[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Nov 21 16:46:55 CST 2005
Glitter may face death penalty in sex case
DISGRACED rock star Gary Glitter could face death by firing squad after he
was accused of having sex with a girl aged 12, police said today.
Sex with a 12-year-old is considered as rape under Vietnamese law, with a
maximum penalty of death by firing squad.
The revelations come after two girls, aged 12 and 18, told police they had
sex with the former singer - real name Paul Gadd - at his rented home in
the resort of Vung Tau in Vietnam.
Glitter, 61, was arrested on Saturday at Ho Chi Minh City airport as he
tried to flee the country.
He has not been charged with any crime but is in custody at a jail outside
Reports said the 2 girls were invited to Glitter's home, where he paid
them for sex.
The 12-year-old allegedly told police she had sex three times with
Glitter, who paid her 5.50 each time.
(source: The Evening Star)
In China, cop-killer on death row generates a surprising wave of sympathy
One night earlier this year, two men on a motorcycle pulled alongside the
unmarked sedan of police Officer Long Jiefeng. One of the riders fired a
Remington firearm through the open driver's window, slaying Long with 3
If that kind of gangland-style execution is rare in China, what happened
next is even more unusual: This small southern city erupted in joy.
Townspeople lit fireworks. Bars and nightclubs handed out free drinks.
"People were celebrating. Everyone said Long deserved to die. People said
he should have been killed earlier," said Chen Zhaozhi, a retired deputy
director of a local cable-television station.
Many townspeople knew that Long, whose nickname was "Hurricane," ran a
large triad, or criminal group, that operated gambling dens, loan-sharking
networks and protection rackets for local businesses. His underlings
regularly bullied their enemies, sometimes beating them to death.
The unusual events in Sihui, which is in the prosperous Pearl River Delta
region of southern China's Guangdong province, have gathered the attention
of China's leaders, who seek to halt social unrest even as the nation
grows more prosperous. It's one of many provincial brushfires that
threaten to erode support for the one-party communist rule.
Local party leaders are implicated in the case: It turns out that Long
mounted his criminal empire under the wing of an uncle, a former party
chief in Sihui, according to many residents.
Long's murder was solved hastily. Authorities pinned the slaying on Liang
Jinguo, a 22-year-old construction worker who'd tangled with the triad,
which was called the Rising Dragon Society. Liang confessed. The
outpouring of sympathy for him is the latest sign of the simmering
problems in Sihui, a city of 400,000. More than 10,000 people signed
petitions calling for leniency for the murderer.
The signatures did little good. The Zhaoqing Intermediate People's Court
handed down a death sentence Oct. 19 for the Feb. 24 slaying.
"I argued that by killing Long, (he) made a big contribution to society.
Liang committed a crime. He should be punished. But I don't think he
should be put to death," said his lawyer, Shao Shuqiang.
The judge rejected the argument. If Liang loses an appeal, he'll be
On the streets of Sihui (pronounced Sir-whey), one finds few people
wondering how a major mafia operated out of the local public-security
bureau. Instead, one simply finds mistrust and suspicion of authorities.
Some 30 members of the Rising Dragon Society have been arrested, but
Long's criminal enterprise may not be fully extinguished, some fearful
Here's an account, based on China's state-controlled news media and
The 28-year-old Long operated a large criminal gang. Although he was a
low-level cop, he had at least 150 people under him, and enjoyed the
cooperation of at least 2 high-ranking active police. A deputy chief and a
department director were among those implicated, according to a legal
newspaper and Shao, the lawyer.
Long began his triad in 1999. Some 30 gambling dens prospered, and the
flow of protection money appeared to be large, residents said.
"All of Sihui City was under Long's control. When Long's men were caught
by the police, leaders at the police bureau would free them," said Liang
Faming, the killer's father.
Injustices mounted, and residents and business owners fumed.
For months, local officials tried to cover up the fact that the triad
leader was also a police officer. It wasn't until early September that a
journalist from the powerful state news agency, Xinhua, saw a file on the
case noting Long's workplace that media reported that he was an
active-duty police officer entrusted with investigating business crimes.
Still, China's media have treated the case carefully, omitting any
reference to Long's uncle, Long Honghui, the former party secretary in
Sihui, or supreme boss, who was quietly moved to a party desk job in
Liang Faming holds out hope that an appeal may pull his son off death row.
