[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Jul 6 13:43:20 CDT 2007
Ex-drug registration chief gets suspended death penalty
Former drug registration official Cao Wenzhuang was given a suspended
death sentence by a Beijing court on Friday, following the death sentence
given to his former boss Zheng Xiaoyu. Cao was convicted of taking bribes
and dereliction of duty, according to the 1st instance hearing of the
Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.
He was sentenced to death with a 2-year reprieve on the graft charge and 7
years in prison for dereliction of duty. All his personal property was
confiscated and he has been deprived of his political rights for life,
according to the verdict.
The court heard that Cao had taken bribes worth more than 2.4 million yuan
The court said Cao "sought benefits" for two pharmaceutical companies by
approving their drugs and medical instruments during his tenure as head of
the department of drug registration under the State Food and Drug
Administration (SFDA) from 2003 to 2005.
The court said the death penalty was warranted given the "huge bribes
involved, and his refusal to confess during the first hearing and
reluctance to return the money."
However, as he provided evidence which helped with the investigation of
other cases, he was given a 2-year reprieve.
Earlier reports said that the evidence provided by Zheng Xiaoyu's
subordinates led to the investigation of their former boss, who was
sentenced to death in May at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate
But Zheng has asked the court of 2nd instance to reconsider his sentence
as the penalty is "too severe".
Cao, one of Zheng Xiaoyu's former secretaries, has been under
investigation since January.
Hao Heping, also one of Zheng's former secretaries, was sentenced to 15
years in prison on corruption charges in November last year.
(source: China Daily)
Chinese judge says death penalty applied unevenly across nation, seeks to
China's top court will ensure the death penalty is applied uniformly
across the nation by the end of the year, state media said Thursday.
The decision marks the latest step to reform capital punishment in the
nation believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than the rest
of the world combined.
At the start of 2007, the country's highest court started reviewing and
ratifying all death penalty sentences meted out by provincial courts.
Zhang Jun, vice president of the Supreme People's Court, said the review
has reduced the number of death sentences, and "human rights protection is
constantly improving," the China Daily said.
However, uneven standards for applying the death penalty in provincial
high courts has led to "judicial injustice," Zhang was quoted as telling a
conference of high court presidents on Wednesday.
According to Ni Shouming, spokesman for the Supreme People's Court,
unified guidelines will be released by the end of the year.
China doesn't officially release death sentence figures and international
rights organizations do not know the exact number of executions carried
out in the country every year.
Amnesty International says China executed at least 1,770 people in 2005
about 80 % of the world's total.
The true number is thought to be many times higher. London-based Amnesty
has cited a senior member of China's national legislature as saying some
10,000 people are executed each year.
While the country's top legal bodies have urged a reduction in the number
of death sentences, they have said that capital punishment cannot
completely be abolished.
The amendment to China's capital punishment law, enacted in November,
requires the Supreme People's Court to approve all death sentences, ending
a 23-year-old practice of giving the final review to provincial courts.
The change follows reports of executions of wrongly convicted people and
criticism that lower courts arbitrarily impose the death sentence.
(source: Associated Press)
Murder Is A No-No
ALLOW me to give my opinion on the issue of bringing back the death
penalty to Namibia.
I was watching and listening to 'Talk of the Nation' program on NBC
I listened well and I really felt that Namibians are a peace-loving
During the 'Talk of the Nation' program all the members who were debating
the issue were opposed to the death penalty.
There was only one caller from Oshakati who was supporting the death
penalty, and gave the example of Botswana where the death penalty is
legal, saying that crime or criminal activities in Botswana have decreased
because of this.
According to my belief and considering that Namibia is a Christian nation,
I believe that the death penalty will not be the real solution to the
problem we are facing today with those committing serious crimes such as
The only solution that I can think of is that the justice system of
Namibia should give maximum sentences to those found guilty of such
serious crimes and the Namibian Police should be well equipped and trained
to protect the nation.
We cannot change our Constitution just for a death penalty and Namibia as
a Christian nation should respect and practice our faith.
Nobody has the power to take away the life of someone else, no matter what
crime that person has committed.
According to the Ten Commandments "thou shall not murder" means that God
is telling us that life is precious and no one shall take the life of
If we bring back the death penalty in Namibia, we will be disobeying the
As a citizen concerned about the horrific crimes that are committed in
Namibia I believe that even if we catch those behind this horrific
killings we cannot solve murder with another murder.
Let us Namibians, a peace-loving nation, solve these problems according to
the Constitution and our Christian faith.
T E David, Windhoek
(source: Letter to the Editor, The Namibian)
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