Discussion:
death penalty news----worldwide
(too old to reply)
Rick Halperin
2017-08-01 13:49:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
August 1




MALDIVES:

Maldives' dark side: Death penalty threatens trouble in paradise



The Maldives, famed for its crystalline waters and long tongues of white sand,
lies at the centre of the Indian Ocean.

Holiday firms offering trips to the Maldives have been urged by human rights
activists to condemn the expected execution of 3 men that will bring a brutal
end to the country's 60-year moratorium on the death penalty.

Sir Richard Branson last week described the reported decision by Abdulla
Yameen, the Maldivian president, to revive executions as "an awful political
move that will send the country back to the Dark Ages of human rights".

In a blog post, the creator of the Virgin brand threatened to remove his
holiday business from the Maldives and urged other tour operators, governments
and businesses to follow suit if the executions went ahead.

Richard Branson is asking other tourism operators to boycott the luxury
location.

"It's been heart-breaking to watch what is happening on the beautiful island
nation of the Maldives, a country for which I have long had such great
affection and respect," he said,

Reprieve, the anti-death penalty campaign group, has issued a plea for Kuoni
and Thomas Cook, travel companies who operate luxury holidays in the Maldives,
to follow Branson's lead and urge President Yameen to halt the executions,
believed to be imminent.

In a letter to the firms, Reprieve claimed that the sentenced men, Hussain
Humaam Ahmed, Mohammed Nabeel and Ahmed Murrath, were convicted for murder
after "seriously unfair" trials.

Their deaths would be an "irreparable miscarriage of justice" and would follow
a pattern of human rights failings since President Yameen came to power in
2013, they said.

Of 20 convicts on death row, 5 were juveniles at the time of their arrest.
Reprieve believes that lethal injections have already been found for the first
3 deaths, while a search is under way for an experienced executioner.

Maya Foa, Reprieve director, said the executions were "a naked attempt by
President Yameen to suppress dissent and tighten his grip on power", calling on
him to "start the democratic reforms needed to bring stability back".

Kuoni said: "We do not condone any abuse of human rights and are naturally
concerned when news of this nature is brought to our attention. The people in
the Maldives depend on a thriving tourism industry for their livelihood and we
believe we bring positive change by supporting them."

Thomas Cook said: "We believe our influence is best exerted through responsible
tourism."

Tourists see very little of the political turmoil or human rights abuses that
have gripped the country in recent years. Last week the British Foreign Office
updated its travel advice, urging tourists to avoid large gatherings in the
capital, Male, which could turn violent.

Ibrahim Hussain Shahib, the president's international spokesman, said the
government was implementing the law to protect its people.

"[They] have been charged and convicted of murder in the first degree, their
cases were tried at all stages of appeal... due process was followed at all
stages. There has been no doubt created in any of these cases as to whether the
convicted had carried out the crimes," said Mr Shahib, adding that the
constitution did not allow the head of state to grant clemency.

"This administration will not be deterred by a political opposition who seeks
to exploit policies to score points back home and abroad while not even
pretending to engage in positive political dialogue."

(source: stuff.co.nz)








BAHAMAS:

Miller Says 'Do It Now' Over Death Penalty Plans



Former Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller on Friday praised National Security Minister
Marvin Dames for having the "guts" to announce the Minnis administration's
plans to push for the enforcement of the death penalty, as he called on the
government to "do it, and do it now."

Mr Miller, a longtime supporter of capital punishment, said he is totally
behind Mr Dames' previous announcement, further congratulating Mr Dames and the
Minnis administration for "having the tenacity and the wherewithal to do what
is necessary on behalf of the Bahamian people".

The firebrand Progressive Liberal Party politician further encouraged the
Minnis administration not to be "concerned" with the backlash its stance on
capital punishment could have on the country, particularly that of the
international community, as he asserted: "They don't face the carnage that we
face."

"We face it therefore we got to deal with it," Mr Miller told The Tribune on
Friday just hours after a man was found shot to death in Mason's Addition.
"It's our problem. If it's a Bahamian problem it got to be a Bahamian solution.
The solution is, you take a life yours gone, unless in special circumstances.
But this is just gutless murdering and these people got to stop, man. And I'm
with him 1,000 %.

"He could depend on my support. In and out, he could depend on me."

Last week, Mr Dames said the Minnis administration will use everything on the
law books, including capital punishment, to make The Bahamas safe for
"law-abiding citizens." At the time, Mr Dames said the Minnis administration
cannot tolerate a "lawless society" and said it is the government's job to
"introduce new policies and to enforce old ones to make sure everyone is safe."

"I am totally and 100 % with him," Mr Miller said when questioned on the
matter. "I want to congratulate him on having the guts to appreciate the fact
that these fellas would take a life in an instant with no sorrow, no
conscience, no nothing, because they know that when they take a life, they gone
go to Fox Hill prison, might, and 70 % of them walk free.

"Therefore, they take the law into their own hands and do as they please. If
this guy knows that his life is going to be taken, he ain't gone do it. You
know nobody wants to die. But they don't mind taking your life and my life. I'm
happy and I congratulate the minister for having the tenacity and the
wherewithal to do what is necessary on behalf of the Bahamian people.

"It is long, long overdue," Mr Miller added. "And I trust that they will push
this and get it done. It's on the books, you just got to have the guts to
enforce it. It has to be done."

Reflecting on the recent spate of homicides in New Providence, Mr Miller asked:
"Where we headed? This is a precipice and we headed down there at a thousand
miles an hour."

In January, while his party was in power, Mr Miller blamed "gutless
politicians" for the increases in murders and serious crimes in the country. At
the time, Mr Miller said many of his parliamentary colleagues were "afraid to
implement the laws on the books".

He urged Bahamians to vote for persons who will "carry out the death penalty"
and "send everyone else packing".

The following month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, then in opposition, said
unless the then-government is willing to enforce the death penalty, "criminals
will continue to ravage our country and keep citizens in fear." Dr Minnis said
the country is losing the battle to the criminal element and "more serious
measures" need to be taken.

And last year, Dr Minnis insisted that the necks of "murderous scumbags" in the
country must be "popped" as he castigated the former Christie administration
for failing "miserably" in its obligation to keep Bahamians safe.

Reflecting on this statement, Mr Miller said he is "happy to see the minister
of national security has the guts to at least say the right thing".

"And the prime minister said he was with it," Mr Miller added, referring to his
and Dr Minnis' previous calls for the death penalty to be enforced. "When I was
in Parliament (Dr Minnis) and I were the 2 lone wolves in there saying we're
with it. Now he has an opportunity to make it come to fruition and I trust that
it happens. They got the numbers to do it, so the ball is in their court now.
Let's just do the right thing.

"Do the right thing man. Do it, and do it now, and we'll see a total
de-escalation of crimes and killings in our country."

A 2006 decision by the London-based Privy Council, the Bahamas' highest court
of appeal, quashed the country's mandatory death penalty for murder convicts,
which it said was unconstitutional.

In 2011, the Privy Council also said the death penalty should only be given in
cases where the offence falls into the category of the "worst of the worst."

# That same year, the Ingraham administration made changes to the Penal Code to
set out the criteria for the types of murders that would attract a
discretionary death penalty after conviction.

The law changes made it so a person convicted of killing a member of the Royal
Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), Department of
Customs, Department of Immigration, the judiciary or correctional services
would be eligible for the death penalty.

Someone convicted of killing someone during a robbery, rape, kidnapping or
terrorist act would also fall into this category.

No one has been hanged since the amendments were passed into law.

(source: tribune242.com)

***********************

Bringing Back The Death Penalty



EDITOR, The Tribune

Re: Death penalty needed to stop murders. - The Tribune, 25 July, 2017.

Although it is counterintuitive, it has been shown in many countries that the
Death Penalty seldom produces the desired result of deterrence.

Furthermore, it tends to divert attention from the more mundane underlying
crimes that eventually culminate in murder.

Virtually the only hope for reducing our murders would be to mercilessly attack
the widespread precursor crimes.

That would be much more difficult than a functioning death penalty, more
costly, and not nearly as spectacular in a quick fix political sense.

Reintroduction of the death penalty certainly would be a marvelous idea - if
only it would work as hoped!

KEN. W. KNOWLES, M.D.

Nassau

(source: Letter to the Editor, tribune242.com)








INDONESIA:

Indonesia's Death Penalty Debacle Exposed----Maladministration in Nigerian's
July 2016 Execution



The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General's
Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of "maladministration" in denying a Nigerian
citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights.

Ombudsman official Ninik Rahayu outlined a checklist of procedural failures
that could have prevented Humphrey Jefferson's execution, including the Supreme
Court's refusal to conduct a second review of his case, and the AGO's decision
to proceed with the execution despite the fact that Jefferson had filed a
clemency request with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

The denial of due process to Jefferson raises troubling questions about
Jokowi's signature policy of executing convicted drug traffickers. Indonesia
ended a 4-year unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in March 2013, and
Jokowi has made the execution of convicted drug traffickers a prominent issue
of his presidency. Jokowi has sought to justify the use of the death penalty on
the basis that drug traffickers had "destroyed the future of the nation,"
despite international human rights obligations under which drug-related
offenses are deemed as falling outside the scope of "most serious crimes," for
which the death penalty can legitimately be retained. In December 2014, he told
students that the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers was an
"important shock therapy" for anyone who violates Indonesia's drug laws. Since
Jokowi took office in 2014, his government has executed 18 convicted drug
traffickers in 2015 and 2016 - the majority citizens of other countries. Jokowi
has routinely rejected their government's calls for clemency, citing national
sovereignty.

