[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Mar 31 10:57:13 EST 2006
SC stays death sentence awarded to Varanasi guide
The Supreme Court Friday stayed a death sentence awarded to a guide for
killing a woman tourist from New Zealand at Varanasi in 1997.
A Division Bench of Justice B N Agrawal and Justice A K Mathur admitted a
special leave petition filed by convict Dharam Dev Yadav against an
Allahabad high court order confirming the death sentence awarded to him.
In his petition filed through advocate Sunil Kumar Singh, Yadav contended
that the high court, in its September 30, 2003 order, wrongly confirmed
his death sentence as 4 other accused were acquitted on the basis of the
The trial court had convicted Yadav in February 2003 of killing Diana
Clare Routley and awarded him capital punishment. However, it had acquited
four other co-accused.
The case was registered on a complaint by Diana's father Allan Jack
Routley in July 1998, stating that his daughter had not made any contact
with the family since August 1997.
Investigation revealed that Diana, who was staying at Old Vishnu Guest
House, Varanasi, was last seen at the railway station there with Yadav on
August 8, 1998.
Skeleton remains of the deceased was recovered from Yadav's house at
Brindavan village of Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The police had also recovered the sleeping bag and camera of the deceased
from the possesion of other co-accused.
Death sentence stays for Indon
An Indonesian labourer looked calm when the Court of Appeal dismissed his
appeal against conviction and the death sentence on a charge of drug
Parlan Dadeh, 33, nodded his head when an inter- preter from the
Indonesian Consulate here explained the courts decision to him yesterday.
Parlan was charged with trafficking in 436.2gm of cannabis in front of a
restaurant in Jalan Tok Kangar, Juru, Central Seberang Prai on Nov 8,
He was found guilty and sentenced to death by a High Court here on April
The Court of Appeal deli-vered its decision after having heard arguments
by counsel M.M. Athimulan and DPP Manoj Kurup on Monday.
At the hearing of the appeal, DPP Manoj had submitted that Parlan had
knowledge of the drug as it was concealed at his waist inside his jeans.
Athimulan said that although inference could be drawn that Parlan knew he
was concealing prohibited items, he might not have known it was a drug.
Court of Appeal Justices Gopal Sri Ram, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff, and
Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin in their finding, said Parlan's counsel had
relied heavily on Parlan having no knowledge of the content of the black
plastic bag tucked inside his jeans.
"The court must weigh if the Parlan's claim of ignorance is credible.
"After perusing the record carefully, the question arises as to who could
have placed the plastic bag inside his jeans. Only he could have done so,"
the court held.
The court also held that it was entirely satisfied that the trial judge
had been right in ruling that Parlan had knowledge of the content of the
plastic bag in his possession.
The court dismissed Parlan's appeal. The decision allows Parlan an
automatic appeal to the Federal Court.
In an unrelated case in a magistrate's court here yesterday, chicken
seller Mo-hamed Faizal Kamaludeen denied 6 counts of cheating a chicken
supplier of RM28,000.
Defence counsel Lucia Minta told the court that her client could not
afford a high sum of bail because his business suffered following the
avian flu outbreak.
Mohamed Faizal, 24, is charged with cheating Ang Eng Thye by issuing the
latter cheques for amounts totalling RM28,000 as payment for chicken
supplied to him when his account had been closed.
He is alleged to have committed the offences between Oct 13 and Nov 7 last
Magistrate Shahrizat Ismail fixed bail at RM9,500 for all 6 charges
pending hearing on Nov 7. Mohamed Faizal posted bail.
(source: Malaysia Star)
Death penalty could be waived -Kagame
The government will consider lifting the capital punishment on genocide
suspects whose extradition is subject to condition that they will not face
the death sentence, President Paul Kagame has said.
The President was on Thursday responding to journalists' questions on
whether Rwanda was willing to let go the transfer to Rwanda of genocide
suspects detained at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
or give in to the Tribunals demands to exonerate the suspects from facing
a death sentence.
He said that much as the capital punishment is entrenched in the country's
laws, it was not worth to insist on its application on suspects that are
not in government's hands.
Giving an example of genocide suspect Leon Mugesera, who the Canadian
government apprehended last year but said it wouldn't extradite to Rwanda
unless it was assured that he would not face capital punishment, the
President said: "You have to make a choice between removing that
punishment on that particular case and have that person extradited or
refuse and dont have him extradited."
"To me, I would allow a waiver on that person and have him tried here;
after all, there is nowhere else he would be subjected to the death
There is at least that value addition when he is tried here than outside
(the country)," the President said.
He said government would determine which inmates at the ICTR it is more
interested in, and consider waiving the death sentence on them. The United
Nations-backed court based in the Tanzanian northern town of Arusha
conditioned Rwanda to waive the capital punishment before the transfer of
any of the inmates to Kigali. Under UN laws the death sentence is not
However, Kagame said the development would not have a bearing on those
facing the capital punishment in the country.
"The ICTR case does not change anything on criminal cases within the
country. Death penalty remains in our laws and will not be affected by
external factors," he said.
The government last year completed the construction of a modern detention
centre at Mpanga in the Southern province, in readiness to receive some of
the ICTR inmates but the transfer process has still not materialised.