"Most people in Sihui believe that my son did a heroic act," he said.
Liang Jinguo had served a three-year jail term for the 2001 beating of a
member of the Rising Dragon Society who apparently had insulted him.
Once Liang was out of jail, triad members began harassing him, and spread
the word that Long wanted him dead by the Lunar New Year, in early
February. Liang holed up at his father's home, growing desperate,
pondering whether his fate was to kill or be killed.
"He felt he had no choice. He had no way to report the situation to the
authorities," Shao said.
At first, the Sihui public-security bureau planned to give Long a public
funeral, dressing his corpse in a police uniform and covering his casket
with a red party flag. But later, higher level officials nixed the plan
and told all police to attend services without their uniforms.
(source: Knight Ridder)
Singapore Will Stick to Hanging
Singapore will stick to hanging as its method of execution, the government
said on Monday, less than 2 weeks before the planned hanging of an
Australian drug smuggler.
Lawyers for Nguyen Tuong Van -- who is due to be hanged on December 2
following his conviction for drug smuggling -- earlier on Monday asked the
Australian government to take the case to the United Nations International
Court of Justice in a last-ditch bid to stop the execution. "We had
previously studied the different methods of execution and found no reason
to change from the current method used, i.e., by hanging," Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng said in reply to a
question in parliament.
Laws enacted in 1975 prescribe death by hanging for anyone aged 18 or over
who is convicted of carrying more than 15 grams (0.5 ounce) of heroin, 30
grams (1.1 ounces) of cocaine, 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of cannabis or 250
grams (8.8 ounces) of methamphetamines.
Nguyen, 25, was arrested at Singapore's Changi airport in December 2002
while trying to smuggle 400 grams (0.9 lb) of heroin while in transit for
U.N. effort to spare condemned man
The United Nations has joined the Australian government and human rights
groups in a last-ditch effort to save an Australian man sentenced to death
in Singapore for drug trafficking.
Nguyen Tuong Van, 25, will be hanged at dawn on December 2 unless
Singapore bends to growing calls to spare his life. On Monday, Canberra
said it was considering taking Singapore to the International Court of
"It is important that, despite Singapore's relentless use of the death
penalty, we show that we will persist until this cruel and ineffective
punishment is abolished," said London-based rights group Amnesty
International in a statement Saturday.
Singapore says it considers all aspects when an appeal is put forth, but
clemency pleas have seldom worked in the city-state, especially for
death-row convicts -- only 6 have been spared from execution since
Singapore's independence in 1965.
Amnesty says around 420 people have been hanged in Singapore since 1991,
giving the Southeast Asian nation of 4 million the distinction of having
the highest per capita execution rate in the world -- ahead of countries
like China and Saudi Arabia.
Nguyen was arrested at Singapore's Changi Airport in 2002 while flying
from Cambodia to the southern Australian city of Melbourne with 396 grams
(14 ounces) of heroin strapped to his back and in his carry-on luggage. He
maintains he did it to help his twin brother pay debts.
Under Singapore law, anyone possessing more than 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of
heroin is presumed to be trafficking and faces death if found guilty.
Singapore says it must deal harshly with drug offenders to protect
Appeal hearings are usually over in minutes, with judges routinely giving
their verdict before disappearing into their chambers. Lawyers would then
have to refer to their written judgment to take further action.
Letters to relatives informing them of the execution date are extremely
simple, and contain just a few paragraphs.
Humans rights advocates call the penalty excessive.
"The adoption of such a black-and-white approach is entirely inappropriate
where the life of the accused is at stake," said Philip Alston, the
special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for
the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
"Once the sentence has been carried out it is irreversible," he said last
Yet Singapore refuses to compromise on what it says in an internal matter.
"Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue.
It is the sovereign right of every country," Singapore's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs said in reply to Alston.
In 1994, American teenager Michael Fay was caned for spray-painting cars,
despite objections from then-U.S. President Bill Clinton.
This year, an appeal to save Singapore drug courier Shanmugam Murugesu in
May by his now-orphaned 14-year-old twin sons failed despite his admission
of guilt and cooperation with authorities.
"Those implementing the laws here seem to be in a rush to win the cases
and close their files," said Sinapan Samydorai, a spokesman from local
civic rights group Think Center.
"The government here seems to be unnecessarily cruel without any mercy
given to those who have made an honest mistake. Why not give the person a
(source: Associated Press)
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