[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Sep 24 00:14:24 CDT 2004
Duma won't bring back death penalty
Russia's State Duma has rejected a proposal to revive the death penalty
following the Beslan massacre, the Moscow Times reported Thursday.
The Duma, the main chamber of the Russian parliament Wednesday declined a
proposal by the Rodina, or Motherland faction to end a moratorium on the
death penalty, the Moscow Times said, citing an Interfax news agency
The Rodina faction's deputies urged their fellow Duma members to consider
refusing to ratify Protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms, thereby lifting the current moratorium on the
use of the death penalty and resuming its application, the report said.
More than 330 people, half of them children were massacred by Chechen
separatist terrorists in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia earlier this
(source: United Press International)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
Inmates still on Death Row
Even though the Privy Council ruled almost three months ago that the death
sentences of 86 convicted killers be commuted to life imprisonment, the
order has not yet been carried out.
And in an attempt to compel the State to speed up that process one of the
86 Death Row inmates, Narine Sooklal, yesterday filed a lawsuit claiming
that his continued detention in death row was illegal and
On July 7, the Privy Council, this country's highest court, re-instituted
the death penalty as the mandatory conviction for murder but granted a
reprieve to the 86 prisoners awaiting the sentence of death. This was on
the basis that they had been given a glimmer of hope from a previous
ruling which had found the death sentence to be unconstitutional, and
which had directed that each prisoner should have his sentence reviewed.
Sooklal, 57, was convicted of killing Mobina Ali, his father-in-law's
lover on May 24, 1996, and has been on death row since then.
"Since July 8, 2004, I have been daily expecting to have my sentence
commuted to life imprisonment and to be removed from the Death Row. I
remain on Death Row. Each day that passes constitutes mental anguish to me
since I have exhausted all my appeals and do not know what to expect,"
Sooklal stated in an affidavit filed in the Port of Spain Civil Registry.
"Having had my expectations crushed that my sentence would be reviewed and
that I might benefit from a fixed term, I believe that at least I am
entitled to have my death sentence commuted to life imprisonment," he
Sooklal's attorneys, Dana Seetahal and Nadia Ashraph, are relying on the
pronouncements of at least 3 major rulings of the Privy Council which
changed the rules for enforcing the death penalty; the 1994 ruling of
Pratt and Morgan which stipulated a time-frame of 5 years to execute
murderers; the November 2003 ruling in Balkissoon Roodal which stated that
the mandatory death penalty for murder was unconstitutional and
recommended a review of each inmate's sentence; and the July 2004 ruling
in Charles Matthew which reinstated the death penalty as the mandatory
sentence for murder but ordered that the sentences of existing inmates be
Sooklal stated in his affidavit that since December 1992, several
convicted killers who had spent at least 5 years on death row have had
their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
Sooklal was charged with Francis Mansingh for Ali's murder in 1992 and
both men were also charged with killing Sooklal's father-in-law, Harry
Narinesingh, days later to allegedly prevent Narinesingh from transferring
his property to Ali.
They were found guilty and sentenced to hang for Ali's murder on May 24,
1996. 11 years later, on January 7, 2004, their trial for the Narinesingh
murder came up in the High Court but the State offered no evidence against
them and they were acquitted.
No date has been set for the hearing of the constitutional motion which
names both the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Prisons as the
(source: The Trinidad Express)
Woman's 10-year ordeal on death row is over at last
Sarah Lambani awaited her fate on death row for 10 years.
Yesterday, Lambani, 1 of 2 remaining South African women condemned to the
gallows, finally had her sentence converted to life imprisonment.
When she went to prison, there was no constitution. After she was
sentenced to death, she was saved from the gallows by the interim
constitution, when the death penalty was abolished.
But to wait 10 years was unacceptable, said the judges who heard her
A decade after the death penalty was abolished, there are a number of
prisoners whose sentences must still be converted.
In 1994, Lambani was a domestic worker on Doornspruit farm near Louis
Trichardt, employed by the parents of murder victim Catharina Dercksen.
Security around their house was tight, with a barbed-wire fence patrolled
by pitbull terriers. In the house was a safe containing a lot of money.
When Dercksen's parents went away, they left a key with Lambani with a
list of instructions about who could be admitted. Dercksen had the key to
In July 1993 Dercksen was tied up, assaulted and strangled in her parents'
house. Doctors found evidence that somebody had tried to poison her with
Dercksen was a big woman and it was clear to all witnessing the trial that
it was physically unlikely that Lambani would have overpowered her
The court found that three men had been called in to help. The dogs had
been locked up and the gate opened.
When the police went to the house, the safe was open and the money was
gone. No windows were broken and no doors had been forced.
Suspicion fell on Lambani. She and her friend Daniel Musingadi were
arrested within days. Later Samuel Malenga and David Muthidza were taken
Lambani said she, too, was the victim of the fatal robbery by masked men.
Musingadi said he was there only to collect the money and left without
knowing what had happened to "the white woman".
Both the trial court and the appeal court found Lambani and Musingadi had
lied, and sentenced them to death. Malenga and Muthidza were found to be
guilty bystanders and sentenced to 18 and 20 years respectively.
Acting Justice of Appeal Jock Comrie yesterday confirmed all 4
convictions. The court only had to reconsider the death penalties imposed
on Lambani and Musingadi.
For Lambani, Judge Comrie said: "I can see no appropriate alternative to
life imprisonment. She either strangled Dercksen to death or was party to
doing so. She either administrated poison to Dercksen or was party to
doing so. She abused her significant position of trust as a member of the
"The poisoning and the murder were carried out ... to avoid her detection
as one of the robbers."
Musingadi had already served 11 years' imprisonment but was given another
16, a similar sentence to that of Malenga and Muthidza.
(source: The South African Star)
RI migrant worker faces death sentence
An Indonesian migrant worker, Sundarti Suprianto, could be given the death
penalty when a Singapore court delivers its verdict on Friday.
The court will decide whether she is guilty of multiple charges of
murdering both her Singaporean employers, Angie Ng and her 2-year-old
daughter Crystal, then burning their apartment and illegally using her
employer's ATM card in June 2003.
Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore M.S. Hidayat told The Jakarta Post the
embassy had provided a lawyer for Sundarti, 24, and arranged for her
mother to visit her in Singapore.
Hidayat said there were about 45,000 Indonesian domestic workers in
Singapore, and 4 of them were standing trial with a possibility of the
(source: Jakarta Post)
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