The secret executioner--Albert Pierrepoint was Britain's most prolific
hangman, ending the lives of 400 men and women - including Ruth Ellis. Yet
his wife, and the drinkers at the pub he ran, never knew. Now his
extraordinary double life has been captured on film.
"I do not now believe that any one of the hundreds of executions I carried
out has in any way acted as a deterrent against future murder. Capital
punishment, in my view, achieved nothing except revenge." He should know.
Albert Pierrepoint was, by far, Britain's most prolific hangman. Between
1934 and 1956, he executed more than 400 men and women, among them Ruth
Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, Derek Bentley, Lord Haw-Haw
(the wartime traitor William Joyce) and John George Haigh, the acid bath
murderer. He put to death Timothy Evans, wrongly convicted of murdering
his daughter, and subsequently John Christie, the real killer. He hanged
large numbers of Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg trials,
including Josef Kramer, the Beast of Belsen, and Irma Grese, the cruellest
woman concentration camp guard of them all. These two were among 13 he
executed on the same day.
The man behind the noose, doing the job that his father and his uncle had
performed before him, believed, in his own words, "that I was chosen by a
higher power for the task which I took up, that I was put on this earth
especially to do it". He did it better, quicker and more humanely than
anyone had done before. But being an executioner (the word hangman is
considered vulgar, and never used officially) is by its nature an
occasional job. Pierrepoint spent the rest of his working life first as a
horse-drayman delivering groceries, and then, after the war, as the genial
and gregarious host of a pub he had bought near Manchester, called - the
irony was not lost on him - Help the Poor Struggler. His geniality,
though, never went as far as discussing his other, freelance, activity.
In his autobiography Executioner: Pierrepoint, and as brilliantly
portrayed by Timothy Spall in the upcoming film, Pierrepoint emerges as a
complex, enigmatic figure who, to anyone unaware of his calling, would
have seemed the epitome of ordinary. He was no monster; there is no
evidence of any sadistic streak or other psychological quirk suggesting
that he took pleasure from what he did. At no stage does he admit to
enjoying his job. He hated talking about it, and never boasted or told
stories of his hanging achievements. He abhorred newspaper publicity and
was genuinely distressed when his postwar activities in Germany attracted
reporters to his door. Astonishingly, for many years he had not even told
his wife Anne of his part-time job, making up excuses for his occasional
overnight absences. Only when he had to be away for several days, in
Germany, did he confess to her. By this time she had already found out,
and was pleased that he had finally told her, but his work was never the
subject of marital conversation. His autobiography is dedicated: "To Anne
my wife who, in 40 years never asked a question... with grateful thanks
for her loyalty and discretion."
Pierrepoint was proud that he had never made his own views public on the
rights and wrongs of the death penalty. When he appeared before the 1949
Royal Commission on the subject he was asked: "Have you had any experience
of judging what the general opinion of ordinary people in England is about
capital punishment? I imagine people talk to you about your duties?" His
reply: "Yes, but I refuse to speak about it. It is something I think
should be secret. It is something I think should be sacred to me, really."
His use of the word sacred is telling. His was a calling, not a trade or
profession, and Pierrepoint regarded it religiously. He wrote about his
hanging duties as a priest would do.
"A condemned prisoner is entrusted to me, after decisions have been made
which I cannot alter. He is a man, she is a woman who, the church says,
still merits some mercy. The supreme mercy I can extend to them is to give
them and sustain in them their dignity in dying and in death. The
gentleness must remain." He would not tolerate anyone making macabre or
lewd remarks or jokes about the body, and never did so himself, even in
the convivial atmosphere of his pub.
When his autobiography was published in 1974, it was the 1st time he had
made his views on capital punishment public - a decade after its
abolition. "If death were a deterrent, I might be expected to know. It is
I who have faced them last, young men and girls, working men,
grandmothers. I have been amazed to see the courage with which they take
that walk into the unknown. It did not deter them then, and it had not
deterred them when they committed what they were convicted for. All the
men and women whom I have faced at that final moment convince me that in
what I have done I have not prevented a single murder. And if death does
not work to deter one person, it should not be held to deter any."
Yet there is nothing he ever wrote suggesting that he felt any regret or
remorse at the central role he had played; nor any explanation of why and
when he had reached that startling conclusion. There are no indications
that he found it morally difficult to try to reconcile his feelings about
the efficacy of hanging with the job he did with such pride. He was
capable of analysing his own contribution in a vacuum, divorced from the
national debate on the larger issue. Perhaps he only discovered his
intellectual objections to the death penalty long after he had ceased
being the hangman; he does not tell us.
If Pierrepoint felt any strong emotions about the people he executed, he
did not admit to it. He showed no signs of being affected by, or indeed
interested in, the details of the crimes committed by those whose lives he
was to end; he seemed untouched by knowing that some of the men he had
executed had been innocent - Timothy Evans, for instance. Others may have
made a mistake; it was not his concern. Even when Pierrepoint tells the
story of having to execute someone he knew - a regular customer and his
singing partner at the pub, who had killed his girlfriend in a jealous
frenzy - he expresses no particular sorrow, only satisfaction that he had
made the condemned man's last few minutes more bearable by addressing him
as a friend, by his nickname, Tish.
