[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Nov 2 17:07:23 CST 2005
Crisis Centre Director Speaks Out Against Capital Punishment
Police Commissioner Paul Farquharson rekindled the capital punishment
debate during a recent interview with The Bahama Journal when he called
for hangings to take place again, but the director of the Womens Crisis
Centre provided a different view yesterday.
Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson said studies have shown that harsh punishments
do not deter crime.
"We can learn from the experience of other countries and research from
other countries shows that the death penalty and the cat-o-nine tails or
any other type of serious corporal punishment do not deter, especially
when you are referring to crimes of passion because when they happen the
perpetrator is not thinking of punishment; [he or she is] just dealing
with emotions," she said.
"For that reason, we are promoting the approach of helping our children
with feelings and helping our children get in touch with their emotions so
that they can learn to talk through their problems."
But Mr. Farquharson sees things differently.
He said that many of the 28 men on death row at Her Majestys Prison should
have been hanged a long time ago.
Amid a growing number of homicides in the country, the police chief said
that he believes hangings would serve as a deterrent.
He raised serious about violent crimes, which according to police
statistics, have increased over the last year.
In an effort to adequately address an increase in violent crimes, staff
members and volunteers at the Womens Crisis Centre yesterday officially
launched an anti-violence programme.
The programme is aimed at reducing violence through active dialogue.
According to Dr. Patterson, dialogue is the only solution to the problem
of violent crimes because it seeks to recondition certain individuals
against habits that they were taught in early childhood.
Dr. Patterson said that Bahamian culture teaches males to show aggression
while conditioning females to be more in touch with their feelings.
"One factor that stands out is - and statistics will show - that the
majority of physical violence in our nation is male on male and male on
female," Dr. Patterson said.
"The majority of those on death row are male. The majority of those who
are awaiting trail for murder are male. The majority of those charged with
sexual violence are male. The majority of those in prison are male.
"What message are we giving to the boys and the males in our nation that
is setting them up to be violent? This is one of the things that we would
be looking at through this campaign."
Male on male and male on female violence are becoming more socially
accepted, according to Dr. Patterson, who pointed out that just three
weeks ago a young man was killed at a nightclub while people watched.
Mr. Farquharson in his interview with The Bahama Journal said that
particular killing was senseless and unfortunate.
Dr. Patterson yesterday said even sexual violence is now on the rise as a
recent police report points to 546 reported rapes over the last four
years. But according to Dr. Patterson that number only represents adult
She guessed that an accurate account of the number of rapes over the past
4 years would be twice as many.
Dr. Patterson added that there remains a need for a lot of focus in areas
like domestic violence. She said that the Department of Social Services is
now working on draft bills to amend current laws that relate to domestic
(source: Bahama Journal)
Concom pushes bill to 'kill' death penalty
The Roman Catholic Church has been actively advocating for the repeal of
the death penalty and it could have fruited as the current Constitutional
Commission (Concom) is proposing to amend the 1987 Constitution through a
provision that would potentially "kill" death penalty.
St. Joseph Cathedral Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Crispin Varquez said the
church welcomes the Concom move saying further that no one really has the
right to take somebody's life.
Section 3 of the proposed Bill of Duties and Obligations says, citizens
shall respect the life and dignity of every human person and help uphold
human rights whenever these are threatened or violated.
Furthermore, it says, the state and the citizens shall prevent and
prohibit the killing of humans in any form and for whatever purpose.
After passing the Death Penalty Law in December 1993 and Congress enacting
it in 1994, 7 convicted persons have been executed through the lethal
This puts the country among the 91 countries implementing death penalty.
Suspended after performing seven executions, the death penalty became the
object of resolution, while some church advocates and pro-life activists
lobby for a less harsher recourse for crime offenders.
"Being the acclaimed cradle of Christianity in Asia, it is ironic how the
Philippines could go for a death penalty," said religious observers.
"Like what is [stated] in the bible, we should hate the sin, not the
sinner," a catechist said.
In its lieu, Fr. Varquez said the church is for life sentence.
Psychologists who maintain the position also hold the same view that crime
rehabilitation is still productive and allows the full realization of the
Death penalty is essentially hating the person. It does not really support
the belief that the worst human criminal still has the capacity to change
and rejoin the mainstreams of society, she continued.
