[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Oct 3 17:16:15 CDT 2008
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research----Palestinian Majority
Opposes Death Penalty
2/3 of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reject the use of
capital punishment, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for
Public Opinion. 66.9 % of respondents oppose the imposition of the death
penalty in their territories.
The Palestinian Authority's statutes allow for capital punishment, with
some differences between the Palestinian Penal Code applying in the West
Bank and the one applying in Gaza.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas won the January 2005 presidential ballot in the
Palestinian Territories with 62.32 per cent of all cast ballots. In
January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council election,
securing 74 of the 112 seats at stake. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
officially took over as prime minister in March. The Israeli government
believes Hamas is directly responsible for the deaths of 377 citizens in a
variety of attacks, which include dozens of suicide bombings.
In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah leaders reached an accord which set the
guidelines for a power-sharing Palestinian administration, headed by
Hamas. In June, amid a wave of violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah
factions, Hamas militants seized control of Gaza. Abbas issued a decree to
form a 12-member emergency government based in the West Bank and expelled
Hamas from the administration. Fatah member Salam Fayyad was appointed as
prime minister by Abbas.
In April, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reiterated its
calls for a ban on capital punishment in the Palestinian territories, as 2
prisoners were given a death sentence in less than 4 weeks by the High
Military Court of the Palestinian National Authority. The PCHR called upon
the Palestinian Authority "to announce a moratorium on the use of this
form of punishment that violates international human rights standards,
especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Covenant
of Civil and Political Rights (1966), and the UN Convention against
(source: Angus Reid Global Monitor)
Constitutionality of Death Penalty to Be Reviewed
A provincial court has challenged the constitutionality of the current law
legalizing capital punishment amid an intensifying tug-of-war between
courts and human rights groups at home and overseas to abolish the capital
The Gwangju High Court has filed a petition with the Constitutional Court
Friday on behalf of a convicted prisoner, who is in detention on homicide
Civilians or civic groups have lodged several petitions but this is the
1st case that a local court filed a constitutional petition on the
internationally sensitive issue. The latest ruling, which stuck to current
law, was made in 1996.
A 70-year-old fisherman was sentenced to death in the first trial for
killing 4 tourists, who were on board his fishing boat. He asked his
appellate court judge to file the petition, alleging "capital punishment
is unconstitutional.'' Accepting his suggestion, the appellate trial will
be suspended until the Constitutional Court reviews the petition.
The presiding judge of the trial said, "At the time of the latest
constitutional ruling on the death penalty in 1996, the Constitutional
Court stated it was constitutional although it indicated the need to scrap
the capital punishment on a long term basis.
According to the Ministry of Justice, 58 convicted are now behind bars
awaiting the death penalty.
The latest executions were carried out on Dec. 30 1997, killing 23 en
masse. There has been no execution in the past decade since the launch of
the Kim Dae-jung administration.
Amnesty International has declared Korea as abolitionist in practice since
(source: The Korea Times)
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