Pierrepoint never publicly revealed his reasons for resigning as chief
executioner, but it was not, as has been rumoured, because he had become
opposed to capital punishment or revolted by the act of hanging. At no
stage of his career was he troubled by his conscience, and the fact that
he didn't believe in the death penalty as a deterrent had no bearing on
his willingness to do his job.
Nor, as another rumour suggested, was it a reaction to having to hang Ruth
Ellis. "At the execution of Ruth Ellis no untoward incident happened which
in any way appalled me or anyone else, and the execution had no connection
with my resignation seven months later. Nor did I leave the list [of
executioners], as one newspaper said, by being arbitrarily taken off it,
to shut my mouth, because I was about to reveal the last words of Ruth
Ellis. She never spoke." (Pierrepoint had told the Royal Commission years
before that, in the moments before execution, "I think a woman is braver
than a man... I have never seen a man braver than a woman.").
The truth behind his resignation is more prosaic. He had travelled to
Strangeways to execute a prisoner who, at the last minute, received a
reprieve. The prison refused to pay the fee for his wasted journey. His
pride hurt, he chose to resign rather than accept the paltry sum offered.
He was only 51, and spent most of his remaining years in Southport,
running or working in pubs, discreet until the end. He died in 1992, aged
Neither was he, contrary to widespread belief, Britain's last hangman.
After his sudden resignation there were 37 further executions before the
abolition of the death penalty. The last two were carried out at exactly
the same time in Liverpool and Manchester, on August 13 1964, so that
neither executioner could claim to have individually performed the last
one. The whole passionate debate over capital punishment had taken place
without a word from the man who knew more about it than any one alive.
Witness at terror trial admits plots to kill Pakistan president
An American supergrass giving evidence against seven British terrorist
suspects admitted yesterday that he had plotted to kill the Pakistani
Mohammad Babar, 31, told the Old Bailey he had been involved in two
separate attempts to assassinate General Pervez Musharraf in 2002, and
could be facing the death penalty in Pakistan, had he not done a deal with
Babar said he had helped one set of would-be assassins obtain AK47s,
ammunition and grenades. But he said none of the 7 British men on trial
had anything with the Pakistan conspiracies.
Babar has admitted his role in a "British bomb plot" to a New York federal
court. He says he met most of the British defendants at terrorist training
camps in Pakistan and helped with their plans to carry out a bombing
campaign in the UK.
He agreed he might be on death row in Pakistan if he had not agreed to
give evidence at the Old Bailey. But he denied suggestions from Joel
Bennathan, counsel for Omar Khyam, one of the seven defendants, that his
evidence against Mr Khyam was not true and that he had taken speculation
and "twisted it into a firm and settled plot in the UK" to make himself a
The 7 men are accused of plotting to use half a tonne of fertiliser to
make explosives. They allegedly discussed bombing the Bluewater shopping
centre in Kent, nightclubs and pubs in London's West End, transport,
electricity and gas networks, and carrying out mass poisonings by spiking
beer and takeaway foods.
Mr Khyam, 24, his brother Shujah Mahmood, 18, Jawad Akbar, 22, Waheed
Mahmood, 33, all from Crawley, West Sussex, Anthony Garcia, 27, from
Ilford, Essex, Nabeel Hussain, 20, from Horley, Surrey, and Salahuddin
Amin, 31, from Luton, Bedfordshire, all deny conspiracy to cause
explosions. Omar Khyam, Anthony Garcia and Nabeel Hussain deny possessing
600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, and Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood deny
possessing aluminium powder, which can also be used to make bombs.
Yesterday, Babar told the court Mr Khyam had received theoretical training
and practical demonstration in how to construct explosive devices , and
that he and Khyam had practised setting off devices in Babar's back yard
in Lahore, Pakistan, using recipes from the internet.
Oil thieves may face death penalty
Anyone found stealing petroleum from fuel pipelines may be executed if
they seriously harm any fuel facilities or steal petroleum, a senior
official of the Ministry of Public Security said today.
Police officers arrested 2,877 criminals and suspects, busted 221 criminal
rings and detected 4,285 individual crimes. These crimes would have cost
petroleum enterprises 1 billion yuan (US$ 125 million).
"Petroleum crimes have impacted the local securities," Ma Weiya, a vice
director of the social security management department, said in today's
press conference. "In some areas, the criminal rings even have their own
"Most pipelines are in China's countryside. Local farmers used to drill
holes in the pipelines, and then sell the petroleum to small refineries,"
he said. "According to the Criminal Law, petroleum criminals can be
sentenced to death, since they potentially threaten public security by
destroying facilities and endangering lives transporting the very
"In some areas, thieves destroyed pipelines and petroleum facilities,
which have become serious problems. The local police should tighten act
more against these types of crimes," he said.
Authorities will further establish an efficient mechanism to protect the
petroleum production industry. China already has almost 30,000 kilometers
of pipelines, which will be extended in the near future.
(source: Shanghai Daily)
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