[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Mar 13 21:18:26 CST 2005
DEATH ROW SCOT HAS CONVICTION QUASHED
A businessman who faced death by hanging in Nigeria after being convicted
of killing his lover has had his conviction overturned.
Ian Millar, 55, is expected to be freed from jail by the end of next week
after his murder conviction was quashed yesterday.
The Scot has been on death row ever since he was found guilty of
strangling his Australian partner Anne Marie Gale, 43, in October 2003.
He was blamed for her death at the couple's home in Lagos in April 2002.
Banker Millar, originally from Millport, on Great Cumbrae, in the Firth of
Clyde, started an appeal against his conviction last September.
Last night, justice campaigners said Nigeria's court of appeal had decided
to quash his conviction after reviewing evidenceThrilled Human rights
charity Reprieve, which assisted Millar's lawyer in the appeal, welcomed
the news. Executive director Annabel Harris said: 'We are delighted by the
decision that Ian's conviction has been overturned.'
Millar moved to Nigeria in 1987. For the last 17 months, he has been in
prison in Lagos.
He has spent the last few months in hospital where he has been treated for
Last night Ian's brother, Nigel, said that he was 'thrilled' at the news.
Nigel, of Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, said: 'Obviously we are all
thrilled by this and just can't wait to see him.
'I think the first thing he'll do when he gets out is get on a plane and
come to Scotland.
(source: Glasgow Daily Record)
'India carried out 1,422 executions in a decade'
In a startling revelation that is bound to stir a row, a leading Indian
civil rights group says that 1,422 executions were carried out in a single
decade (1953-63) across the country.
The claim by the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) flies in the
face of home ministry figures, which show that only 55 people have been
executed till date in the country.
According to official figures, the last hanging was that of Dhananjoy
Chatterjee in Kolkatta in August last year for raping and murdering a
The information dug out by PUDR on the strength of government records
throws fresh light on the death penalty and raises the question why
successive governments have chosen to keep quiet on the whopping number of
executions as reported by the group.
PUDR says its information has been gleaned from government records. It
says the appendix of the 35th Report of the Law Commission (1965) details
the number of people executed in 16 states in 1953-63. The total comes to
The Madras state/Tamil Nadu tops the list with 485 executions, followed by
Uttar Pradesh (397), Punjab (140) and Andhra Pradesh (119). But the Law
Commission report does not state why so many people were executed.
"Now that we know of the 1,422 executions, we fear the total number (of
executions) since independence would be much higher," Deepika Tandon, the
PUDR secretary, told IANS.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which chronicles crime
statistics, could not explain the huge differences between the PUDR and
official figures of executions. So far, NCRB has provided information of
NCRB director Ram Avtar Yadav told IANS: "I have no idea how the figure is
out there in the Law Commission report. So far we have been just
collecting details provided by the various state governments."
He pointed that the central government was yet to ask his organisation to
examine the "new details" furnished by PUDR. K.N. Chaturvedi, member
secretary of the Law Commission, did not want to comment on the findings
of earlier commission report.
He said: "Our job is to pass on information to the department of legal
affairs. The criminal department of the home ministry will be in a better
position to explain the spurt in executions, if at all, during that
PUDR stressed that given the depth of statistical details on crime
recorded by the government, it was difficult to reason the silence on the
large number of death penalties and executions.
India is one of 78 countries including the US, China, Iran and Vietnam
which have not banned the death penalty. For years, many civil society
groups and rights organizations have been demanding its abolition.
Interestingly, the latest Law Commission report suggests replacing hanging
with lethal injections because of the growing paucity of hangmen in India.
(source: Indo-Asian News Service)
Pakistan court voids acquittal of 5 rapists; Men assaulted woman to punish
her brother, on orders of council
Pakistan's highest Islamic court last week reinstated the convictions of 5
men sentenced to death for raping a woman on orders from a village
The decision on Friday followed a firestorm of criticism after a lower
tribunal ordered the suspects freed.
The decision by the Federal Shariat Court was yet another twist in the
case of Mukhtar Mai, a 33-year-old woman who said she was raped in 2002
after elders in her village ordered the atttack as punishment for her
brother's alleged illicit affair with a woman from another family.
"We welcome the decision, and we know our case is strong," said Ramzan
Khalid Joya, Ms. Mai's lawyer.
An attorney for the men, Mohammed Yaqub, said he had not had time to study
the decision and would have no comment.
6 men were sentenced to death in 2002, but on March 3 the sentences of 5
were overturned. The 6th man had his death sentenced reduced to life in
Human rights groups in Pakistan and around the world denounced the ruling,
and thousands of Pakistani women rallied in Multan, in Pakistan's eastern
Punjab province, demanding justice and protection for Ms. Mai.
In its decision Friday, the Federal Sharioat Court ruled on technical
grounds that the Multan tribunal had no powers to hear the case. It said
it alone had the power to rule on appeals in rape cases and indicated it
would hear the men's appeal.
The Shariat Court works separately from the normal legal system and has
the power to overturn decisions involving Islamic law, such as in
instances of rape, adultery and some cases of murder.
Violence against women in common inPakistan, particularaly in rural areas.
(source: Associated Press)
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