Even worse, on July 21 of this year, Jokowi indicated the police could skip due
process entirely and summarily execute any foreign drug dealers who resist
arrest. "Gun them down. Give no mercy," Jokowi urged police in a speech.
National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian and Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso, the
head of the National Narcotics Agency, have echoed similarly unlawful
approaches to drug crimes modeled on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's
unlawful and abusive "war on drugs."

Jokowi and senior police officials should recognize that the cruel and unusual
punishment of the death penalty and the barbarity of extrajudicial killings
have no place in a rights-respecting country. Instead, Indonesia should restore
the unofficial moratorium on the death penalty and ensure the rights of
criminal suspects, including those implicated in drug crimes, are respected
rather than steamrolled.

(source: Human Rights Watch)








IRAN:

Iran HRM monthly report -Alarming escalation of executions in Iran in July



July saw many violations of human rights in Iran, the most important being:

The number of executions reaching to a peak of 102 and the pending execution of
120 inmates to be carried out soon

Foreign diplomats tour of Evin prison under the pressure of the increasing wave
of international criticism at Iran's human rights violations, especially in its
prisons.

At a time when the move towards the abolition of the death penalty is spreading
around the world, Islamic Republic of Iran insists on executions which clearly
are in contravention the international human rights law.

Iran alone accounted for 55% of all recorded executions in 2016; Amnesty
International says.

239 executions were carried out in Iran in the 1st 6 months of 2017. Among them
were 7 women and 3 individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time they
allegedly committed the offence they were sentenced to death for. 12 executions
were carried out in public.

Seeking to rein in increasing protests and the abhorrence of the younger
generation in cities across the country, the Iranian regime has intensified the
crackdown on society through increasing the wave of executions. The month of
July alone saw 103 executions from which 7 were made public by media press.
This shows how the state of human rights had been deteriorated during the past
month.

Under the pressure of the rising tide of protests against the situation of
human rights in Iran, the Iranian government took the ambassadors of 50 foreign
countries for a tour of the notorious Evin prison in Tehran on July 5, 2017 to
judge for themselves how the state treats prisoners. Ahead of the visit, some
prisoners in building 4 were also transferred to create an illusion of humane
living conditions. Walls were freshly repainted and the remaining prisoners
warned against approaching the diplomats to voice any concerns they might have.

Unsurprisingly many areas of the prison remained off limits to the foreign
delegates. They were only granted access to a handful of sections in buildings
4 and 7, mostly housing wealthier prisoners convicted of financial crimes.

The PR show was preceded by an absurd claim made the day before, by Javad
Larijani, an Iranian regime's human rights official, indicating that there were
no political prisoners in Iran. After the foreign diplomats' visit to Evin, the
Iranian state media outlets followed suit, pumping reports claiming that Iran's
biggest jail had been upgraded to state-of-the-art conditions.

The orchestrate display however was quickly exposed to show its true face by
prisoners- men and women who experience torture and hard prison conditions on a
daily basis in this notorious prison.

A number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience addressed open
letters to the ambassadors who recently visited Evin Prison. They wrote about
issues that had been concealed by the Iranian regime's authorities during their
visit.

The sequel of events makes complete sense. The orchestrated tour of Evin by
foreign diplomats, without any human rights organization or expert accompanying
them, was an attempt on the part of the regime to debunk growing international
criticism of Iran's human rights violations, especially in its prisons.

This report, attempts to shed light on the truth about the tragic situation of
human rights in Iran.

(source: Human Rights Watch)








YEMEN----execution

Yemeni man executed for rape, murder of 3-year-old----Thousands of people
gathered in the rebel-held Yemeni capital Monday to witness the public
execution of a man convicted of raping and murdering a 3-year-old girl.



Mohammed al-Moghrabi, 41, was sentenced to death for the June 25 rape and
murder by a court run by the Shiite Huthi rebels who control Sanaa. The
gruesome crime coincided with the 1st day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday
that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and sparked anger among the
population. Moghrabi was first given 100 lashes and then made to lie flat, his
face on the ground, and killed by multiple gunshots by security forces to
cheers from the crowd.

Police said they escorted him to Tahrir square where he was executed amid fears
the angry crowd could lynch him.

The public execution was widely aired on Huthi-run media in Yemen, framed as an
example of the Shiite rebels' efforts to combat crime in their areas. The
Iran-backed Huthis have been locked in war with the Saudi-backed
internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for 2
years.

More than 8,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict,
while nearly 2,000 have died of cholera since April. The United Nations has
described Yemen as "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world," with 10
million civilians in acute need of life-saving aid as the country teeters on
the edge of famine.

(source: al-monitor.com)



NIGERIA:

Ogun lifts moratorium on death penalty



Ogun State has approved the lifting of a moratorium on cases relating to
capital punishment as part of measures to fast track dispensation of justice in
the state.

This was revealed when the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,
Olumide Ayeni, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Strategy,
Dayo Adeneye, briefed journalists after the 31st weekly Executive Council
Meeting, presided by Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta on Monday.

According to the attorney general, the pronouncement was in accordance with a
recent directive of the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council of
States meeting 'in relation to death penalty.'

Mr. Ayeni, who said the moratorium is with immediate effect, explained that the
step would be applicable to cases, where lives were lost as a result of
committing a heinous crime.

While explaining the reason for the decision, the commissioner noted that it is
part of the efforts by the state government to reduce cases of kidnapping,
cultism and other societal ills, which he said is on the increase.

Mr. Ayeni stated that the step would go a long way to ensure that the rule of
law prevails in the society.

Mr. Adeneye, on his part, said the initiative was to avoid a spill over of
crimes and other violent acts from gaining entrance into the state.

Though constitutional in Nigeria, capital punishment has become an
unconventional mode in the nation???s criminal justice system leading to
congestion in the prison due to awaiting execution cases.

University lecturers recently expressed divergent opinions on the continued
relevance of the death penalty in Nigeria's criminal justice system.

Human rights activists globally have kicked against the death penalty.

In a 2014 research made by Amnesty International, about 697 people were
sentenced to death by firing squad or by hanging.

(source: Premium Times)








INDIA:

Court orders framing of charges against Bhatkal



A Delhi court today ordered framing of charges against Indian Mujahideen (IM)
operative Yasin Bhatkal and 10 others in the 2010 Jama Masjid blast case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, however, discharged 3 alleged
members of the outfit, saying there was not enough evidence against them.

The court discharged Syed Ismail Affaque, Abdus Saboor and Riyaz Ahmad Sayeedi,
who were named in the charge sheet by the police.

The case pertains to an explosion near the historic Jama Masjid here on
September 19, 2010 soon after 2 suspected IM operatives had fired at a bus from
which foreign tourists were descending near a gate of the mosque. Today's order
came on the blast incident.

The police had charge sheeted these suspected IM members, including its
co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, in connection with the blast case and said these
operatives had carried out the strike to dissuade foreign nations from
participating in the the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The police had also said IM operatives had planned that foreign tourists found
near Jama Masjid would be randomly shot and a bomb blast would be executed
there for maximum casualty.

It had claimed that Bhatkal had prepared a pressure cooker IED, which was
planted in the car parked outside Jama Masjid, and an explosion had taken
place.

The court had on July 18 reserved its order on whether to put Bhatkal on trial
in 4 separate terror cases, including the Jama Masjid blast case, after
concluding the hearing of arguments on charges in the cases.

Bhatkal was awarded the death penalty by a Special NIA Court in December last
year in a case related to the 2013 Hyderabad bomb blasts, which had claimed 18
lives.

(source: Press Trust of India)

*****************

Court hands death penalty to man for burning alive brother, nephew



A local court today awarded the death penalty to a man for burning alive his
brothers and 2 nephews.

Additional District and Sessions Judge G Pushtam Rajnish Kumar found Imran
guilty and announced the death sentence.

According to the prosecution counsel, Imran was upset over a "minor issue". A
resident of Mugalshah area of the city, he burnt his brother Naushad and 2
nephews Irshad and Islamuddin after pouring petrol on them when they were
asleep.

He then locked the door from the outside and fled.

All 3 succumbed to their injuries later.

The incident occurred on the night of Aug 6, 2014.

(source: india.com)
_______________________________________________
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

DeathPenalty mailing list
***@lists.washlaw.edu
http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/listinfo/deathpenalty
Unsubscribe: http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/options/deathpenalty
Rick Halperin
2017-08-02 14:24:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
the news will next be posted to this listserve on August 13

****************



August 2




TRINIDAD:

41 murderers lose Privy Council appeal



The Privy Council has dismissed an appeal from a group of 41 convicted
murderers, who were challenging a decision to commute their mandatory death
sentences to terms of life imprisonment and 75 years in prison.

Delivering a 30-page judgement on Monday, the United Kingdom-based appellate
court upheld the decision of the local Court of Appeal in the case, which was
made in 2014.

The appeal centered around a class action lawsuit by 6 members of the group,
who had challenged the ability of former president Noor Hassanali to use his
constitutional power of pardon to commute their mandatory death sentences in
1993 and 1998, following a Privy Council ruling in the Jamaican death penalty
case of Pratt and Morgan.

That infamous case introduced a rule which prevents the State from executing
people who have spent over 5 years in prison awaiting the results of the
appeals over their convictions.

