[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jun 15 12:22:59 CDT 2005
Death sentence of rapist stayed
Gauhati High Court has stayed the death sentence awarded by a local court
to a person for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl.
A division Bench comprising Justice T Bhaipei and Justice Anima Hazarika
passed a stay order on the death sentence yesterday following an appeal in
the High Court by the convict Samir Bhowmick.
The High Court has ordered the court of the additional sessions judge of
West Tripura to place all documents of the case before them by 45 days.
Bhowmick was sentenced on June 3 last for the rape and murder of a
7-year-old girl at Charilam in West Tripura district on December 11, 2002.
Feature length documentary on hangmen to be released soon
The iconisation of hangman Nata Mullick, by the media and the 'personal
interest' of the West Bengal Government in hanging rape and murder convict
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, last August is the theme of the 1st Indian
documentary being commercially released here this week.
The documentary, expected to rekindle debate on media ethics and relevance
of capital punishment in the country, would be the 1st feature length
documentary after Michael Moor's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' to be released in
Indian cinema halls.
The chilling documentary -- a real life picturisation of a day from the
life of the hangman -- also tries to address the question of the State
Government's interest in the hanging.
Punched with newspaper clippings, journalists hounding the hangman and a
personal voice-over by director Joshy Joseph, makes it a daring commentary
against glorification of capital punishment.
"I tried to put on celluloid just one day from the life of the hangman,
who occupied reams of newsprint and hours of prime time television, to
find out what lay beneath. To my utter surprise there was much more than
what met the eye," Joseph told PTI ahead of the release.
The four-time national award winner in the non-fiction category, Joseph
put together 'One Day From a Hangman's Life', an 83 minute documentary
with cameraman Razak Kottakkal.
"The strong media focus on the hangman had created the kind of
anticipation that preceded public executions in medieval Europe. Since the
media had no direct access to the convict at the Alipore Central Jail,
Mallick, a gifted story-teller himself, virtually cooked up stories to
please them," Joseph said.
The film is set on a day when the hangman gets ready for the execution,
which is finally called off after the President heeds to the convict's
"The hangman is shown doing weird things like demanding money from
mediapersons for the interview, praying to goddess Kali with beer as
offering and his favourite brand of cigarettes as incense," he said.
In showing the State Government's interest in the matter, Joshy has
resorted to newspaper photographs which show Chief Minister Buddhadev
Bhattacharjee's wife sharing the same dais as the hangman at a public
meeting supporting the hanging.
"It was very obvious that the State Government was pushing for the
hanging, what with statements from the highest offices and public
appearances with the hangman," he added.
The film will be commercially released by producers Drik India next
(source: The Hindu)
Judge orders temporary stay of execution for prisoners sentenced to hang
A high court judge has placed a 4-day suspension on all hangings while
defence attorneys prepare motions to have the death sentences of their 4
clients commuted to life in prison based on a precedent-setting decision
by the country's highest appellate court.
The judge granted the stay on Monday, the day the Mercy Committee, which
reviews petitions for commutations of sentences, had been scheduled to
hear the cases of the four convicts and to render decisions that could
have paved the way for their executions.
On Sunday, however, defence attorneys for Andrew Dottin, Mark Teeluck,
Jairam Ramsingh and Kelvin Deyal filed a request with Trinidad's national
security minister asking that the hearings be postponed for a month.
The defence attorneys argued they needed time to prepare cases for their
clients based on a decision from the London-based Privy Council last July
ordering that a death sentence for convicted murderer Charles Matthew be
commuted to life imprisonment.
The council's decision was interpreted to apply to about 90 other
prisoners, including the 4 in this case, who were given death sentences
before the Matthew ruling.
(source: Associated Press)
Prisons Boss Speaks On Death Sentence
Death sentence will be abolished soon as part of prison reforms.
Commissioner of Prisons Abraham Kamakil yesterday said plans to abolish
the sentence were being finalised.
Kamakil said they decided to abolish the sentence because most death row
convicts were "innocent".
"Up to 20 per cent of the convicts are innocent. They confess what
happened to prove their innocence," he said.
The last death row convicts were executed in 1987.
They were accused of planning the 1982 coup attempt against former
President Moi's government.
Death-row convicts will have their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.
In the 1970s, it was argued that only the death sentence could deter
criminals. But there has been no downturn in crime.
In February, 2003, President Kibaki ordered the release of 28 prisoners on
death row and commuted the sentences of 195 others.
This initiative was seen as a demonstration of intent to comply with
international covenant on human rights.
Kamakil said Constitutional Affairs minister Kiraitu Muriungi had given
him the go ahead to consult other organisations before amendments were
Kamakil was speaking in his office when he received his Mauritius
counterpart WS Duss. Kenya will host the 63rd correctional services
conference in August.
(source: The East African Standard)
More information about the DeathPenalty