[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jul 17 17:11:00 CDT 2008
Kuwaiti Emir commutes Vecina's death sentence to life
A Filipino overseas worker who was sentenced to die for killing her
6year-old ward in Kuwait has been saved, at least from the gallows.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that May Vecinas death
sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Emir of Kuwait.
The DFA said the Emir of Kuwait has signed the Amiri decree commuting the
death sentences of Vecina and another OFW Marilou Ranario to life
sentences last July 8.
Earlier this year, Vice-President Noli de Castro visited Kuwait and handed
the Emir a second letter from Mrs. Arroyo requesting for his forgiveness
for Vecina and the commutation of her death sentence.
In December last year, President Arroyo herself traveled to Kuwait to seek
the Emir's help in sparing the life of Vecina and Ranario.
Vecina was convicted for the death of the son of her employer in January
2007 while Ranario was sentenced to death for killing her Kuwaiti employer
Ranario's death sentence was commuted last year.
It can be recalled that Mrs. Arroyo also personally asked Saudi Arabias
King Abdullah to save another OFW Sara Dematera from the death row.
(source: ABS-CBN News)
Yeas and nays to the death penalty
The region is still in awe over Tuesday's sentencing of four men to death
by Justice Albert Redhead, in St. Kitts.
That awe could come from some citizens who might find the sentencing
harsh, while there might be others thinking that here is someone finally
willing to send a strong message to criminals who appear to have developed
an immunity against anything that might be considered crime deterrent or
This, for the most part is because the number of criminals receiving such
a sentence in this area of the world is almost unheard of, in part, due to
the general reluctance of many judges to impose the death penalty. Nobody
is sure why this is so, but we would want to suggest that serious
international pressure from human rights organisations like Amnesty
International would have had a part to play in this. Further,
highly-skilled and highly-paid lawyers who are fully aware of this
pressure, have worked well for their money and have sought to exhaust
every appeal avenue open to help save the life of their clients.
After many years of travelling to and from court and with such a long time
spent behind bars trying to learn their eventual fate, many criminals have
been given a reprieve based on what is deemed to be "cruel and unusual
punishment". The criminals have been made to suffer for many years not
knowing what their eventual fate might be. Usually a death sentence is
commuted to life in prison and as far as the prisoners and their families
are concerned the matter did not end badly. To them, there is at least a
chance, albeit a slim one that some person might show up and offer them a
pardon. Meanwhile, the family of the victim will be livid, wondering why
their loved one would have died, while the criminal responsible for their
demise is allowed to continue living, with a chance to later on gain
freedom. To them the entire matter is unfair and they would strongly
advocate more use of the death penalty despite the protestations of many.
We are not seeking to take sides in this debate, but one does have to
wonder if the death penalty does not work as a deterrent in small
countries such as ours where crime has started to spiral out of control
and so many people seem to think that the human life is of no value and
that people can be disposed of quite matter-of-factly during a routine
In fact, there is much concern that these days, the lack of respect for
human life is such that gang members are being given tasks to bring as
much pain to friends and family by snuffing out the life of a random
Where does this type of behaviour end and how can a stop be put to it?
For many, the answer lies in the utilisation of the death penalty as the
perfect deterrent even though some admit there could well be cases in
which innocent people are put to death. This is a view that is not
receiving much sympathy, especially in the OECS countries, many of which
have seen their annual murder rates skyrocket from 2 or 3 individuals to
dozens in a single year.
This has been enough to have many citizens asking for the application of
the death penalty. This is one way they see their country getting back to
its original calm and allow people the comfort they need to enjoy their
life's hard work and the few possessions they might be able to call their
What happened in St. Kitts/Nevis a couple of days ago could give other
judges the pluck to do the same thing and then leave it in the hands of
the authorities to take it from there, whichever way they decide to go.
In all of this could well be the consideration of a factor that moves the
political pendulum one way or the other.
The death penalty could bring much international pressure to bear on any
government that seems to readily endorse it, while failure to do so and
possibly a resultant rise in violent crime, could see an electorate asking
probing questions of those who wish to remain in power or those wishing to
wrest power from them.
(source: Antigua Sun)
Bali bombers face execution as final appeal dismissed
INDONESIA'S Supreme Court has dismissed the final legal challenge by the
death row Bali bombers, clearing the way for their execution.
Islamic militants - Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra - had
attempted to apply for a 3rd judicial review of their cases in Indonesia's
But it is understood the Supreme Court has rejected the request.
The Supreme Court sent its decision on the case to Bali's Denpasar
District Court yesterday.