The convicted men who filed the claim on the others' behalf are Dexter Lendore,
Evans Xavier, Allan Henry, Deshan Rampharry, Norbert Williams and Victor
Baptiste.

In their judgement, the British law lords ruled that Hassanali was allowed
under the Constitution to commute the sentences to give effect to its judgement
for convicted persons who were affected. However, like the Court of Appeal, the
Privy Council ruled that Hassanali had employed the wrong process, as he he was
required to have the Mercy Committee consider each of their cases individually
as opposed to grouping them together.

Despite their failed lawsuit, the group was given a lifeline as the law lords
ordered that the case be sent back to the President and the committee for their
consideration, but did not suggest that they would be automatically successful
in getting their sentences reduced.

Lord Justice Anthony Hughes, who wrote the judgement, said: "Whether they (the
sentences) differ will no doubt depend on the weight accorded in each case to
the individual and to the general factors, and all substitute sentences will
take into account the system of reviews which will attend them."

The Court of Appeal had made a similar order but it was stayed pending the
determination of the appeal.

In their judgement, the Law Lords also rejected the men's submissions that
their substituted sentences constituted cruel and unusual punishment, as they
do not allow the possibility of eventual release. Hughes ruled that the claim
was misconceived, as it failed to consider that under the Prison Rules all
persons serving more than 4 years in prison were entitled to review of the
sentence every 4 years.

"A prisoner is also entitled to petition the president for clemency, and on
such a petition, where appropriate, the advisory committee and the minister
advising the president must consider whether all the circumstances of the case
call for continued detention or not," Hughes said.

Hughes also rejected the convicts' claims over the unfairness of the committee
and the petitioning process.

The convicts were represented by Edward Fitzgerald, QC, Ruth Brander, Amanda
Clift-Matthews, Gregory Delzin, Mark Seepersad and Theresa Hadad.

Peter Knox, QC, and Navjot Atwal represented the State.

(source: guardian.co.tt)








ISRAEL:

Knesset to Debate New Death Penalty for Terrorists Bill



A bill proposing an amendment to the Penal Law and the Anti-Terrorism Law,
allowing the court to sentence to death terrorists who murdered innocent
civilians will be added to the Knesset agenda soon by MK Nava Boker (Likud),
Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

The bill proposes adding two new articles to the Penal Law, the first of which,
99 (a), states that "a person who committed acts of intentional killing in
order to assist a terrorist organization or an enemy during hostilities carried
out against Israel, following a call from a terrorist organization or an enemy
state, whether the order to carry out the operation was given to him personally
or he responded to a general and non-specific call to take violent action out
of identification with a goal of the enemy or terrorist organization - will be
sentenced to death or life imprisonment."

In a similar fashion, the amended articles which so far imposed only life
imprisonment for acts of treason and/or terrorism, will now carry the death
penalty as the 1st option before a judge.

The explanatory notes accompanying the bill state that "there is a legislative,
social and public need for deterrent punishment that will contribute to social
safety and the principle of protecting the state against and citizens by
eradicating terrorist attacks."

The bill's sponsor, Knesset Deputy Speaker MK Nava Boker, said that she had
decided to submit the bill because "the murderers of the Fogel family from
Itamar now live in a 4-star hotel in an Israeli prison."

The Itamar massacre of March 11, 2011 was a terror attack on the Israeli
settlement of Itamar in Judea and Samaria, in which 5 members of the Fogel
family were murdered in their beds.

"I have no doubt that the death penalty for terrorists, along with other means,
constitutes real deterrence and helps to eradicate terror in Israel," MK Boker
stated, adding that "the time has come to put an end to our groveling before
terror and our enemies. It is important that the family of a terrorist who
sends its son to murder will know that he would receive the worst punishment of
all and will not spend a few years in a four-star hotel in an Israeli prison
and then be released in a swap deal and go back to murdering innocent
civilians."

Following the recent massacre of 3 members of the same family in Halamish, both
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
expressed support for the execution of the terrorist Omar al-'Abd from the
nearby village of Qubar, who carried out the murders.

(source: jewishpress.com)








THE MALDIVES:

Halt executions now



Authorities in the Maldives must halt the 1st executions in more than 60 years
as the government seeks to divert attention from a worsening political crisis,
Amnesty International said today.

The Minister of Home Affairs has announced that executions will resume "in the
next few days", leaving 3 men on death row who have exhausted their legal
processes at imminent risk. No date for the executions has been specified.

"For more than 60 years, the Maldives led the way in the region by shunning
this cruel and irreversible punishment. Now, when most of the world has rid
itself of the death penalty, the country risks being on the wrong side of
history and earning global notoriety for reviving its use," said Biraj Patnaik,
Amnesty International???s South Asia Director.

Although the Minister of Home Affairs claims the move is motivated by 2 recent
murders through stabbings, the announcement of the executions comes as the
Maldives is roiled by political tensions. Last week, the military stormed
parliament to stop proceedings as the political opposition was poised to bring
forward a vote of no-confidence.

"The executions are a transparent ploy by the government to distract attention
from its own woes. It is alarming that they would think of depriving people of
their right to life just to ensure their own political survival," said Biraj
Patnaik.

Amnesty International has serious concerns about the fairness of the
proceedings that lead to the imposition of the death penalty in the country,
including the use of an apparently coerced "confession" that was later
retracted by one of the death row prisoners, Hussain Humaam Ahmed.

Last year, the UN Human Rights Committee requested the government of Maldives
to stay the execution of Humaam, pending the consideration of an appeal filed
on the prisoner's behalf. The same requests were issued by the UN body last
month in the cases of the 2 other men, Ahmed Murrath and Mohammed Nabeel.

The Maldives has undertaken a binding commitment to cooperate with the Human
Rights Committee - should the government go ahead with the executions, it would
violate Maldives' obligations under international law, including to protect the
3 men's right to life.

Ahmed Murrath and Hussain Humaam Ahmed were convicted of and sentenced to death
for murder in 2012, and Mohammed Nabeel was convicted of and sentenced to death
for murder in 2009. The Supreme Court upheld the men's convictions and death
sentences in June and July 2016.

Amnesty International is absolutely opposed to the death penalty in all
circumstances, regardless of the crime or the method of execution.

The 3 men have exhausted all domestic legal avenues. Following changes to the
country's legislation, they have not been allowed to apply for pardon or the
commutation of their death sentences from the executive - a right guaranteed
under international human rights law.

"When lives are at stake, it is all the more critical that safeguards of due
process are strictly observed. People's lives are too precious to be ended with
cruel haste. The Maldives still has time to turn back, consolidate its positive
record on the death penalty, and impose a full moratorium on its implementation
as first step," said Biraj Patnaik.

Background

In 2014, the Maldives government under President Abdulla Yameen announced that
executions would resume after more than 60 years without the death penalty
being implemented.

The authorities have since amended legislation, clearing the way for executions
to take place, including removing the power from the executive to grant pardons
or commutations in intentional murder cases, a breach of their rights under
international human rights law.

There are 20 people currently on death row, including at least 5 who were
convicted and sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were less than
18 years old. Under international human rights law, it is unlawful to execute
juveniles for any crime whatsoever.

As of today, 141 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice;
in the Asia-Pacific region, 20 countries have abolished the death penalty for
all crimes and a further seven are abolitionist in practice.

(source: Amnesty International)








IRAN----execution

Prisoner Hanged in Public in Front of Large Crowd



A prisoner by the name of Hossein Sarooki was hanged in public in the city of
Juybar on murder charges.

According to the state-run news agency, Jouybaran, the execution was carried
out on the morning of Tuesday August 1 in front of a crowd of 5,000 people.

An informed source tells Iran Human Rights that Hossein Sarooki was 28 years of
age at the time of his execution and was transferred to solitary confinement at
Ghaem Shahr Prison on Monday in preparation for his execution.

(source: Iran Human Rights)

******************

Iran executes 100 people in 1 month alone



The Iranian Human Rights Organization announced that the Iranian authorities
executed over 100 people during the month of July.

In a report received by Al Arabiya, the organization reported that the Iranian
authorities only declared 8 executions.

The report confirmed that the Iranian judicial authorities stopped execution
just during the month of Ramadan in July, but resumed the executions again
after the Eid.

This came at a time when the Iranian parliament approved a draft resolution on
the review of the death penalty and commute it to prison sentences against
traffickers and drug dealers.

Due to some administrative obstacles, the draft resolution was turned for a
re-vote to the Judicial Committee of the Iranian Shura (parliament), according
to the Iranian human rights organization.

The organization has repeatedly called on the judicial authorities to stop all
executions and abolish the death penalty from the Iranian Penal Code.

Mahmoud Amiri Muqaddam, the spokesman for the Iranian human rights
organization, said that if the new draft law was passes in parliament, those
sentenced to death for drug crimes would only serve time in prison.

Muqaddam expressed his surprise that the authorities continue to carry out
executions against those convicted of drug-related crimes, even though the
death penalty had not been effective in combating the spread of drugs and
reducing the phenomenon of addiction.

3 million addicts

Last month, for the 1st time in years, Iran's anti-drug committee revealed that
the number of addicts in Iran exceeded 3 million, while study centers predicted
that the number would be much higher.

"This increase in the number of addicts in recent years comes at a time when
mass executions are increasingly rampant over drug crimes," says the Oslo-based
human rights organization.

