[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Feb 11 16:06:35 CST 2008
Japan MPs propose four-year moratorium on executions
A multi-party coalition of Japanese parliamentarians said Monday that they
have drafted a bill proposing a four-year moratorium on the death penalty
and giving convicts already on death row life sentences without the
possibility of parole. The bill is likely to face opposition from Japanese
Minister of Justice Kunio Hatoyama, who is a supporter of the death
penalty. Japan previously maintained an unofficial moratorium on capital
punishments between 1989 and 1993, as anti-death penalty justice ministers
refused to sign execution orders.
Last December, Japanese officials publicly disclosed the identities of 3
executed death row inmates for the first time. The Justice Ministry of
Japan said the policy was designed to increase understanding about the
death penalty. Previously only the number of prisoners executed and the
time of their execution was made publicly available. In August 2007,
Japan's national bar association called for a moratorium on the death
penalty until new safeguards are enacted to prevent wrongful executions
based on dubious evidence. Japanese courts rely heavily on confessions,
often obtained by police after prolonged interrogations.
(source: The Jurist)
Alleged spy lost on death row for 35 yearsFrom correspondents in Islamabad
A PAKISTANI minister said he had discovered an alleged Indian spy who has
languished on death row in Pakistan for the last three and a half decades.
Indian national Kashmir Singh was arrested in 1973 on espionage charges
and sentenced to death by a court martial, Pakistan's Minister for Human
Rights Ansar Burney said in a statement.
Singh, a father of 3, had become "mentally disabled" after spending the
following 35 years in a cell under a secrecy act without ever seeing the
sky or receiving a single visitor, Mr Burney said.
Mr Burney said he was tipped off about Singh by the Indian community in
London and, after searching various Pakistani prisons, found him in the
central jail in Lahore, where he was being kept under the Official Secrets
"During all these years he had never received a single visitor or even
seen the open sky, sun or moon," the statement said.
"He, like other condemned prisoners, was locked in an overcrowded death
cell for 23.5 hours a day, only allowed out for 30 minutes to stretch his
Mr Burney, a prominent rights activist who is part of a pre-election
caretaker government, said President Pervez Musharraf had expressed "shock
and disbelief" and agreed to grant Singh his freedom in coming days.
"Kashmir Singh has gone through hell during the last 35 years. He has
suffered more than enough for his alleged crime," Mr Burney said.
He added that he was now trying to trace Singh's family in India.
Nuclear-armed Pakistan and India have fought 3 wars since their
independence in 1947 but launched a slow-moving peace process in 2004.
They have recently held a series of prisoner exchanges, mainly of
fishermen who strayed into each others' territorial waters and were
(source: News Limited)
Richey ex 'never thanked' for death row work
KENNY RICHEY'S former fiance says he has never thanked her for spending 12
years fighting to have him freed from death row.
Karen Torley, 44, who made 8 trips to visit Richey in prison in Ohio, also
revealed he has not made the trip to see her at home in Cambuslang, near
Richey, 43, who arrived back in Edinburgh after being released from jail
last month, has now been reunited with ex-wife Wendy.
Ms Torley, a mum-of-four, was reported as saying: "After Kenny was
released he called me from his mobile he rang every day until Wendy
arrived. Then the calls stopped. But during all those times he never
thanked me. There have been no flowers, no gift."
She said she did not regret taking part in the campaign to have Richey's
conviction overturned, but said she was "sad" at the way things have
worked out. "He asked about trains and I told him how to get here," she
added. "He promised that's what he'd do."
(source: Edinburgh Evening News)
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