[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jun 8 03:38:00 UTC 2006
Human rights group hails abolition of death penalty
THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed its agreement to the
abolition of the death penalty in the country.
Romeo Baldevarona, CHR officer-in-charge, said they appreciate the move of
the government to abolish the death penalty law.
"The CHR has been a Pro-Life advocate ever since and is against the
imposition of the death penalty law," Baldevarona said.
This was after the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the
Senate Bill 2254 entitled as "An Act Abolishing the Death Penalty,"
scrapping the Republic Act 7659 or the act imposing death penalty on
certain heinous crimes, Tuesday.
The president has earlier certified the senate bill as urgent in a letter
to Senate President Franklin Drilon paving the way for the bill's
The approval came after the Senate regarded capital punishment as cruel
and anti-poor and has failed to deter heinous crimes.
Reclusion Perpetua or life imprisonment without parole is placed instead
of imposing death penalty.
To which Baldevarona said it is but proper as the right to life is
inherent to every individual.
Baldevarona also added that the country's justice system should first be
improved before anything else to avoid convicting innocent individuals.
He also added that death penalty is not the answer to lowering crime rates
as the current situation shows that instead of a declining crime rate is
has become rampant as he cited crimes such as rape and kidnapping.
"Life imprisonment according to Baldevarona is punitive enough as it
deprives the person's liberty and giving him a chance for reformation
while serving sentence is fair enough. This would give the offender and
opportunity to become productive when he goes out of prison," Baldevarona
Provincial Police Chief Charles Calima, on the other hand, said it's the
certainty of punishment that keeps criminals at bay whether it is in the
form of death penalty or plain imprisonment for the perpetrators and that
the police are only present to enforce the law.
(source: Sun Star)
WITH President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lifting the death penalty law,
expect local executives to resort to extra-legal means to deal with
criminal elements, who may get bolder now that they know they won't be
facing a date with the lethal injection anytime soon.
Maybe that was why Mayor Vicente Emano issued that "shoot to kill"
order-more properly phrased according to Padayon administration apologists
as "shoot if they resist" orders-in anticipation of this eventual death
Rather than cite statistics we recount that since then President Corazon
Aquino lifted the death penalty law there had been a string of high
profile murder cases that occurred which had been resolved only in recent
Cases like the Vizconde Massacre, which jailed the son of then senator
Freddie Webb, the Lenny Villa fatal hazing case whose principal suspects
had yet to be arrested and all the others that lowered public faith in
government's capacity for exacting justice on their behalf.
The death penalty issue is certainly one never-ending debate but one thing
that's hardly debatable is the fact that however much she denies it,
President Arroyo's turnaround is nothing but a cheap political gimmick
designed to court the Church's support to her questionable mandate.
At the onset the lifting of the death penalty only shows the skewed sense
of justice of the Arroyo administration, which is applying tough measures
on its political opponents and not on those who should be penalized for
atrocities committed against their persons.
The summary execution of militant leaders and followers, however misguided
and utterly hollow their ideology is, certainly has no place in a
democracy and so does the deaths of journalists and others who merely want
to preserve the democratic institutions set up by criticizing the powers
Yet the national government has shown no progress in curbing criminalities
and with the lifting of the death penalty, may have only aggravated the
crime rate and encouraged citizens ticked off with the slow pace of
justice to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands.
The public can only make it clear through letters to their congressmen or
other media its demand to President Arroyo and her people to follow this
lifting of the death penalty with concrete and decisive law enforcement
that doesn't discriminate on political beliefs and turn a blind eye on
corruption and lawbreakers, whether big or small.
(source: Editorial, Sun Star)
4 abductors and rapists escape death penalty in Qatar
Doha: 3 Qataris and an Egyptian escaped a death sentence for raping a
Qatari woman and were jailed for life, a local daily reported yesterday.
The criminal court on Tuesday found the four guilty of abducting and
raping a 22-year-old woman and abusing another man in November last year,
the Peninsula daily said.
"You have got away with a lighter punishment for such a heinous crime. The
sentence in such cases is normally death," the head of the three-member
panel of judges at the Upper Criminal Court, Abdul Atti Assad, told the
accused after reading out the verdict, the daily reported.
Under Article 283, Section 11, of the Criminal Code, sexual abuse of a man
carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.
However, one of the accused is related to the victim and this according to
Qatar laws is a more serious crime, carrying death penalty by Article 279.
In the last hearing of the case on May 28, the public prosecutor had asked
the maximum possible sentence against the 4 rapists to "serve a lesson"
for those who plan to commit such crimes.
"We ask the maximum possible punishment to serve as a lesson to those who
dare perpetrating such obscene crime," the prosecutor had said.
According to the charges filed by the prosecution, the 2 victims were
forcibly pulled out of a car in a public place on November 25 last year
and abused. A forensic expert told the judges at the hearing that semen
samples found on the clothes of the victim matched those of the accused.
However, he said there were traces of semen of a 5th person.
The defence had later claimed during the hearings that the samples were
taken some two months after the incident so they could not be relied on.
But the prosecution said the samples were kept in a good condition, and
the result of the tests was absolutely reliable.
A prosecution witness from the forensic laboratory had told the court that
the tests indicated that one of the accused had raped the victim thrice.
(source: Gulf News)
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