The organization has documented nearly 3,000 drug-related executions based on
statistics from January 2010 to January 2017, where more than 2,993 people were
executed for drug-related offenses.

In 2017 alone, more than 130 people were executed for drug crimes.

(source: alarabiyia.net)




MALAYSIA:

Murder trial of Filipino begins



The trial of a 37-year-old Filipino charged with the murder of his fellow
countryman began at the High Court, Monday.

Ismail Rasad, a Bajau holding an IMM13 document, is accused of murdering one Md
Adzmar Alex, 19, also a Bajau with IMM13 document, at 11.30pm on May 1 at
Kampung Rampayan, Manggatal.

The offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code provides for death penalty upon
conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gan Peng Kun told Judge Datuk Nurchaya Haji
Arshad that the prosecution would be calling 12 witnesses.

Earlier, Gan told the court that the prosecution will prove by direct and
circumstantial evidence that it was Ismail, who intentionally caused the death
of Md Adzmar.

Gan said the post-mortem examination conducted on Md Adzmar's body found stab
injuries in the neck and back.

The cause of death was a stab wound to the neck.

Ismail was represented by counsel Ram Singh and Timothy Daut.

*******************************

Death for murdering taxi driver



The Federal Court here on Monday upheld the conviction and death sentence of a
25-year-old Filipino for murdering a local taxi driver in Beaufort.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad
Maarop and Federal Court Justices Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin
and Dato' Wira Aziah Ali, in affirming Joy Felix's conviction and sentence,
ruled that there was no reason for the court to disturb the finding of the
lower courts.

Joy, a labourer, was on May 26, 2014 found guilty by the High Court here of
murdering one Chin Kin Fun, 42, while robbing him at 10.30am on March 14, 2012
along Jalan Padas Valley in Beaufort.

The offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the death penalty on
conviction.

His appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeal on Sept 8, 2015.

Earlier, Joy's counsel Nelson Angang, who appeared together with counsel Chua
Kuan E, submitted that there was no evidence by the pathologist as to whether
the injuries inflicted on Chin were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature
to cause death.

Angang, however, did not deny when the apex court brought up matters that Joy
robbed Chin before the incident.

The apex court dismissed the appeal without hearing submission from the
prosecution saying that there was no need for them to submit as the evidence
was very clear.

(source for both: Daily Express)








SINGAPORE:

Court of Appeal to review own judgment in drug trafficker's conviction after
psychiatric report



The Court of Appeal on Wednesday (Aug 2) ordered a rare review of its decision
2 years ago to overturn the acquittal of a Nigerian man who brought nearly 2kg
of methamphetamine into Singapore, enough to warrant the death penalty.

In a written judgment, Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Tay
Yong Kwang said new evidence has raised "a powerful probability" that their
decision to convict Ilechukwu Uchechukwu Chukwudi of drug trafficking was
wrong.

They allowed the application by Ilechukwu's lawyers to review the conviction,
because of "the unique turn of events."

This referred to a psychiatric report by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH)
issued in March, in which psychiatrist Jaydip Sarkar said Ilechukwu suffered
from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as "a result of childhood trauma ...
of being nearly killed and viewing the killing of others."

The report, which was prepared by the prosecution for the court's sentencing,
has raised "a matter which has a crucial bearing on our decision," the judges
said. They were the same judges who had quashed Ilechukwu's acquittal in 2015.

According to Dr Sakar's report, Ilechukwu's PTSD symptoms were "triggered"
after he was told by officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) that he
faced the death penalty for trafficking methamphetamine.

This could have "prompted him to utter unsophisticated and blatant falsehoods
(to the CNB) in order to save his life," the psychiatrist said.

In quashing his acquittal in 2015, the Court of Appeal had said that
Ilechukwu's lies were the result of "(a) realisation of his guilt," and that
"tipped the scales" in favour of his conviction.

In spite of objections by the prosecution, the apex court said on Wednesday it
"would be best" to "reconsider" all the facts of the case "after additional
evidence ... has (been produced) and dealt with".

However, the judges made clear that they are "not making a finding that
(Ilechukwu) does indeed suffer from PTSD or that he was affected by it when he
made his statements (in which he lied) to the CNB."

"We are likewise not implying that he is innocent," the apex court said. "His
guilt or innocence is a matter to be determined at the subsequent review of our
decision (to convict him)," it added.

Ilechukwu's case will now be heard by a High Court judge, who will receive
evidence from Dr Sarkar. The judge will decide on issues such as whether
Ilechukwu was suffering from PTSD. And if he was, the period of time he
suffered from the condition, its effects on him and the extent to which PTSD
affected him when he gave his statements to the CNB.

The case will then be heard by the Court of Appeal again, which will "review"
its decision to convict Ilechukwu.

"TRULY EXCEPTIONAL CASE": JUDGES

Ilechukwu arrived in Singapore from Lagos, Nigeria on Nov 13, 2011, with a
black suitcase in tow. He passed the suitcase to Singaporean Hamidah Awang, who
placed it in her car and drove to Woodlands Checkpoint where the car was
searched. The drugs were found hidden in the suitcase which had to be cut open.

Ilechukwu was arrested in his hotel room the next day.

A High Court judge acquitted him in 2014, accepting that the man did not know
the suitcase contained drugs. The prosecution appealed and in 2015, the Court
of Appeal overturned the acquittal and convicted him of trafficking
methamphetamine.

"One of our reasons for following the appeal was that we found that the judge
had failed to properly consider the impact of (Ilechukwu's) lies ... in his
statements to the (CNB)," the apex court said.

Due to the amount of drugs involved, Ilechukwu could have been sentenced to
death. To consider whether Ilechukwu had grounds to argue that he should
instead be sentenced to life imprisonment, his lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam had
asked Changi Prison's Complex Medical Centre for a psychiatric report on
Ilechukwu.

Mr Thuraisingam also asked psychiatrist Ung Eng Khean, who is in private
practice, for a 2nd opinion.

In response, the prosecution arranged for Ilechukwu to be assessed by the IMH,
which produced the report that may now exonerate Ilechukwu.

In its written judgment on Wednesday, the apex court pointed out that this is a
"truly exceptional" case and that other offenders should not expect similar
treatment.

"An accused person who seeks a review of a concluded criminal appeal which was
decided against him should not expect that a diagnosis that he was suffering
from PTSD (or any other psychiatric condition), whether at the time of the
offence and/or at the time he gave his statements to the investigating
authorities, will automatically entitle him to a review," said the judges.

(source: channelnewsasia.com)

****************

No Innocent Explanation? - Death Row Inmate's Lawyers use Evidence Adduced by
the Prosecution to Seek Inmate's 2nd Acquittal



In a twist of Shakespearean proportions, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, the lawyer for
death row inmate Ilechukwu, has used evidence produced by the Prosecution to
argue for his client's acquittal. The Defence counsel made the case that the
results of a psychiatric assessment conducted by one Dr Jaydip Sarkar from
Institute of Mental Health (IMH), which was sought for by the Prosecution,
exculpated the Defendant.

The case of Ilechukwu Uchechukwu Chukwudi, a 32 year-old Nigerian National, was
unusual even before the above-mentioned sequences of events had transpired. If
he is to be acquitted tomorrow, it would mean that he has been acquitted twice
for the same charge. He was first acquitted in the High Court in but then
convicted again in the Court of Appeal.

He was first arrested in Singapore on the morning of 14th November 2011 for
trafficking methamphetamine. He was arrested soon after the person he passed
the controlled substances to and his co-accused, Hamidah Awang (whose sentence
was eventually commuted to life imprisonment after receiving a Certificate of
Substantive Assistance by the Prosecution), was arrested at Woodlands
Checkpoint.

He entered Singapore from Nigeria a day earlier. He claimed that he was handed
a laptop bag at Lagos Airport and was instructed to help bring it to Singapore
and that he exercised due diligence by checking the bag before agreeing to
transport it. At Changi Airport, his belongings were also subjected to a
physical check by an officer and were passed through an X-Ray Machine but no
drugs were found in the laptop bag. These statements were supported by
objective evidence (i.e. CCTV footage) in his High Court trial. Although the
Trial Judge, Lee Sieu Kin J, did find that there were inconsistencies between
his statements, he attributed it to the Defendant being "defensive, and perhaps
excessively so" and ultimately held that the Defendant was able to rebut the
presumption of knowledge under s 18(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act. The learned
Trial Judge concluded that the Defendant's actions prior to his arrest were
inconsistent with a person who had knowledge of the drugs as he remained
composed despite being delayed at immigration and having his luggage checked.
On 8 January 2015, Justice Lee Sieu Kin acquitted Ilechukwu and convicted
Hamidah, his co-accused.

The Prosecution later appealed to the Court of Appeal to overturn Ilechukwu's
acquittal. The Court of Appeal heard the case on 9 April 2015 and overturned
the Defendant's acquittal.

Paragraphs 87 to 88 of the Court of Appeal's Judgement,

We would still have hesitated to think that the Respondent's version of the
facts is so incredible that it would ipso facto justify appellate interference.
Had the case merely turned on the Judge's assessment on the credibility of the
Respondent's oral testimony at trial (and nothing more), we might have declined
to interfere.

What tipped the scales are the numerous lies and omissions made by the
Respondent in his statements, for which there is no innocent explanation.

The Court of Appeal overturned the Defendant's acquittal as it found that there
was "no innocent explanation" for the inconsistencies found in his statement.
As the DPP did not grant him a certificate of substantive assistance, Ilechukwu
now faces the mandatory death penalty.

