[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Aug 19 09:18:57 CDT 2007
Man, 62, who sat on death row as teen awaits ruling
Steven Truscott's long and anxious wait for possible exoneration may soon
be over, nearly half a century after he was convicted of murdering a
childhood classmate in the woods of Clinton, Ont.
A court judgment in the Truscott family's determined quest to clear the
name of the 62-year-old Guelph, Ont., maintenance mechanic is expected by
the end of this month.
An official of the Ontario Court of Appeal said there is so much interest
in the case that 2 or 3 days' notice will be given before the ruling is
Truscott was convicted in 1959 at the age of 14, becoming the youngest
Canadian ever sentenced to the death penalty. The sentence was commuted to
life in prison. He was paroled after a decade in prison, and 2 years later
the Supreme Court upheld his conviction.
An inquiry for the Justice Department by retired Quebec judge Fred Kaufman
concluded, "a miscarriage of justice likely occurred" because new or
previously undisclosed evidence had not been considered in his case.
Truscott's wife, Marlene, says the couple is not granting interviews.
(source: Times Colonist)
Iran hangs 3 for rape in latest public execution
Iran hanged 3 men in public on Sunday for raping a woman, official media
reported, the latest in a series of executions in the past month that have
been criticised by the European Union and Western rights groups.
They were put to death in the town of Saveh, southwest of the capital
Tehran, the IRNA news agency said.
"The sentence was carried out after being endorsed by the Supreme Court,"
IRNA quoted Saveh public prosecutor Reza Shah-Karami as saying.
Amnesty International says Iran has one of the highest rates of execution
in the world, and has reported that the number of executions doubled to at
least 177 last year.
Iran says it is prosecuting criminals under its Islamic sharia law and
rejects criticism of its human rights record.
Police have arrested dozens of drug addicts, smugglers, rapists and
murderers during a summer crackdown on crime and "immoral behaviour".
At least 34 people have been executed since mid-July, many in front of a
crowd of onlookers, including 2 men in central Tehran on Aug. 2 for the
murder of a judge who had jailed several reformist dissidents.
The EU said earlier this month it was "deeply concerned about the series
of collective public executions that have been taking place in several
regions of Iran during the last month, as well as with the growing number
of death sentences."
The issue sparked a diplomatic row between EU member Italy, which is
leading a push for a global ban on the death penalty, and Iran which
accused Rome of meddling in its internal affairs.
Murder, rape, adultery, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are
all punishable by death under Iran's sharia law, imposed after the 1979
Before the past month's hangings, Amnesty said at least 124 people had
been put to death in 2007. Based on those figures, Iran has now executed
more than 150 people so far this year.
Hussein's daughter may face execution----Raghad Hussein, who is thought to
be living in Amman, Jordan, has been charged with financing the insurgency
in Iraq and is being sought by authorities.
Less than a year after her father was hanged, Saddam Hussein's daughter is
facing charges that also could lead to her execution.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said Friday that Raghad Hussein,
38, has been charged with financing the insurgents who have plagued this
country since shortly after her father's regime was toppled in 2003.
Hussein is thought to be living in Amman, Jordan, as a guest of King
The spokesman, Abdul Kereem Khalaf, said the Iraqi Judicial Authority
issued an arrest warrant for Hussein a year ago, but that it was only
being made public now after Interpol, the international police agency,
issued a worldwide notice that Iraq was seeking her.
''We have a whole file of evidence against her,'' Khalaf said. "It is with
the court. If you have the right connections you can see it. But basically
she is accused of mass killings of Iraqis by funding terrorist groups.''
Khalaf wouldn't specify which terrorist groups Hussein is accused of
funding. He also wouldn't say what charges other than financing terrorism
Hussein, like her father, is a Sunni Muslim. Sunni and Shiite groups have
been battling each other and coalition forces for control of Iraq since
If found guilty, Khalaf said, Hussein would be punished with either life
in prison or death. In Iraq, defendants given the death penalty are
executed by hanging.
In February, Hussein made a rare public appearance when she led a ceremony
in Yemen shortly after her father's Dec. 30 execution. She praised her
father and called him a hero and the true leader of the Arabs.
Saddam Hussein was tried by the Iraqi High Tribunal, a special court
established to bring justice to those who committed crimes during the
former regime. If arrested, Hussein likely would be tried by the Central
Criminal Court, where politically sensitive cases and charges against
suspected insurgents are handled.
Interpol's ''red notice'' for Hussein's arrest doesn't amount to an
international warrant, but is intended to alert its member countries of a
person's fugitive status and adds credibility to the charges brought by
the Iraqi government. Jordan is a member of Interpol. Efforts to reach
Jordan authorities were unsuccessful.
Khalaf said the Iraqi government's national security advisor has been in
Jordan for the last week trying to arrange Hussein's arrest. He brushed
aside questions about whether the Jordanian government will cooperate.
''It doesn't matter at this stage,'' Khalaf said. "As long as Interpol has
issued an arrest warrant, the opportunity will come and she will be handed
over to the Iraqi government.''
Mohammed Hamoudi, a Shiite and an electrician, said he would welcome a
trial for Hussein.
''I hope that they capture her as soon as possible -- not only her, but
everyone like her that are proven guilty of such actions,'' he said.
Others doubted that Iraqi judges would be able to weigh evidence against
''I don't believe she will have a fair trial here,'' said Jassim Ali, an
accountant who is Sunni.
(source: Miami Herald)
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