[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Mon Aug 1 17:04:17 CDT 2011
An argument for death penalty
I am asking our president to hold a referendum so that the public can decide
whether or not we should impose the death penalty in South Africa. I am in
principle for the death penalty for various reasons.
In his autobiography, George Bizos stated that no one in South Africa will be
pro capital punishment after they have read the entire amendment act made by
the South African constitutional court in 1995. I have read through all of it
and am still in favour of such a punishment.
I agree that in 1995 given the amount of political prisoners the abolition of
the death penalty might have been the best decision then, however, we are in a
new dispensation now and therefore we must find new solution to the growing
disrespect for the rule of law in our country. Every administration must act
according to the present problems at hand.
Let's look at some arguments against such punishment:
1. The death penalty is an act of vengeance. If this is the case then I am not
for the penalty, I am advocating it in order to remove people from society that
made it clear that they do not belong in society. Thus protecting society and
its individuals from these individuals.
2. Our constitution protects all life, even the life of the most weak, and the
criminal. This might be the case; however, I feel that this element of life can
be protected by the appeals process, the courts and the fair trail given. This
to my opinion infringes on the life of the community and productive members of
society, you cannot have your bread buttered on both ends.
3. Even the best judges, lawyers and prosecutors can send people wrongly to
their death. Yes this is the case, however, the problem is then with the system
itself and not the punishment. A good judge can also lock people up in jail for
their entire lifetime wrongfully, where appeal is not an option - this is no
different if you think about it logically.
4. Majority decision is not always the best one, one of the constitutional
judges cited that even Hitler invaded Poland by a majority support. I agree to
disagree here, if majority decision is not the way we as a country move forward
then why do we have an electoral system, surely this means that the ANC
shouldn't be in power?
5. Amnesty international statistically prove that the death penalty doesn't
discourage people from committing crime. This is nonsense according to me
seeing that statistics doesn't prove anything it only provides correlations. In
order to get a proper statistical reading one has to look at the distribution
of data. It comes down to, in more advanced societies you have less crime, and
thus there is no need for a death penalty. However comparing South Africa to
other countries with similar social economic effects, those who the death
penalty have less crime than we do. Thus this is simply not the case.
My suggestion to President Zuma would be to launch a referendum so that South
Africans themselves can decide on whether or not we should reinstate the death
penalty. My suggestion is that it must be a considered punishment for murder,
rape, treason, corruption and human trafficking. We currently have a police
system that is under heavy strain that has gone under the extreme of having a
shoot-to-kill policy. How is this any different from having a legalised death
penalty where the policeman can play judge, jury and executioner himself?
If the results of a referendum is against it, then so be it, if it is in favour
then the South African parliament and courts must take the needed action to
abolish the act and amend our constitution. We simply cannot continue to stay
in a country and pretend that murderers who walk free are acceptable to all of
us or that it is normal for these men and woman to be subsidised by their
victims and kept alive when they clearly cannot fit into a civilised society.
Let South Africans ultimately decide whether or not capital punishment of
acceptable to all of us and if there comes a time in history where we no longer
need it then I'm sure the government of that time will be asked to act
accordingly by the citizens of that time.
(source: Hugo Kruger, MyNews24)
Guillotine returns after two years (Originally published in the Guardian on 29
Christian Ranucci, aged 22, was executed by guillotine in Marseilles at dawn
today for having knifed and battered to death an eight-year-old girl. The
execution, the first in France for two years, and the twentieth in the last 20
years, took place a few hours after President Giscard D'Estaing had refused to
exercise his prerogative of mercy.
Ranucci, the only child of a broken home, claimed he took the child in his car
"only to give her a ride" but panicked and went mad when his car was in a
collision a few minutes after picking up the girl.
President Giscard, who confessed in his election campaign to a "profound
aversion" to the death penalty, was clearly influenced by mounting popular
feeling against violent crime and campaigns for greater severity supported by
the Minister of the Interior, M Poniatowski, and the Minister of Justice, M
Lecanuet – both firm advocates of the death penalty.
Ranucci's case came before the Elysee shortly after a man had been arrested at
Troyes for killing a small boy whom he had kidnapped as a hostage.
Since his 1974 campaign started President Giscard seems to have modified his
view. He suggested at a press conference in April that the death penalty should
be reviewed by Parliament – but not at a time when "some unacceptable types of
violence are making public opinion unduly sensitive." He specified that these
types of violence included premeditated abduction of children involving the
near-certainty of their death – with gain as the motive – and premeditated
robbery and killing of old people.
Ranucci's case is controversial because there was no evidence of premeditation
or of any intention of demanding ransom. Giscard's decision came at a time of
tension between him and a conservative majority in his coalition which makes
him particularly sensitive to the charge of weakness. In the only other
decision of this kind he has so far had to take, he reprieved a 17-year-old
youth convicted of robbing and murdering an old lady.