The IMH Report

Prior to the Court of Appeal's decision to overturn the Trial Judge's ruling in
June 2015, both the Defence and the Prosecution agreed that the Defendant's
mental condition was not an issue. The Defendant's defence was consistent in
that he maintained that he had a complete lack of knowledge that he was in
possession of drugs. After the Trial Judge's acquittal, no question of
sentencing arose. Consequently, the issue of whether the Defendant could avail
himself to the partial defence of diminished responsibility was immaterial.
During the Pre-Trial Conference for the sentencing hearing, the Prosecution was
informed that the Defence intended to adduce a psychiatric report for the
purposes of sentencing. At that stage, the prosecution had no objections and
did not suggest that such a report should have been made at an earlier stage
(an argument which was later raised in their submissions). They also did not
indicate that they had intended to adduce their own psychiatric report in
response.

However, after the Defence adduced a Psychiatric report by one Dr Ung Eng
Khean, the Prosecution adduced a psychiatric report from Dr Sankar from IMH. On
4 May 2017, the Court of Appeal heard a new appeal filed by Mr Eugene
Thuraisingam on behalf of Ilechukwu. The appeal was premised on a psychiatric
report adduced by Dr Sankar from IMH. Surprisingly, it was not the Prosecution
but the Defence that sought to rely on Dr Sankar's report.

Dr Sankar diagnosed that the Defendant was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) during the time he provided his statements to the CNB. This
was, the report states, because he was fearful for his life after hearing that
the offence carried the death penalty.

The Defendant was also found to have been diagnosed with mental illness during
his time in remand and was prescribed with numerous medications at different
junctures. However, after a few visits to the Complex Medical Center, he would
express that he was feeling better and did not want further prescriptions and
medical attention. A few months later, he would relapse into his psychiatric
illness and require medical attention again. This cycled repeated itself for a
handful of times.

Strikingly similar reasons were produced for his resistance to psychiatric care
by the reports produced by the Prisons, Dr Ung and Dr Sankar. In his report, Dr
Sankar also ruled out, in no uncertain terms, the possibility that the
Defendant was fabricating PTSD in the hopes of a favorable diagnosis.

"He... has never received any psychiatric treatment before." - Complex Medical
Center Report

"He has no formal past psychiatric history.. it was uncommon in his familial or
cultural setting to see a 'psychiatrist' or a 'counsellor.' - Dr Ung's Report

"The characteristics symptoms of PTSD were offered spontaneously and
voluntarily and in response to open ended questions. He did not try and bring
my attention to PTSD or dissociative symptoms at all and responded in detail
only when asked. As such the validity of this diagnosis is not in question.

That he was not malingering the PTSD symptoms is also borne out by the fact
that he did not wish for a mental illness tag and had repeatedly stopped
prescribed medications in prison, based on his culturally based negative
attitude towards mental disorders and a tendency to over-estimate his own
ability. Such conduct is inconsistent with someone malingering in order to
provide a justification or an excuse for their actions." - Paragraphs 91 and 92
of Dr Sankar's Report

He then goes on to suggest that the inconsistencies and lies in the Defendant's
statements could be attributed to his PTSD.

"The defendant was suffering from acute symptons of PTSD with dissociation
around the time that he made the inconsistent and unreliable statements
(between 14 and 21 Nov 2011) This could be a relevant factor in providing an
unreliable account."

".. an overestimation of threat to his life which could have prompted him to
utter unsophisticated and blatant falsehoods in order to save his life."

Dr Sankar's report, which included highly detailed and cogent reasons for his
diagnosis and rigorous scientific testing, was not without it's caveats as far
as the Defendant was concerned.

He highlighted Ilechukwu's attempt to "under-perform" on cognitive tests. The
following excerpt from his report was cited by the Prosecution in their
submissions.

"His performance in TOMM and DCT (tests to determine the effort put in)
suggested that he may not have put in his best effort. He scored particularly
poorly in tests of information and processing... As such, the findings must be
handled with caution."

However, the Prosecution's submissions omitted the paragraph that followed.

"Finally a comment on the issue of exaggerating cognitive impairments on
certain neuropsychological tests. It is possible that the demonstrated
inconsistency could be due to a range of factors, including poor motivation,
depressed mood secondary to PTSD, attentional (sic) problems and fatigue,
rather than solely due to malingering."

Questions on the objectivity and credibility of Dr Sankar's report, which were
not raised by the Prosecution, will, in all likelihood be quashed by his
credentials and the fact that it was the Prosecution, not the Defence, that
sought his opinion. The Prosecution, in its submissions, argued that Dr
Sankar's report cannot be considered as it failed the 2-tiered test set out in
Kho Jabing (2016) at [44], in that it must be sufficient, in the sense of being
"new" and "compelling" and that it must show that the decision under challenge
(i.e. the finding that there was "no innocent reason" for the Defendant's lies)
was "demonstrably wrong."

In response, the Defence argued that it the material was indeed sufficient.
They submitted that it was "new" because prior to the Court of Appeal's
conviction, there was no need for a psychiatric report and the fact that he
already had access to psychiatric care in the prisons. As to whether Dr
Sankar's report was "compelling" and whether it showed that the Court's
decision was "demonstrably wrong", his objectivity and rigorous scientific
testing that led to his diagnosis were underscored.

Prima facie, Dr Sankar's report corroborates the Trial Judge's assessment that
the Defendant was being defensive and suggests that, contrary to the Apex
Court's finding, there may have been, after all, "an innocent explanation" for
the inconsistencies and omissions in the Defendant's statements that led to his
conviction. This would then give rise to a real possibility that the Court of
Appeal's decision to overturn the defendant's acquittal amounted to a
miscarriage of justice.

The Court of Appeal will deliver its judgement on 2 August 2017 at 0940hrs.

(source: The Online Citizen)








SYRIA:

Cyberactivist secretly executed in Syria detention: widow----A prominent
cyberactivist who was detained on the 1st anniversary of the 2011 uprising that
sparked the Syrian civil war was secretly executed nearly 2 years ago, his
widow said.



A prominent cyberactivist who was detained on the 1st anniversary of the 2011
uprising that sparked the Syrian civil war was secretly executed nearly 2 years
ago, his widow said. Bassel Khartabil Safadi, an open-source software developer
who put his skills to use to promote free speec h during the uprising, was put
to death in October 2015, 2 1/2 years after his arrest.

Bassel Khartabil Safadi, an open-source software developer who put his skills
to use to promote free speec h during the uprising, was put to death in October
2015, 2 1/2years after his arrest, Noura Ghazi Safadi said.

That month, rumours had begun circulating that he had been sentenced to death
after being transferred from the regime's notorious Adra prison near Damascus
to an unknown location. His widow gave no indication on her Facebook post late
Tuesday how she had confirmed her husband's death.

"Words are difficult to come by while I am about to announce, on behalf of
Bassel's family and mine, the confirmation of the death sentence and execution
of my husband," she said.

"He was executed just days after he was taken from Adra prison in October 2015.
This is the end that suits a hero like him. "This is a loss for Syria. This is
loss for Palestine. This is my loss."

Safadi, who was 34 at the time of his death, was born to a Palestinian father
and a Syrian mother. He was well known as an advocate for freedom of
information and greater access to the internet.

In 2010, he launched Aiki Lab, which brought together engineers, artists and
hackers in Damascus, and also contributed to open-source projects including
Creative Commons and Wikipedia. "Because of Khartabil's work, people gained new
tools to express themselves and communicate," British newspaper The Guardian
said in a 2015 profile.

Syria had no internet access until 2000, and state censorship and monitoring
have remained rampant. Safadi's expertise was particularly important after the
uprising against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011. Calls for
demonstrations were often issued through Facebook pages, and activists
broadcast news and videos through social media. International human rights
groups have long pressed for information on Safadi's fate.

In a 2016 appeal for his release, Human Rights Watch said it believed his
detention was "a direct result of his peaceful and legitimate work for the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression ."

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the civil war that erupted after
the uprising, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based monitoring group estimates that more than 60,000 of those
have been executed or tortured to death in regime prisons.

(source: al-monitor.com)








INDONESIA:

Indonesia executed Nigerian despite case being unresolved, watchdog
says----Humphrey Jefferson, who was convicted of drug offences, was seeking
clemency when he faced firing squad, ombudsman finds



An official watchdog has found that Indonesia executed a Nigerian man last year
while his case was unresolved, leading to renewed calls for a halt to a system
holding hundreds of prisoners on death row.

Indonesia's ombudsman found that Humphrey Jefferson was seeking clemency when
he faced a firing squad along with 3 others in July 2016, meaning that he still
had a chance to be pardoned. The 4 were all convicted of drug trafficking.

It is believed authorities are preparing for more executions and a group of
prisoners, including Frank Amado, an American citizen, were transferred to
"execution island" earlier this year.

2 UK citizens - Gareth Cashmore and Lindsay Sandiford, both convicted of
trafficking - also await their fate on Indonesia's death row.

"This shows that the attorney general did violate the law last year," said
Ricky Gunawan, the director of the Community Legal Aid Institute, which
represented Jefferson and petitioned for the ombudsman investigation.

"They have been eager to organise a new round of executions, but this shows
that last year's proceedings were a mess. Because of the ruling they will have
to be extremely careful if they choose to go forward."