Some 1,748 death row convicts are now awaiting their fates at the National
Penitentiary in Muntinglupa, in Metro Manila.
Libya to scrap death penalty to end nurses row----Report: Libya will
announce deal involving compensation for HIV-infected children's families.
Libya plans to scrap the death penalty to clear the way for the settlement
of a diplomatic row over 5 Bulgarian nurses on death row after hundreds of
children were infected with the AIDS virus, an Arabic daily said
Tripoli "is about to announce the abolishment of capital punishment to
pave the way for commuting the sentences against the 5 Bulgarian nurses
and the Palestinian doctor" convicted with them last year, the
London-based paper Asharq Al-Awsat reported citing Arab diplomats close to
the Libyan government.
The deal would involve financial compensation for the infected children's
families through a fund financed by the Bulgarian and Libyan governments
and charities including that of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son, Seif
"The crisis of the Bulgarian nurses ... will soon be settled through a
Libyan-Bulgarian deal, sponsored by the European Union and the United
States," the Saudi-owned daily said.
The European Union and the United States have thrown their support behind
Bulgaria's insistence that the nurses are innocent and that the infections
in the Benghazi hospital where they worked were the result of poor
They and international rights watchdogs have been pressing Libya to show
Libya insists the only way to resolve the case is for Bulgarian
authorities to reach an agreement with the infected children's families,
but Sofia has insisted it will pay no "blood money" as the nurses are
Of the 380 children infected with HIV, 47 have since died of full-blown
The 5 nurses and Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death last year
after spending 6 1/2 years on remand.
The Libyan high court is due to decide on November 15 whether to hear an
(source: Middle East Online News)
Legislature to decide on death penalty: CJI
The new Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal today said it was for the
legislature and not the judiciary to decide whether death penalty should
remain in the statute or not.
A fortnight ago, he had personally favoured abolition of death penalty.
"The decision whether death penalty should be there or not is to be taken
by the legislature. Judiciary is not required to interfere with it.
Judiciary comes into picture when legislation is enacted and it is to be
implemented and whatever punishment is enumerated there in the statute is
delivered by the judiciary," the CJI, who assumed office yesterday, told
He said his view on the death penalty was his personal opinion as a
citizen and he would not like to talk about it any further.
His predecessor, Justice R C Lahoti, had favoured retention of the death
penalty in the statute.
(source: Chennai Online News Service)
International law could save death row Aussie: lawyer
A Singaporean lawyer who has acted for two death row prisoners says there
is still hope Australian man Van Nguyen can be spared execution.
The 25-year-old, from Melbourne, was arrested on drugs charges at Changi
Airport in December 2002.
Singapore has rejected all appeals for clemency for Nguyen and he is
expected to be hanged in the next 10 days.
However, Singaporean human rights lawyer M Ravi has told ABC Radio's The
World Today that Australia should lodge an appeal against Singapore's use
of the death penalty based on international law.
"I would like to cite that the Court of Appeal in Van's case," Mr Ravi
"The court said that it is now open to an accused to show through
international experts and international law that a mandatory death
sentence is cruel and inhuman punishment under customary international
"Therefore there is light on this path."
Mr Ravi says if an appeal based on that defence is successful, the case
could outlaw the death penalty in Singapore altogether.
"There's a brilliant window of opportunity opened there," he said.
"I don't know why the lawyers are not using this."
He says there is hope that Singapore may listen to further Australian
efforts, such as an appeal to the International Court of Justice.
"Of course, the normal process should be exhausted," Mr Ravi said.
"But what is very important is the other avenues, which seemingly seems to
not to get addressed by the Australian media or the Australian Government.
I don't understand why."
Mr Ravi says the diplomatic process in Nguyen's case has reached a
>From his experience, he estimates the Melbourne man will be hanged on or
about November 11 if the Federal Government does not begin using other
"Diplomatic channels are completely closed at this moment, It's come to a
dead-end," he said.
"One must not delude oneself.
"I think if all the other avenues that I have stated, the legal avenues as
well as the International Court of Justice, as well as the United Nations
process, should kick off, I think he has a good chance."
(source: ABC Radio News)
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