[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Mar 22 16:09:17 EST 2006
To kill or not to kill
That is the question reopened by the Bar Council over this country's
continuing inclusion on the steadily diminishing list of nations with the
That list now stands at 76, of which 25 or so have not executed anyone for
at least 10 years and may be moving towards joining the 122 countries
without the death penalty.
Some 40 of these have done away with capital punishment in the past 15
years alone, a global trend that has left just four countries accounting
for 97 % of all judicial executions - China, Iran, Vietnam and the United
In the process, the death penalty has become tainted as an indicator of a
certain social primitivism; an institutionalised savagery that does not
speak well of a mature or advancing society.
In Malaysia, proponents of the noose continue to draw from deep, dark
wells: the death penalty is upheld as pure eye-for-eye justice for
murderers; due retribution for rapists, kidnappers and traitors; a
deterrent to prospective bad hats; or simply as an awful punitive weapon
to keep at hand, to help maintain discipline and order in class, as it
A strong case could be made for the death penalty for illegal firearms
possession having helped spare this country the civil-war zone perils
faced by so many others, but death for drug trafficking has done little to
stanch the dadah scourge. Different mindsets are involved; the nihilism
inherent in drug abuse gives the prospect of death a different flavour.
Opponents of the death penalty tend to be few and far between in this
country. Their arguments for compassion and respect for human rights and
the sanctity of life butt the hard heads of a polity preferring simple and
straightforward solutions over delicate philosophical conundrums.
If there is a middle path on the way forward, it could be in reviewing the
crimes meriting mandatory death sentences or, preferably, restoring
judicial discretion, especially as regards the dadah-related offences that
account for most executions here.
Declaring a mandatory death sentence for dadah was a statement of national
disgust, but it has had the effect of tying the system's hands while doing
little to solve the problem. It may therefore be too high a price to pay.
Such is the cost-benefit analysis that should inform this debate -
especially if the death penalty is to be regarded as a measure of a
society's respect for life.
(source: Editorial, New Straits Times)
Blasts since Aug 17----22 awarded death penalty so far
22 people have been awarded death sentence, seven others life
imprisonment, and another person 15 years in jail in the verdicts of 5
cases filed for militant bomb attacks since August 17 last year.
Sources in the police headquarters said 229 cases have been filed so far
for bomb attacks since the countrywide bombing. Of those, 154 were filed
for 459 bomb blasts in 63 districts on August 17 and the rest were filed
for bomb attacks that took place later.
Law enforcers have so far arrested 631 people and submitted charge sheets
of 125 cases.
The investigators pressed charges against Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh
(JMB) chief Abdur Rahman in 52 of the 125 cases, Rahman's closest aide and
JMB 2nd-in-command Bangla Bhai in 48 cases and Rahman's brother and JMB's
military wing chief Ataur Rahman Sunny in 28 cases.
Death penalties have been handed down to 21 for bomb attacks in Jhenidah,
the highest punishment given in any such case so far. A Sylhet court
sentenced to death suicide bomber Akhteruzzaman for the Sylhet blasts.
Meantime, 8 including Rahman, Bangla Bhai, Sunny, Rahman's son-in-law and
Majlish-e-Shura member Abdul Awal Sarker and suicide bomber Mamun were
awarded life term imprisonment in a case filed under Explosive Substances
Act after the suicide bomb attack in Jhalakathi that killed judges
Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed.
Charge sheet in the other case filed for murder of the 2 judges was
A court in Pirojpur awarded life term imprisonment to absconding militant
Faruk Hossain and five year more in failure to pay Tk 50,000 fine.
A Kishoreganj court awarded 15-year imprisonment to one for bombing at
(source: The Daily Star)
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