The Community Legal Aid Institute, along with Human Rights Watch, has called
for an end to the death penalty in Indonesia. Human Rights Watch published a
statement on Monday saying: "Indonesia should restore the unofficial moratorium
on the death penalty and ensure the rights of criminal suspects, including
those implicated in drug crimes, are respected rather than steamrolled."

The Indonesian president, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, has stepped up his rhetoric in
the country's war on drugs, saying recently that police should shoot drug
dealers on the spot if they resist arrest.

Indonesia ended an unofficial 4-year moratorium on executions in 2013. 18
prisoners have been executed since Jokowi took office in 2014. Most of the
sentences are carried out against foreigners and Indonesia has repeatedly
resisted appeals even from friendly governments - such as Australia - for
mercy.

The Indonesian attorney general's office has denied it violated protocol but is
legally required to respond to the ombudsman's findings, Gunawan said.

Jefferson was executed alongside 2 other Nigerians and an Indonesian.

In addition to finding that Jefferson's clemency request was not respected,
Indonesia's ombudsman found authorities did not comply with rules requiring
them to issue notification 72 hours before carrying out his execution.

(source: The Guardian)
_______________________________________________
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

DeathPenalty mailing list
***@lists.washlaw.edu
http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/listinfo/deathpenalty
Unsubscribe: http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/options/deathpenalty
Rick Halperin
2017-07-29 12:35:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
July 29




THE MALDIVES:

Branson urges Maldives boycott if government resumes executions for the 1st
time in 60 years



Sir Richard Branson has described the reported decision by Maldivian President
Abdulla Yameen to revive executions as "an awful political move that will send
the country back to the Dark Ages of human rights."

In a blog post, the creator of the Virgin brand implicitly threatened to remove
his money and business from the Maldives and urged other tour operators,
governments and businesses to follow suit if the executions went ahead.

"I care about where my money is spent and how I conduct my business. President
Yameen can still back away from the damaging path he has chosen for his
country. If not, I hope the international community - governments...

(source: telegraph.co.uk)








BAHAMAS:

'Death Penalty Is The Wrong Way To Tackle Rising Crime'



The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association yesterday urged the Minnis
administration to reconsider its intention to push for the death penalty to be
enforced to ensure criminals are punished to the full extent of the law.

In a statement released on Thursday, the GBHRA commended the FNM for its stated
commitment to reversing the upward trend in violent crime, but further warned
"capital punishment is simply not the way to do it."

The statement came 2 days after National Security Minister Marvin Dames, in an
interview with The Tribune on Tuesday, said his party would use everything on
the law books, including capital punishment, to make The Bahamas safe for
"law-abiding citizens".

However, to debunk the perceived connection between increased capital
punishment and decreased crime, the GBHRA contended 90 % of criminologists have
agreed that capital punishment is "a totally pointless exercise from the
perspective of reducing violent crime".

The association said many of the most violent countries in the world are those
which have the death penalty on their law books.

"This is because, as studies show, the death penalty contributes significantly
to the brutalisation of individuals and society as a whole, which in turn leads
to higher rates of murder and violence," the GBHRA noted.

"In the US, states that retain the death penalty have higher murder rates than
those that have abolished it. Capital punishment has also been linked to higher
rates of violence against police and officers and increased anti-social
behaviour generally.

"In addition, it is an inescapable fact that sooner or later, societies that
engage in capital punishment will execute an innocent person. No system of
justice is perfect, court witnesses make mistakes and jurors do not always vote
according to evidence."<

The GBHRA asserted the execution of an individual is an "irreversible act of
state violence" that can never be taken back or atoned for if it is later
realised that it was wrongfully applied.

"According to Amnesty International, 130 people sentenced to death in the
United States have been found innocent since 1973 and released from death row.
Many others were found to have been wrongfully convicted when it was already
too late.

"Such practical considerations aside, there is also a strong moral objection to
capital punishment. As a nation founded on an abiding respect for Christian
values and the rights of the individual, The Bahamas must always be seen to
affirm the maxim that all life is sacred.

"Everyone has a sacred and inalienable right to life, even those who commit
murder. Sentencing a person to death and executing them clearly violates this
right," the group added.

The GBHRA said the government should consider that trends in criminality and
anti-social behaviour cannot be meaningfully reversed unless the underlying
causes are addressed.

The group added that the government, while doing all it can to protect
law-abiding citizens, it should look to combat poverty, child neglect, domestic
violence, drug addiction and the other social ills, all of which, GBHRA said,
have been "repeatedly proven" to drive vulnerable young people toward a life of
crime.

To this end, GBHRA said returning The Bahamas to a "sense of peace, safety and
property," will take nothing short of a total commitment by government, civil
society and ordinary citizens to breaking the cycle of social degeneration
that, it argued, has given rise to crime.

In conclusion, the group urged the government to lead the way in restoring a
sense of decency and civility to the nation and to resist taking the country
down the road toward further violence, retribution and brutality.

A 2006 decision by the London-based Privy Council, The Bahamas' highest court
of appeal, quashed the country's mandatory death penalty for murder convicts,
which it said was unconstitutional.

In 2011, the Privy Council also said the death penalty should only be given in
cases where the offence falls into the category of the "worst of the worst".

That same year, the Ingraham administration made changes to the Penal Code to
set out the criteria for the types of murders that would attract a
discretionary death penalty after conviction.

The last person to be executed by the state was David Mitchell in January 2000.

(source: tribune242.com)








PHILIPPINES:

LP expresses victory over exclusion of death penalty in Congress priority list



The once ruling Liberal Party (LP) on Friday said Congress' decision not to
include the death penalty bill from the list of priority measures "is a small
but substantial victory."

"The discussions do not end here, but this delay provides more time for our
lawmakers and fellow Filipinos to delve further into the issues surrounding
capital punishment and the risks it poses should it ever pass into law," the LP
said in a statement.

"We believe in a Philippines that offers justice without killing. Ours is a
country of life and vitality. Let us always remember it," it added.

The bill restoring the imposition of death penalty was passed on third reading
at the House of Representatives. It is also one of the measures pushed by
President Rodrigo Duterte during his 2nd state of the nation address last
Monday.

However, this was not included in the priority list of Congress' common
legislative agenda.

The Congress, instead, intend to prioritize bills on tax reforms, traffic
emergency powers and the end of "endo," or contractualization, before the end
of 2017, as well as to revise the 1987 Constitution and approve the proposed
Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

(source: newsinfo.inquirer.net)








MALAYSIA:

Woman accused of killing Kim Jong Un's half-brother had "no guilty
intention"----The women face a possible death penalty if convicted



A chemist's report that shows the banned VX nerve agent was used to kill the
half brother of North Korea's leader needs further scrutiny, a lawyer for 1 of
the 2 women accused of poisoning the man said Friday as he examined evidence
ahead of a trial set for October.

High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin set an Oct. 2 trial date for Indonesian Siti
Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who are accused of smearing Kim Jong
Nam's face with banned VX nerve agent at a crowded airport terminal in Kuala
Lumpur on Feb. 13. He died about 20 minutes later.

The women, who face a possible death penalty if convicted, say they were duped
into thinking they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show.

Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said he plans to call up to 40 witnesses,
including 10 experts and a few foreigners.

The women appeared in court wearing traditional Malay dresses, smiling at their
lawyers and embassy officials. They were handcuffed as they were led to the
dock.

But after the judge left the room, Aisyah was in tears as her lawyer debriefed
her.

The 2 women are the only suspects in custody in a killing that South Korea's
spy agency said was part of a 5-year plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to
kill a brother he reportedly never met. Malaysian police have said 4 North
Korean suspects fled the country the same day Kim Jong Nam was killed.

Gooi Soon Seng, Aisyah's lawyer, told reporters that "traces of precursors of
VX and degrading products of VX" were found on Kim's face and the women's
clothing based on government documents. He said the defense has to engage
expert opinion to establish if this meant that the poison used was VX or some
other chemical.

VX is supposed to be very potent and even 0.1 milliliters is enough to kill a
person. "But we can say that there were no side effects on the 2 women," Gooi
said.

"We have doubts over the accuracy of the report. We are seeking evidence that
VX is used. The burden of proof is on the prosecution," Gooi said.

Whether VX or not, Gooi said their core defense was that Aisyah didn't know she
had poison on her hand at the time.

"A crime constitutes an act and a guilty intention. There was no guilty
intention on her part. She didn't know what she was applying," he added.

Earlier, prosecutors provided airport camera footage to the defense. Gooi said
it included a video of a prank played by Aisyah on someone else at the airport.
He didn't give further details. North Korea has a history of ordering killings
of people it views as threats to its regime. While Kim Jong Nam was not thought
to be seeking influence, his status as eldest son in the current generation of
North Korea's founding family could have made him appear to be a danger to his
half brother's rule.

Pyongyang has denied any role in the killing and has not even acknowledged that
the dead man was Kim Jong Nam.

(source: Associated Press)








PAKISTAN:

Death penalty in murder cases



A court awarded death sentence to 2 men in separate murder cases in Faisalabad
on Friday.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majoka awarded death
sentence on 3 counts to a man convicted in triple murder case within Dijkot
police station precincts. The prosecution told the court that accused Shahbaz,
his father Hashmat Ali and his brother Nawaz had gunned down rivals Muhammad
Hanif, Tahir Mehmood and Mudassar over water dispute in 2015.

