[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jan 5 16:51:18 CST 2006
Acquitted ex-death row inmate Taniguchi died last July
An acquitted former death row inmate Shigeyoshi Taniguchi died of heart
failure in July last year at 74, people close to him said Thursday.
He was sentenced to death in 1952 over a 1950 murder-robbery case in
Kagawa Prefecture known as the Saitagawa Incident, and the ruling was
finalized in 1957.
Taniguchi, however, pleaded his innocence for more than 30 years after the
ruling and successfully sought a retrial in 1979 from death row for the
1st time in Japan's postwar history.
The Takamatsu District Court found him not guilty in March 1984.
On the heels of Taniguchi's case, 3 other former death row inmates have
been acquitted in Japan through retrials which took place after their
death sentences had been already finalized.
Taniguchi died at a hospital in the town of Kotohira, Kagawa Prefecture,
on July 26 after being hospitalized in March due to a brain infarction.
(source: Japan Economic Newswire)
Supreme Court to withdraw death sentence review power
China's top judge and president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) Xiao
Yang reaffirmed here Thursday that the SPC will withdraw the death
sentence review power in 2006.
A SPC source disclosed that new criminal courts have been established for
handling death sentence reviews. The SPC is selecting qualified judges
nationwide to take charge of the work.
China's 1979 edition of the Criminal Procedural Law specified that all
death sentences with immediate execution must be reviewed by the SPC.
However, in a bid to strike hard at crime, the people's court
organizational law, promulgated in 1983, made it possible for some death
sentences with immediate execution to be reviewed by the provincial higher
Since then, facts show that allowing provincial higher people's courts to
review death sentences results in inconsistency and injustice.
When addressing a national conference attended by heads of courts at the
provincial level, Xiao also urged courts to open court sessions when
hearing death sentence cases in second instance, to speed up trial
supervision reform, to unify judicial adjudication yardsticks and to
further improve the juror system and judicial democracy.
(source: Xinhuanet News)
24 men continue to wait indefinitely on death row
Dear Editor, On behalf of the nation I would like to ask the Chairman of
the Prerogative Board of Mercy, Minister Collymore, what is he and the
Government doing about the 24 inmates on death row? Are they playing
politics with the lives of these men? Are they playing politics with the
nation and tax-payers money?
Everyone is baffled as to the reason why the Government is not hanging
these men or commuting their sentences to life. It's a blatant breach of
their constitutional and human and fundamental rights to have them serve a
life sentence on death row without parole.
I know these men committed grave crimes against humanity but they are
being punished twice, their families are being made to suffer and the
victims' relatives are made to suffer by this protracted and well
orchestrated game the government is playing.
Their excuse is that the men have motions pending in the courts. The
prison records will show only 4 persons have motions pending on death row.
I also challenge the government and Mr. Collymore to tell the nation when
last the prerogative board sat, when will be the next sitting?
Failing to get answers I urge both the relatives of the victims and the
death row inmates to file a class suit against the state in order to force
I am sure that some lawyers would willingly file for a reasonable fee. My
sympathy goes out to both relatives of the deceased and accused. Time for
action, enough is enough.
(source: Letter to the Editor, Starbroek News)
CA affirms death penalty for kidnapper
The Court of appeals has affirmed the death penalty meted by a lower court
on the kidnapper of a 5-year-old boy in 1995.
In its 24-page decision, the Appeals Court 11th Division upheld the Sept.
3, 2002 decision by Branch 73 of the Antipolo regional trial court, which
sentenced Judith Jatulan to death for kidnapping-for-ransom.
The Appeals Court said the lower court correctly ruled that there was no
evidence that would have dismissed the case against Jatulan.
It noted that the victim's testimony and those by 3 other minors Jatulan
used in the kidnapping operation had been consistent.
Court records showed that Jatulan abducted the victim on Feb. 13, 1995.
Jatulan coaxed the boy into going with him by saying that he would have a
toy. Jatulan then took his victim to a nipa hut in Cogeo. Jatulan then
used three boys to deliver to the victim's family a ransom note demanding
250,000 pesos. But members of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission
(PACC) rescued the boy before the money could be delivered.
The 3 boys who were asked to deliver the ransom note testified and said
they did not know that they were used in a kidnapping operation.
(source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)
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