Today's execution was welcomed by an association for the application of the
death penalty and condemned by the radicals of the Left. Maitre Lombard,
Ranucci's lawyer, who witnessed the execution, said afterwards: "The death
penalty strikes anyone who sees it carried out with horror and shame and I can
only hope this one will be the last."
[The last execution in France took place in 1977. The death penalty was
abolished in 1981]
(source: The Guardian)
President commutes death sentence of 2 to life in prison
President Pratibha Patil has commuted the death sentence of 2 murder convicts
of Uttar Pradesh to life in prison. "The mercy petition of convicts, namely,
Sattan and Guddu of Uttar Pradesh was considered under Article 72 of the
Constitution and their death sentences were commuted to imprisonment for life
for the remainder of their natural lives," Home Minister P Chidambaram told
reporters here today. Both sattan and Guddu have been on death row since 2009.
They murdered 6 members of a family and a trial court sentenced four accused to
death. But the High Court overturned the sentence awarded to 2.
In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence to Sattan and Guddu. Asked
about the status of the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, whose mercy
petition was also pending before the President, Chidambaram said, "I can't
share with you any information about any mercy petition until the President
decides on the mercy petition". "Whatever decision is taken, it will be shared
with you," he said.
Afghanistan's Romeo and Juliet: Teenage couple jailed and face being stoned for
falling in love
2 teenagers in Afghanistan face being hanged or stoned to death for the 'crime'
of falling in love and trying to get married.
When the pair met for their wedding ceremony, they were ambushed by a mob of
300 men who dragged them from their car, accused them of adultery and then
started a riot.
In the resulting violence in the village of Jabrail, near Herat, one man was
killed, a police station was torched and the lovers, Halima Mohammedi and Rafi
Mohammed, both 17, ended up in jail.
During the riot Mr Mohammed, and his older cousin who drove him to meet Ms
Mohammedi, were both badly beaten up.
But there have been calls from locals and relatives for the lovers to be
killed, as in their eyes they have disregarded strict rules whereby marriages
are arranged by families.
Even the father of Ms Mohammedi agrees with the punishment.
Kher Mohammed told The New York Times: ‘What we would ask is that the
government should kill both of them.’
Along with her uncle, he visited her in jail, where she was told that she had
brought shame upon the family and would be killed.
The New York Times reports that although he cried during the visit, Ms
Mohammedi’s father barely said a word to her.
The pair’s story echoes that of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo And Juliet,
where two lovers, despite being from rival families – Montague and Capulet –
pledge their devotion to each other.
Mr Mohammed is a Tajik and Ms Mohammedi is from the Hazara community.
They met in an ice-cream factory and would communicate using fleeting eye
One day Ms Mohammedi threw her mobile phone number on the floor for Mr Mohammed
and from then on they would speak regularly to each other at night.
Their decision to try and marry created a reaction that has left them both
Mr Mohammed told The New York Times that ‘when you love somebody, you don’t ask
who she is or what she is, you just go for it’.
Ms Mohammedi simply asked: ‘God created us from one dirt. Why can we not marry
each other, or love each other?’
Despite the death threats from relatives, the pair do have the support of the
provincial council, who has declared that they are not criminals and merit the
Influential clerics have also refused to condemn them.
However, the family of the man killed in the riot blame Ms Mohammedi for his
death and say that her only way out is to marry one of their relatives.
Their case now rests with prosecutors.
Earlier this year horrific video footage emerged of Taliban insurgents stoning
a couple to death for alleged adultery in northern Afghanistan.
It took place in the district of Dashte Archi, in Kunduz, and was met with
outrage in the West.
However, a Taliban spokesman defended the practice, saying: ‘Anyone who knows
about Islam knows that stoning is in the Koran, and that it is Islamic law.
There are people who call it inhuman - but in doing so they insult the Prophet.
They want to bring foreign thinking to this country.'
(source: The Daily Mail)
Death sentence on pregnant woman on hold
The Colombo High Court to reversed a death sentence to be imposed on a woman
charged for possessing Heroin after she informed Courts that she was pregnant.
High court Judge Padman Surasena before passing the death sentence allowed the
accused to make a statement, during which said that she had 3 children and also
was expecting another child.
Keeping with traditions the lights had been switched off as the death sentence
was to be passed on her after being found guilty for possessing 142.04 grams of
Heroin, but after her claim the judge decided to call for a JMO report about
the accused. The judgment was postponed for August 4.
The woman, Pichchi Iresha Kumudini, 35 was arrested in 1999 from Madampitiya,
Colombo with the Heroin.
(source: The Sunday Times)
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