[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu May 1 17:18:57 CDT 2008
THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION OF AFRICA: PROTAGONISTS,
ARGUMENTS AND STRATEGIES
On the occasion of the 43rd session of the African Commission on Human and
Peoples Rights gathering in the Kingdom of Swaziland on 7-22 May 2008, the
World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is pleased to announce the
release of its publication "The Death Penalty in the Great Lakes Region of
Africa: Protagonists, Arguments and Strategies"
Focusing in particular on four of the region's countries -- Burundi, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda -- this research work
aspires to become a practical tool for Great Lakes; activists: after
describing the state of play of the death penalty in the region, it
examines the factors arguing in favour of its abolition and suggests
strategies for individual and collective action.
60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the authors
observe that there is now a clear trend towards abolition across the world
and note that; Following the acute crises and particularly serious
collective crimes which plunged the countries examined in this report into
mourning, each one is grappling in various ways with the reconstruction of
its society and reestablishment of the rule of law. Abolition of the death
penalty can play a part in the aim to reconcile society's component parts
and contribute to long-lasting peace.
The Death Penalty in the Great Lakes Region of Africa : Protagonists,
Arguments and Strategies By Franck Gorchs-Chacou and Caroline Sculier.
(C) World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, April 2008
For further information or to receive a copy of the publication, please
contact: Cecile MARCEL, Campaign Coordinator--- cmarcel at abolition.fr
(source: THE WORLD COALITION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY -- The World
Coalition Against the Death Penalty was created in Rome on 13 May 2002 and
is composed of 75 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and trade
unions. It aims to strengthen the international dimension of the struggle
against the death penalty and to contribute to bringing a definitive end
to death sentences and executions. The World Coalition particularly
endeavours to facilitate the creation or development of national
coalitions against the death penalty. 10 October has been established as
the World Day Against the Death Penalty since 2003. This totally
decentralised event, which has particular presence in countries where the
death penalty is still applied, invites citizens and organizations who
want to say "NO" to the death penalty to organise their own events on 10
Secret files might have saved Peter Manuel from gallows----Legal academic
believes information about murderer's epilepsy was withheld to ensure
Vital information about one of Britain's most prolific serial killers may
have been withheld from his trial to ensure that he was hanged, it was
Peter Manuel was the 3rd to last person to be hanged in Scotland when he
was executed at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow in 1958, after being convicted
of murdering 7 people. But although Manuel's was widely considered to be
an open and shut case, a legal expert said yesterday that he believed
evidence about his mental state was withheld from the court to ensure that
he was put to death.
Calling for official archives on the case, some of which are still sealed,
to be made public, Richard Goldberg, of the law school at the University
of Aberdeen, said that he believed that Manuel could have escaped the
gallows if the court had been told the full extent of his health problems,
which included a form of epilepsy many believe can cause criminal
Dr Goldberg believes that the possibility of a mental disorder was not
adequately explored during the trial. He said yesterday: I think there was
considerable evidence that he was a psychopath, there was debate over
whether there should be a reprieve, and in my view insufficient weight was
given to that evidence and also to the fact that Manuel suffered from
temporal lobe epilepsy.
(source: The (UK) Times)
Singapore, not China, is the world's execution capital
Jane Bywaters of Amnesty International connects the coming Beijing
Olympics with her speculation of how many people may be executed by the
Chinese judicial system during this period (Death toll during Olympics,
H&H letters April 24).
We seem to have completely forgotten the UK athletes going out there to
compete for gold, silver and bronze. They appear to have disappeared into
a propagandised haze.
I am myself against the death penalty though some people no doubt deserve
it, but the innocent have to be protected long enough to defend themselves
against a horrendous sentence.
It was interesting to look at Tony Wheeler's Blog Online (Lonely
Planet.com). Judge for yourself what country executes the most people yet
is held up as a hard-working, clean and orderly city-state:
USA: (300 million people) 60 executions per year, or 20 per 100 million
Vietnam: (80 million people) 60 executions per year (75 per 100 million
Iran: (70 million people) 160 executions per year (230 per 100 million
China: (1.3 billion people) 3,500 executions per year (270 per 100
Singapore: (4 million people) 30 executions per year (750 per 100
And don't forget those who die in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of the
occupying forces without charge or trial.
Tying in the Olympics with China's own personal problems is possibly
setting a precedent. If so then the UK may face a lot of protest during
its 2012 Olympic Games from various quarters.
Wilson John Haire----Lulot Gardens, N19
(source: Letter to the Editor, Ham & High)
More information about the DeathPenalty