Man gets death penalty over blasphemy on social media

After hearing the witnesses, the court awarded death sentence to Salah Muhammad
and 40 years jail imprisonment to Shahbaz with a collective fine of Rs1.5
million which would be paid as compensation to the heirs of the deceased.
Meanwhile, the court acquitted Hashmat and Nawaz over lack of evidence.

In yet another case, the judge awarded death penalty to Saifullah for killing
Roshan Masih in 2011. The court also imposed a fine of Rs0.5 million on the
convict.

Pakistan concerned over EU resolution blocking death penalty

Earlier, Additional District and Sessions Judge Farzana Shahzad awarded death
sentence and 40 year jail term to 2 accused involved in a dual murder case
within Terkhanawala police station. Convicts Salah Muhammad, Muhammad Asif and
their father Ashraf had murdered their 2 uncles Ghulam Raza and Asif over a
family dispute.

After hearing the witnesses, the court awarded death sentence to Salah Muhammad
and 40 years jail imprisonment to Muhammad Asif. Meanwhile, the judge acquitted
Ashraf over lack of evidence.

(source: The Express Tribune)

_______________________________________________
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

DeathPenalty mailing list
***@lists.washlaw.edu
http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/listinfo/deathpenalty
Unsubscribe: http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/options/deathpenalty
Rick Halperin
2017-07-30 18:19:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
July 30




ZIMBABWE:

Our hope is on Mnangagwa



I remember it was in 2013 in Bulawayo in Cowdray Part Surbub at Mukitika
Primary School on a Sunday. The COPAC had announced that they will hold a
public hearing on the proposed Zimbabwe Constitution. Although the meeting was
supposed to be attended by Cowdray Park residence ZANU PF bussed people from
nearby plots and farms with an obvious aim to disrupt the hearings. Thanks for
the Honourable legislators who were chairing the meeting progressed without any
incidence.

After the meeting had been officially opened deliberations started. We first
discussed the Bill of Rights. There was a rare unity between ZANU PF and MDC
supporters on the Bill of Rights. All people present unanimously agreed that
every Zimbabwean must have a right to life. We agreed that no one must be
allowed to take away someone's life for whatever reasons. Christians contended
that nobody have a right to take anybody's life except God the life giver. MDC
ZANU PF Christians we unanimously agreed on that.

We then moved to the issue of the death penalty or death sentence whether it
must be maintained in the constitution or total be removed. There was a
contestation of ideas here. It seemed the majority wanted the death sentence to
be maintained. Suddenly people changed. It looks like they had completely
forgotten what we had agreed under the Bill of Rights. Speaker after speaker
stood up to support the idea of maintaining the death sentence in the
constitution. I was given a chance to speak. I advocated for the removal of the
death sentence reminding the gathering what we had just agreed under the Bill
of Right. Unfortunately I was in the minority. When the issue was finally put
to vote we lost. People wanted the death sentence to be retained in the New
Constitution of Zimbabwe. It was sad.

The death sentence had always a controversial topic. Some people are in support
of it some are against it.However, it must be noted that people are being
killed throughout the world almost every day, a number are still on death row.
Some people are being killed for trivial crimes like "who you sleep with, in
others it is reserved for acts of terror and murder." (Amnesty International)

The author is of the view that Zimbabweans made a great mistake in retaining
the death sentence in the new constitution which we voted for in 2013.The
author advocate for the total removal of the death sentence from our
constitution and laws.

According to Amnesty International the death penalty is unfair because before
anyone is executed he or she is made to wait for years on the death row.
Certain Japanese man was made to wait for 46 years not knowing when his time
was to come. In Zimbabwe we have people who are still on the death raw for more
than 10 years now. It's unfair.

The death penalty is also cruel, inhuman and degrading. According to Salil
Shelty "The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution
to it." Execution methods includes beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal
injection, shooting in the back of the head or shooting by a firing squad. It's
so chilling, ruthless, cruel and violent.

The other issue is humans can make errors and judges are not an exception.
Let's say someone is erroneously charged and erroneously convicted and
sentenced to death and then killed immediately. If at a later stage it is found
out that the person was erroneously convicted, it is not possible to reverse
the killing of an innocent person.

I had also pointed it out in one of my recent articles that long jail sentences
do not deter crime. The idea that long jail terms deter crime hasn't been
proven anywhere this includes the death sentence, it doesn't deter crime in any
way. Life sentences are rather better than the death sentence in serious
crimes.

The death penalty is also discriminatory. The Amnesty International says it is
the poor belonging to a "wrong "race, ethnic group, religious minority group,
or political party that end up facing the gallows. In Zimbabwe the
discrimination is quite glare, it is men only who can be given the death
sentence women are spared. We were not told the reasons for this discriminatory
nature of sentencing. We all know that 52% of Zimbabwean population are women
then why kill the few and spare the majority. Is there any motive to extinguish
men in Zimbabwe?

The death penalty breaches two essential human rights: the right to life and
right to live a life free from torture. Both rights are protected under the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948,
according to Amnesty International. Zimbabwe is a member of United Nations, why
are we then killing people violating their rights?

Since 1948 the momentum to ban the death sentence globally is growing. As of
2016 104 countries had totally banned the death penalty including the majority
of countries in Southern Africa but Zimbabwe still maintains the death penalty
in its laws.

Vice President Mnangagwa who is also the Minister of Justice has been quoted on
numerous occasions in the media as saying he is opposed to the death penalty.
Recently he crafted the first constitutional amendment which was adopted by
parliament. We hope that he will do the honourable thing and craft the second
constitutional amendment and remove totally the death sentence from our
constitution. I also hope that legislators from ZANU and MDC will unanimously
vote and approve the 2nd constitutional amendment to remove the death sentence
from the Zimbabwean Constitution.

(source: Opinion; Etiwel Mutero is an archivist and political
commentator----bulawayo24.com)








INDIA:

Gopal Gandhi opposes death penalty in all cases



This vehement opposition to death penalty springs from myth that it can lead to
increase in murders. Facts show otherwise.

The process to elect the Vice-President of the country has started. There is a
straight fight between the NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu, and Opposition's Gopal
Krishna Gandhi. But this piece is not about the election. It is about the place
of death penalty in a civilised country like ours, in the context of the
protests against Gopal Gandhi on the ground that he had asked for Yakub Menon's
death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment in the Mumbai blasts case,
which had killed many innocent citizens. Headlines were flashed to say that
Gopal Gandhi wanted mercy to be given to the terrorists. This was an incorrect
interpretation of what he had said. It is not denied that Gopal Gandhi has been
a long time opponent of death penalty. Around 2 years ago, the Law Commission
of India had held a seminar on death penalty. I was one of the speakers there.
I am for the abolition of death penalty. A near unanimous resolution was passed
there for the abolition of death penalty. Consistent with his stand, Gopal
Gandhi too voted for the abolition of death penalty. In fact for abolitionists
like us, the judgement is not based on any individual case, but on the
principle that death sentence to anyone is inconsistent with a civilised
society and does not even serve as a deterrent and violates human rights.

Let us recall that some the greatest men have all opposed death penalty.
Gandhiji said, "I do regard death sentence as contrary to ahimsa. Only He can
take it who gives it." Freedom fighter and socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan
said, "To my mind, it is ultimately a question of respect for life and human
approach to those who commit grievous hurts to others. Death sentence is no
remedy for such crimes."

Dr B.R. Ambedkar, during the Constituent Assembly debates said, "I think that
having regard to this fact, the proper thing for this country to do is to
abolish the death sentence altogether."

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour called the death penalty
"...a sanction that should have no place in any society that claims to value
human rights and the inviolability of the person". President Eduardo Frei of
Chile said, "I cannot believe that to defend life and punish the person that
kills, the State should in its turn kill. The death penalty is as inhuman as
the crime which motivates it."

The vociferous opposition to the abolition of death penalty springs from myth
that it can lead to increase of murders. Facts show otherwise. Thus, in 1945-50
the State of Travancore, which had no death penalty, had 962 murders, whereas
during 1950-55, when death sentence was introduced, there were 967 murders. In
Canada, after the abolition of death penalty in 1976, the homicide rate has
declined. In 2000, there were 542 homicides in Canada - 16 less than in 1998
and 159 less than in 1975 (1 year prior to the abolition of capital
punishment).

In 1997, the Attorney General of Massachusetts (US) said, "there is not a shred
of credible evidence that the death penalty lowers the murder rate. In fact,
without the death penalty the murder rate in Massachusetts is about 1/2 the
national average."

Death penalty has been abolished since 1965 in UK. The membership of European
Union is dependent on having no death penalty. This has been done obviously in
the confidence that murders do not get automatically reduced by retaining death
penalty.

The South African Constitutional Court unanimously ruled in 1995 that death
penalty was unconstitutional as it constituted "cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment".

At present, 105 countries have abolished death penalty in law for all crimes -
a majority of world states, as of April 2017.

I may also remind critics of Gopal Gandhi that when India wanted Abu Salem, who
was then living in Portugal, to proceed against him for the same Mumbai 1993
blasts, Government of India gave an undertaking to Portugal that he would not
be given the death penalty. That is why, although convicted, he has been given
the life sentence.

