Did You Know?

Three men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

134 Killed Mali
At least 134 individuals have been killed, and 55 others injured, in an ethnic Peuhl village in Ogossogou, Mali. Among those killed were small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. An ethnic Dogon militia, who are Islamic extremists, is believed to be responsible for the attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
417 Killed in Mozambique
At least 417 individuals have been killed in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai. Approximately 300 others have been killed in Zimbabwe and Malawi as a result of the cyclone. There is also severe flooding, which has contributed to the many deaths, and risk of further flooding. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of all in the regions. Please pray for all affected.
Flooding in Australia
Northern Australia has been struck by Cyclone Trevor, with another storm, Cyclone Veronica on its way. Cyclone Trevor has already caused significant damage with strong winds and rains. There have been nor reports of injuries or deaths. While Cyclone Veronica is not expected to make landfall, flooding is still a major concern. Please pray for all who have been, and could be, affected. Please pray for safety.
1 Injured in Nice, France
At least one elderly woman has been injured during a banned “Yellow Vest” protest in Nice, France. The 73-year-old woman was struck over the head with a metal post in an incident captured on video. She sustained a skull fracture and bleeding next to the brain. She is currently in the intensive care unit. During the protest, soldiers were deployed to help police maintain security. Please pray for healing. Please pray for any others that may have been affected. Please pray for peace.
Last Islamic State Stronghold Falls
The terrorist group known as the Islamic State no longer holds any territory, and thousands of its fighters have been captured in recent months. However, many fighters continue to carry out operations in secret. Please pray for peace. Please pray for all that have been affected since the Islamic State came to power.
3 Killed in Nebraska
At least three individuals have been killed as a result of severe flooding in Nebraska. Thousands have been forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri due to flooding. Further flooding is feared as temperatures increase and snow begins to melt. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for all those affected.
Protests in Morocco
Thousands of teachers are protesting in Morocco over working conditions. Among their demands are permanent contracts, better working conditions, and the rising cost of living. An overnight sit-in was broken up by police in riot gear with water cannons. Please pray for peace.
Protests in Algeria
Protests have been ongoing against current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. President Bouteflika was planning on running for a 5th term in office, despite his declining health, however, he has announced that he will not seek another term. He has been in office since 1999. Protests initially began against his seeking a 5th term, but now protesters are demanding that he step down immediately, arguing that his health is allowing others to rule through him. Please pray for a peaceful resolution.
49 Killed in Mosque Shootings
At least 49 individuals have been killed, and 20 others injured, in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Police also discovered explosive devices nearby. Officials has designated this incident as a terrorist attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.

Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2018  8:59 pm EDT

 

The state of Tennessee has executed Billy Ray Irick.  For more information, click here.

 

Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2018  4:11 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to halt the execution of Billy Ray Irick.  Billy and his attorneys were arguing that he is mental incompetent, therefore ineligible for execution, and that Tennessee's execution protocol will amount to a torturous death.

 

Updated: Monday, August 6, 2018  10:40 am EDT

 

Billy Ray Irick is scheduled to be executed at 7:10 pm CDT on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee.  Fifty-nine-year-old Billy is convicted of raping and murdering 7-year-old Paula Kay Dyer on April 15, 1985, in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Billy has spent the past 31 years on Tennessee’s death row.

 

Billy Irick was friends with Paula’s mother, Kathy, and step-father, Kenneth, and lived with them for a time, looking after their five young children while they worked.  On April 14, 1985, Paula was living with her mother, while Irick and her step-father were staying with Kenneth’s mother.  Paula’s mother left Irick to watch the children while she went out to look for work.  She was uneasy about leaving the children with Irick since he had been drinking, although he did not seem intoxicated.  She called Kenneth, telling him her fears.  He agreed to check on Irick and the children.  

 

Around midnight, Irick called Kenneth, asking him to come by, saying he was unable to wake up Paula.  When he arrived, Paula was lying on the living room floor with blood between her legs.  Kenneth checked to see if Paula had a pulse, which she did, and then took her to the Children’s Hospital.  Paula was pronounced dead a short time after arriving, as they were unable to resuscitate her.

 

An autopsy determined that Paula likely died from asphyxiation or suffocation.  She also had some bruising and cuts on her face.  Additionally, evidence showed she had been raped.

 

Irick was arrested the following day after he was discovered hiding under a bridge.  After being arrested, Irick confessed to the crime.  He was sentenced to death on December 3, 1986.

 

In 2010, Irick claimed that he was in the middle of a psychotic break when Paula was murdered and has no memory of his actions from that day.  Irick also claims that he was set up by Paula’s step-father, Kenneth, whom, Irick alleges, was the one that murdered Paula.

 

At the age of six, a clinical psychologist determined that Billy Irick was “suffering from a severe neurotic anxiety reaction with a possibility of mild organic brain damage.”  The following year, Billy was hospitalized and treated with anti-psychotic medication for the next 10 months.  Following treatment, Billy was discharged to a Church of God home where he remained until he was a teenager.  At the age of 13, Billy visited his family, which resulted in him destroying the television with an axe and cutting up his sister’s pajamas with a razor while she slept in them.  After returning to the home, Billy snuck into the girl’s dormitory.  Billy was expelled and sent back to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had been taken off of his psychotropic drugs.  He remained at the hospital until he was 14, at which time he was released to his parents.  Billy joined the Army at 17, but was quickly discharged.  Billy’s mother also suffered from a psychiatric disorder.

 

According to interviews conducted by Billy’s attorneys, in the weeks leading up to Paula’s murder, Billy exhibited strange behavior, such as chasing a young girl down the street with a machete because he “didn’t like her looks.”  Billy also claims that he was hearing and talking back to voices inside of his head.  Billy claims that if this information had been presented at his trial, it could have changed the outcome.  

 

Billy has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to halt his execution, as he is part of a lawsuit with 32 other death row inmates, who are all arguing that the drugs Tennessee plans to use in lethal injections will amount to torturing them to death.  Additionally, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is currently evaluating the claims of Billy's diminished mental status as he considers whether Billy should be granted clemency.  

 

This is not Billy’s first execution date.  Billy was previously scheduled to be executed in October 2014, however his execution was stayed due to ongoing legal challenges to Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol. 

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Paula.  Please pray for strength for the family of Billy.  Please pray that if Billy is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Billy may come to have a peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.

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