[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Apr 13 23:50:48 CDT 2005
Judgment day for Corby
Accused drug trafficker Schapelle Corby will today learn if she will face
the death penalty if a Bali court finds her guilty of the charge.
Prosecutors will today tell the Denpasar District Court what punishment
the 27-year-old former Gold Coast beauty therapist should receive if
convicted. Corby was caught with 4.1 kg of marijuana in her unlocked
bodyboard bag at Denpasar airport in last October, but she says she is
innocent and the drugs were planted, probably by a baggage handler
involved in an Australian drug ring.
The drug smuggling charge faces a maximum penalty of death by firing squad
According to the prosecution indictment, if there is not enough evidence
to convict Corby of trafficking, she could be convicted under two lesser
laws carrying maximum prison terms of 15 years and 10 years respectively.
In a similar case in Bali recently, prosecutors demanded the death penalty
for a taxi driver who admitted possessing 3.9kg of marijuana.
But observers have suggested high level talks between Australia and
Indonesia regarding Corby's case could spare her the same fate.
The Federal Government has pleaded with the Indonesians for clemency, with
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last week promising to
personally see that justice was done.
However Corby's Indonesian lawyer Lely Sri Rahayu Lubis has said she is
pessimistic Corby will be released due to a lack of primary defence
Meanwhile, security has been tightened at the Indonesian consulate in
Perth after staff received a letter containing bullets and a threat that
they would be killed unless Corby was released from jail.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has promised to review security at all
Indonesian missions in Australia.
The letter arrived at the consulate in the Perth central business district
on Monday, sparking a major police investigation.
Corby's lawyers and the Government have said the threat is damaging to her
(source: The Daily Telegraph)
Don't push for death penalty: Downer
Australia has told Indonesia it hopes prosecutors will not push for the
death penalty if Schapelle Corby is found guilty of drug trafficking.
"In the case of Schapelle Corby we've said to the Indonesians we hope that
the prosecution won't push for the death penalty ... if she is found
guilty," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told ABC radio.
"We don't have the death penalty in any state in Australia and wherever an
Australian may be sentenced to death we always plead for clemency."
Prosecutors will today tell the Denpasar District Court in Bali what
punishment the 27-year-old former Gold Coast beauty student should receive
Corby was caught with 4.1 kg of marijuana in her unlocked bodyboard bag at
Denpasar airport in last October, but she says she is innocent and the
drugs were planted, probably by a baggage handler involved in an
Australian drug ring.
The drug smuggling charge can attract a maximum penalty of death by firing
squad in Indonesia.
Mr Downer said if Corby were convicted and given a custodial sentence, he
hoped she could serve it in Australia.
The federal government is seeking a prisoner exchange agreement with
Indonesia under which Australians could serve out their jail time in
Australia, and vice versa, he said.
"Not specifically again to Schapelle Corby, but more generally, we'd like
to have a prisoner exchange agreement with Indonesia," he said.
"We have, I think ... 11 Australians who are in prison in Indonesia and,
well, we'd have to look at them on a case by case basis. But we'd hope
that under this agreement they, in general, they could serve out their
sentences in Australia."
Saddam Escape Execution?
It could be.
There are those saying that a deal is being worked out by which Saddam
Hussein could escape execution.
He could get life, but not be put to death. That would mean that by
allowing Hussein to live, the Sunnis would be placated. Sunnis held the
power under Husseins despotic rule. To allow their former dictator to keep
on breathing in a jail cell till he died a natural death could bring some
of the Sunnis more integrally into the New Iraq politic.
Not so, say others who believe that there is no other answer for the
Hussein atrocities but putting him to death. They consider it logical and
just. If it is not seen through, then there could be open rebellion within
the politic and out into the grassroots.
Whats going on then in New Iraq concerning the eventual take on Hussein?
According to The Daily Telegraph as reported today by Aljazeera News,
"Saddam Hussein could avoid execution under a secret proposal by rebel
leaders that Iraq's new administration is seriously considering, a senior
government source said."
Who's making these deals? Its reported that Sunni nationalists and those
who once were a part of Husseins Baath party are having talks with newly
formed government officials. If such a deal were sealed, then Sunnis would
be more comfortable with whats going on in New Iraq, its reported. "We are
trying to reach out to the (rebels), the source said. We don't expect them
to stop fighting unconditionally. Sending Saddam to prison for the rest of
his life is not a huge price for us to pay, but it will save them a lot of
However, the question arises as to whether or not those Sunnis in on the
talks are really the ones influencing the larger Sunni population. Could a
deal be made to keep Hussein alive for life and yet not appease the Sunni
larger population? Could be. In other words, a deal could still not
accomplish what it is intended to accomplish. But once a deal is sealed,
presumably its sealed forever and the New Iraq will have to live with it.
It is reported that "Jalal Talabani, Iraq's new president, has already
begun to prepare his people for a possible reprieve."
Asharq al-Awsat, the Kurdish president, has informed media that he is
against dealing out a death sentence. In other words, he has a
philosophical opposition to handing out death sentences to anyone. In
fact, he told a pan-Arab newsfeed: "I am among the lawyers who signed an
international petition against the death penalty around the world and it
would be a problem for me if Iraqi courts issued death sentences."
Tell that to Nawzad Othman, a greengrocer. His brother was slain in 1988.
He was one of the 5,000 Kurds put to death in Halabja under the Hussein
blood letting. Othman states emphatically: "Anything but death for Saddam
would be a travesty of justice...(he) cannot be allowed to live." The
Kurds agree with that position, almost to a man.
(source: Opinion, Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church; Magic
City (Maine) Morning Star)
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