The injustice of death as a penalty has a hoary past. Although death penalty
was briefly banned in China between 747 and 759 AD, modern opposition to death
penalty stems from the book of the Italian Cesare Beccaria Dei Delitti e Delle
Pene (On Crimes and Punishments), published in 1764. Influenced by the book,
Grand Duke Leopold II of Habsburg, the future Emperor of Austria, abolished
death penalty in the then-independent Granducato di Toscana (Tuscany). It was
the 1st permanent abolition in modern times. On 30 November 1786, after having
de facto blocked capital executions (the last was in 1769), Leopold promulgated
the reform of the penal code that abolished death penalty and ordered the
destruction of all the instruments for capital execution in his land. In 2000,
Tuscany's regional authorities instituted an annual holiday on 30 November to
commemorate the event. The event is also commemorated on this day by 300 cities
around the world celebrating the Cities for the Life Day.

In 1849, the Roman Republic became the 1st country to ban capital punishment in
its Constitution. Venezuela abolished death penalty in 1863 and Portugal did so
in 1867.

Will the critics of Gopal Gandhi on the death penalty issue please have the
courtesy of apologising for their totally unsustainable comments?

(source: sundayguardianlive.com)








EGYPT:

Court sentences 8 to death over violent crimes against police



Cairo Criminal Court referred documents of 8 defendants on Saturday, in the
case known as the "storming of Helwan police station," to Egypt's Grand Mufti
Shawky Allam in preparation of their death sentence penalty.

The court said it sent its verdict to Egypt's Grand Mufti for his opinion, on
whether or not their ruling was in accordance with Sharia law (Islamic law).
The Mufti's opinion is almost always in favor of the judge's verdict.

The court adjourned the verdicts against the rest of the defendants, 60, until
October 10 to read the ruling on all defendants in 1 session.

The case incidents date back to August 2013, when the defendants besieged
Helwan police station and hurled Molotov cocktails, stones and shot at forces
in the station, killing 3 policemen, and 2 bystanders.

19 others were injured in the seige, which burnt the station, 20 police
vehicles, and 3 private cars.

The defendants face a number of charges including joining a militant group,
intended to disrupt the constitution and laws, murder and attempted murder, and
possession of unlicensed firearms.

(source: egyptindependent.com)

_______________________________________________
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

DeathPenalty mailing list
***@lists.washlaw.edu
http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/listinfo/deathpenalty
Unsubscribe: http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/options/deathpenalty
Rick Halperin
2017-07-31 13:48:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
July 31




MALAYSIA:

Property agent sent to the gallows for drug trafficking



A woman could not hold back her tears at the High Court here today when her son
Hari Singh Kanda was sentenced to the gallows for trafficking 32.3 gramme of
heroin and 18.1 gramme of monoacetylmorphine last year.

The mother, who sat at the court's public gallery was calm when Judicial
Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah read out his judgement after
hearing submissions from both defendant and prosecution team today.

However, the woman in her 50s, burst into tear after Shariff meted out the
sentence against the 25-year-old property agent after reading the 131-pages of
judgement sheet.

Hari Singh, clad in a grey shirt, put up a calm demeanor and several people,
believed to be his family members and friends, got up and hugged him after the
proceeding.

He was charged under Section 39(B)(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which
carries the death penalty upon conviction.

Shariff said the defendant had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the
prosecution's case.

"I am satisfied that the testimonies from 10 prosecution's witnesses were true.

"I do not believe that the accused was a victim or that he was framed by the
police," he said.

Shariff said the accused had indeed held a red plastic bag which contained the
contraband item (drugs).

"The police seized the red plastic bag from his right hand," he added.

The accused represented by lawyers Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent and Datuk Rajpal
Singh when pleaded for lenience sentence said it was the 1st offence committed
by their client.

The court then allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal at the Court of
Appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli prosecuted.

(source: New Straits Times)








JAPAN:

Efforts continue to achieve hanged killer's final wish



Efforts to achieve the final wish of a serial killer continue even 20 years
after his execution, with around 200 people gathering for a charity event on
Saturday in Tokyo to raise money for underprivileged children.

The main speaker of the event commemorating Norio Nagayama, who was hanged on
Aug. 1, 1997, for the murder of 4 people in 1968 at the age of 19, was
Yoshihiro Ishikawa, a psychiatrist.

Based on his experience of performing mental evaluations on Nagayama, Ishikawa
said, "He could not develop his personality in the face of multiple
posttraumatic stress disorders."

Born into an extremely poor family, Nagayama was abandoned by his mother at age
5, left in a bleak house in the middle of winter. He also had to overcome both
an abusive brother and the death of his gambling-addict father whose life ended
in destitution.

Despite a patchy school record, he completed his junior high school studies in
a rural northeastern town and in 1965 moved to Tokyo at a time when Japan was
experiencing an era of high economic growth.

"Nagayama worked hard to change from a miserable boy into someone else,"
Ishikawa said. "But he could not make friends and fell into loneliness, while
his PTSD left him exhausted."

Following his arrest for the serial murders, Nagayama published several books,
including a best-selling autobiography "Tears of Ignorance" and an
award-winning novel.

He donated his book royalties to some of his victims' bereaved families, and he
asked before his death that the royalties would also be used to support poor
children around the world.

Responding to the request, his lawyers and volunteers established the Nagayama
Children Fund to manage the money and organize a charity event every year
around the anniversary of his execution to raise even more money. The first
charity event was held in 2004.

Up to 2016, the group had collected more than 21 million yen and distributed it
mainly to fund scholarships for children in Peru.

"Nagayama wanted to know why he had been driven to commit the crime through a
psychiatric examination so similar crimes would not be repeated, and he was
aware of the necessity of providing sufficient education to children," Ishikawa
said at the 14th edition of the event. "His last words reflect this wish."

Nagayama was initially sentenced to death, but the Tokyo High Court commuted
the ruling to a life sentence, arguing the government should also take some
blame for its failure to rescue him from his desperate situation.

Kyoko Otani, his defense lawyer who heads the Nagayama Children Fund, told the
event, "I think the high court decision depended on the findings of the
psychiatric evaluation by Mr. Ishikawa."

The Supreme Court, however, ordered a retrial, which eventually led the high
court to reverse the life imprisonment decision and reinstate the death
sentence which was finalized in 1990.

The event was held at a time when debates over Japan's use of the death penalty
has drawn public attention, with the hanging of two death-row inmates on July
13 bringing further focus.

1 inmate was seeking a retrial while the other withdrew an appeal, filed by his
defense lawyers following the 1st trial.

On the latest executions, Yoshihiro Yasuda, a lawyer leading the campaign
against the death penalty, said that the hanging of an inmate seeking a retrial
breaches Article 32 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right of access
to the court.

"Some former death row inmates were exonerated in postwar Japan after their
pleas for retrial had been rejected several times," Yasuda told a recent public
gathering in Tokyo. "Executions terminate such a development."

He also emphasized the need to introduce a system under which capital cases are
automatically and thoroughly examined at three levels -- lower, high and top
courts -- even if the accused no longer wants to fight.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has called for the abolition of
capital punishment by 2020, given that more than 2/3 of the world's nations
have abolished the death penalty by law or in practice.

(source: Japan Today)








SOMALIA:

Military court sentences Somali Minister's killer to death again



The High Court of Somali military has sentenced a government soldier to death
for killing Minister of Public Works, Abas Siraji in Mogadishu on last May,
Garowe Online reports.

The convicted soldier identified as Ahmed Abdullahi Abdi (Aideed), 29, has
appealed against the a death penalty sentence he had been given by the first
degree court in June 19.

Abdi who was a bodyguard for former Auditor General Nur Farah Jimale has been
accused of killing the country's youngest Minister at a security checkpoint
near the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu.

Lawyers representing the soldier say he mistook the Minister, who was in his
vehicle, for a militant Islamist trying to kill Jimale in drive-by shooting,
after he found the movements of the car to be suspicious.

Speaking to reporters in Mogadishu, Liban Ali Yarow, the Chief Judge of
Somalia's Military Court has announced the verdict, saying the soldier has
pleaded guilty after evidence and sentenced to death.

At 31, Abas became Somalia's youngest-ever member of Parliament last November,
before becoming the Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction earlier this
year. The Minister's death caused shock and anger at the time.

(source: garoweonline.com)








IRAN:

Iranian parliament receive law meant to spare 5,000 drug smugglers



A bill making its way through the Iranian parliament could spare 5,000
convicted drug smugglers from the death penalty, the ILNA news agency reported
on Monday.

"As soon as the new drug law is passed, the death sentence of more than 5,000
prisoners could be converted into prison sentences," said Hassan Norouzi, a
spokesman for parliament.

Mr. Norouzi said lawmakers are still reviewing the draft legislation, and it
will not be in its final form until after they return from summer recess.

Scepticism has grown in Iran over the effectiveness of the death penalty in
deterring drug smuggling, with government reports showing it has had no impact
on reducing the volume and variety of drugs in Iran.

Instead, many are calling for long prison sentences combined with forced
labour.

Iran has one of the highest execution rates in the world. Amnesty International
says 319 people have been put to death this year, including 183 for
drug-related offences.

The human rights group said the legislation does not go far enough in reducing
the scope of crimes eligible for the death penalty.

"Instead of abolishing the death penalty for drug-related offences, the Iranian
authorities are preparing to adopt a deeply disappointing piece of legislation,
which will continue to fuel Iran's execution machine," said Magdalena Mughrabi.

(source: premiumtimesng.com)

_______________________________________________
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

DeathPenalty mailing list
***@lists.washlaw.edu
http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/listinfo/deathpenalty
Unsubscribe: http://lists.washlaw.edu/mailman/options/deathpenalty
Loading...