35 million in cut and uncut
diamonds, and were described by prosecutors as "menacing, cold-blooded
killers". However, questions were raised about the manner in which state police
killed three of the bandits.

The Judge has deferred sentencing for some weeks while he "weighs the gravity
of the sentence and of the crime". But, in the streets of Nystonia, opinion has
already split the state, many demanding that the men be allowed to hang in the
town square in Warsley, and others claim the men should be "handed over to the
Lord immediately". Yet, several others say that there is an opportunity to
"redeem" the men, and reform their lives, making them valuable contributors to

State opposition leader Montgomery Ashton says the men should be afforded the
"opportunity to change".

"There is no doubt in my mind that what they have done is reprehensible and
evil in the highest order", the Peoples Party leader claims. "But, we cannot
correct the evil that has been perpetrated by committing one ourselves. The
Lord tells us to forgive these men. What manner of Cruistian state is this
where forgiveness is replaced by the electric chair?"

State prosecutors are undeterred. They claim Mr Jess has "had his opportunity
at redemption, being a long-term criminal. It's time he faced the consequences
of his actions, the pain on the faces of his loved ones when they watch the
life slip from his body."

Leftist and liberal newspapers in the state, indeed, we can expect across the
country, will be asking tomorrow what has the President done to stop the death
penalty being carried out in Nystonia state. So far he has done nothing to stop
it. He may soon be forced to act.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)