Denpasar District Court head Nyoman Gede Wirya said a press conference
would be held on the case tomorrow.
"Yes we received it (the decision) yesterday," Wirya told AAP.
"Basically it says that a judicial review can only be submitted once.
There is no second or third judicial review."
He declined to elaborate on the contents of the letter.
The three bombers face death by firing squad for their role in the 2002
Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Indonesian authorities had said they would wait until the legal challenge
was resolved before executing the men.
Earlier today, Victorian man David "Spike" Stewart, whose son Anthony was
killed in the 2002 Bali blasts, said Australian Federal Police had
informed him the executions were "imminent".
And last month, the family of Amrozi and Mukhlas said they had made
preparations in case their executions were announced soon.
Attorney General's Office spokesman B D Nainggolan earlier today said the
office was yet to receive any notification of a decision by the court.
2 more on death row to be executed
Amid an increasingly anti-capital punishment sentiment in Indonesia, the
country is set to execute 2 more death row convicts in the near future.
The executions of Sumiarsih and her son, Sugeng, who were found guilty in
the 1998 assassination of a 5-member marine family, will be the 4th and
5th conducted in the past 2months.
The 1st and 2nd executions were conducted when 2 Nigerians were put to
death June 26, 2008, at the Nusa Kambangan prison, on the International
Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, while the third took place
in Medan, North Sumatra, last week, when killer Ahmad Sarudji was shot
dead by a Mobile Brigade police firing squad.
Human rights activists and nongovernmental organizations have frequently
expressed strong opposition to the death penalty, saying it is unclear
whether it deters crime any better than other forms of punishment.
They also called on the government and the Parliament to revise all laws
carrying death penalty sentences.
Indonesia has 112 felons on death row, including 3 terrorists sentenced to
death for their involvement in the 2002 Bali bombing.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been perceived as a staunch
supporter of the death penalty since he has yet to grant clemency to those
sentenced, including to the three Poso Christian militiamen put to death
Sumiarsih and Sugeng have been moved from their cells in a prison in
Malang, East Java, to the Medaeng prison in Surabaya to await execution,
which will likely be Friday since Thursday is the final day of three given
to them to meet with relatives and spiritual counselors.
Sumiarsih was sentenced to death in 1989, or a year after the killing that
she planned in Surabaya with family members.
To cover it up, she and Sugeng threw the bodies into a gorge in
Songgoriti, Malang, several kilometers from the scene of attack, but their
crime was eventually uncovered. They were tried in Malang District Court.
4 others, including Sumiarsih's husband Djais Adi Prayitno, were also
involved in the killing. 3 were put to death years ago.
Sumiarsih and Sugeng have repeatedly asked for amnesty, but their requests
were turned down by former presidents Soeharto, Habibie, Abdulrahman Wahid
and Megawati Soekarnoputri as well as the current President.
(source: The Jakarta Post)
Indonesian woman faces death penalty for drugs
A young Indonesian woman faces the death sentence for trying to smuggle
more than 3 kilograms of heroin into the country 2 years ago, media
reports said Thursday.
Chief prosecutor Hari Darmawan Wednesday urged North Sumatra's Medan
District Court to hand down a death sentence for Winanti Rosmanasari, 24,
who is accused of violating the country's anti-narcotics laws.
Darmawan said Rosmanasari had attempted to smuggle 3.3 kilograms of heroin
into the country from Laos on behalf of her boyfriend, a Nigerian citizen
living in Jakarta, identified only as Jefftah alias Mokoson.
Chief Judge Ardi Djohan had to stop Rosmanasari from disrupting the court
hearings as she cried hysterically when the prosecutors demanded the death
sentence, The Jakarta Post reported.
Rosmanasari was apprehended in February by custom authorities in North
Sumatra's Belawan Port as she arrived from Penang, Malaysia. Custom
officers foiled the smuggling attempt when an X-ray machine showed
suspicious contents in her baggage.
Indonesia defended the death penalty as a necessary deterrent in a country
with a growing drugs problem. Last month, the country executed two
Nigerians found guilty of heroin offences - the first drug offenders to be
put to death in 4 years.
The Indonesian attorney-general's office said recently there were nearly
70 people on death row in Indonesia.
Nearly 1/2 of those on death row are foreigners, including 3 Australians
involved in the failed 'Bali 9' plot to smuggle more than 8 kilograms of
heroin to Australia in 2005. Indonesian authorities vowed to speed up the
execution of the other drug traffickers on death row.
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