[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon May 5 20:48:33 CDT 2008
'Hawalli monster' gets 4th death sentence
In Kuwait City, the Criminal Court Sunday sentenced 27-year-old Egyptian
Hajjaj Mohamed Adel Al-Saadi, popularly known as the 'Hawalli monster', to
death in case number 692/2006 the 5th case filed against him. This is the
4th death sentence issued against the suspect for kidnapping and molesting
young children. The Public Prosecution in this case charged Al-Saadi with
kidnapping an Egyptian boy with the aim of molesting him. He asked the boy
to accompany him to his friend's flat in a building adjacent to the boy's
place on the pretext that he didn't know how to read.
When the boy responded to Al-Saadi's request, the suspect took the boy up
to the rooftop of the building, threatened him with a knife and molested
him by force. The victim later identified Al-Saadi from a police lineup.
The suspect admitted the crime when he appeared before the Public
Prosecution. Judge Wael Al-Atiqi presided over the session. Al-Saadi has
been accused of abducting and raping 17 children. Al-Saadi was arrested in
July as he prepared to board a flight to Luxor in Egypt. Authorities said
he confessed to raping 17 children in Hawalli, a residential district 12
kms (7 miles) south of Kuwait city.
(source: Arab Times)
Gallows broadcast shocks Japan into debating the death penalty
At 10 oclock this morning, with glorious sunshine forecast for the final
day of Golden Week holidays, a nation will pause for perhaps the darkest 5
minutes ever broadcast on Japanese radio: an execution by hanging.
>From the mechanical thump of the opening trapdoor to the high-pitched
creak of a rope strained by the dead mans weight, it is a soundtrack
destined to send shockwaves through the Japanese justice system.
The hanging itself may have taken place more than 53 years ago and the
subject's name and crime will remain a secret under Japanese law but the
programme's producers are sure that the recording will provoke
Japan has hanged about 5 people annually since resuming executions in 1993
after a 3-year hiatus. Every time the Japanese are polled on the subject a
vast majority approve of capital punishment for murder, and the margin
continues to rise. All but a few have never seen or heard a hanging and
the official cloak of secrecy shrouding executions even the family of the
subject are not informed until after it has happened has left the
Japanese media unwilling to dwell on the issue. Thebroadcast will shatter
that taboo. Snippets of the condemned mans final conversations with his
executioner and the murmur of a Buddhist sutra will be a fierce reminder
that it is a human being who, moments later, is heard being silenced for
The radio station, Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, says that it obtained the
rare "educational" tape from the Osaka Detention Centre many years ago but
believes that Japan can wait no longer for it to be aired. Japan has
executed 10 death-row inmates since December and the far-above-average
pace has raised eyebrows.
At the moment, Japanese justice is conducted by professionals cases are
tried and punished by panels of judges. From next year Japan will
introduce a form of jury service that will force members of the public to
sit in judgment on serious criminal trials for the 1st time.
Tatsuya Mori, one of Japan's few authors to address the subject of capital
punishment, applauded the macabre broadcast. "The jury system is to start
but the public has no idea how a real execution works and has never
engaged in a proper debate on the subject. If the Ministry of Justice is
trying to hide the reality of it, it is up to the media to expose it."
The broadcast is likely to highlight many other issues within the Japanese
justice system, which relies heavily on the confessions of those in the
dock and has a conviction rate above 90 % for many crimes.
Over the 40 years Iwao Hakamada has been on death row he has insisted that
his confession to murder was coerced. Norimichi Kumamoto, 1 of the 3
judges who handed down the death penalty, stunned Japan recently when he
said that he also believed Hakamada to be innocent.
(source: The Times)
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