[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Tue Aug 2 11:44:11 CDT 2011
My postings to this list will resume on Friday, Aug. 12
Japan justice minister says no executions
Japan's justice minister says he does not intend to approve any executions as
the number of prisoners on death row has reached a record 120.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports the last execution in Japan came in July last year
and Justice Minister Satsuki Eda has made clear he doesn't plan to authorize
more executions anytime soon.
In a July 26 interview with the newspaper, Eda expressed concerns false charges
could lead to executions.
"False charges can be revoked in retrials, but this is impossible after a
person has been executed," he said.
The statement, published Thursday, drew numerous protests from citizens.
In early July, Katsuyuki Nishikawa, chief of the Justice Ministry's Criminal
Affairs Bureau, and others showed Eda documents pointing to parts of the
Criminal Procedure Code saying those on death row should be executed within 6
months of finalization of a death sentence.
The Yomiuri Shimbun said some have questioned whether executions should be
halted mainly because of personal beliefs of the justice minister.
"The Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that executions should be performed
within 6 months of the sentence being finalized," said Osamu Watanabe, a Konan
Law School professor and expert on criminal procedure.
"I think the justice minister should act in line with the system and review the
possibility of false conviction within the set time limit."
(source: United Press International)
Window of hope for pastor on death row
An imprisoned Iranian Christian pastor has been given a temporary reprieve, but
he still faces the death penalty.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted to Christianity at age 19 and later became a
leader in the house church movement. But he was also found guilty of apostasy
and changing his faith, and he received the death penalty under two fatwas, or
Islamic religious rulings, issued by religious leaders.
Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries notes that Iran is under international
pressure, and he reports that the Supreme Court has sent the case back to a
"They're afraid to contradict a ruling based upon those fatwas. However,
they're asking for a re-examination because they see some inconsistencies, and
they want to make sure that Youcef was indeed a Muslim prior to accepting
Christ as Lord and Savior," DeMars explains.
Even though Youcef comes from a Muslim home, he has told the court he never
really practiced the faith. But prosecutors are seeking witnesses to prove that
he was, "based upon their definition, of course."
"Then he would be called to recant, turn away from Christ. And if he doesn't,
they will execute him," the Present Truth Ministries founder warns. "So,
they're going to do an examination to find out if he was practicing Islam
between the age of 15 and 19.
It could be as late as fall before that takes place, which provides more time
for international believers to encourage the court to not carry out the
(source: One News Now)
Madras HC upholds death of murder convict
The Madras high court has upheld the death sentence awarded by a trial court in
Nagapattinam to a construction worker for the murder of a 10-year-old boy. The
accused, B Kumar alias Jeyakumar, was awarded a life sentence for the rape of
the boy's 12-year-old sister.
According to the prosecution, Kumar had been employed to work in the house of
Ramalingam, an assistant in Poombuhar College and Maragatham, a village health
worker. The couple had engaged a contractor to construct the first floor of
their house at Sattanathapuram, Sirkali. They had two children - a 12-year-old
girl and a 10-year-old boy, Manikandan - who were joined by their 12-year-old
cousin Sangeetha, who was on a visit for the holidays, when the incident
After the couple left for work at 8am on October 4, 2002, the children were
left alone at home. On ringing the bell, Kumar told Manikandan - who answered
the door - that he had left his iron bowl inside the house. Though the boy
asked him to come back after his father came home, Manikandan's sister said he
could come in since he was a known person who had worked in their house.
After locking the door, Kumar gagged Manikandan and Sangeetha before raping
their 12-year-old sister. He slit their throats, killing Manikandan in the
process, before leaving.
Passing orders, a division bench comprising Justices C Nagappan and M
Sathyanarayanan, said, "We are satisfied that the extreme depravity with which
offences of murder and rape were committed on the school-going children and the
merciless manner in which death was inflicted on the victim, Manikandan, a
child aged about ten years, brings the present case within the category of
rarest of rare cases which merits death penalty."
Pointing out that the appellant did not feel any remorse for his actions, the
judges conceded he was a menace to society and was incapable of rehabilitation.
"The accused had won the trust of children for gaining entry into the house and
the victim of the crime is an innocent child who did not provide even an
excuse, much less a provocation for murder. The act of the accused had no
doubt, shocked the collective conscience of the society and such cruelty
towards the young children is appalling. Hence the punishment of sentence of
death awarded by the trial court to the accused has to be confirmed," the order
(source: The Times of India)
Death penalty would ease murder rate: Sheriff
Canada should bring back the death penalty as a way of capping Edmonton's
climbing homicide rate, says a world-famous sheriff.
"The first thing I would do is execute those who fall under a certain
criteria," Sheriff Joe Arpaio told QMI Agency.
"You should have the death penalty. I think that would go a long way."
The sheriff is famous across the world for his heavy-handed justice.
He's the brainchild behind Tent City, a notorious Maricopa County jail that's
currently the part-time home of Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
Khabibulin is serving the first half of his drunk driving sentence at the
Of course, the goalie isn't the only one in trouble with the law.
In Edmonton, the homicide rate continues to climb.
There have been 33 killings so far this year, the latest four recorded in the
Bringing back the death penalty is just the incentive Edmontonians need to stop
killing, he said.
"There may be times when you have premeditated murder, which is difficult to
control, but possibly with the death penalty it might make a difference if
people feel they could be executed," Sheriff Joe said.
"That person could never kill again anyway."
People kill for a variety of reasons, he added.
"It's very difficult to say how to defend this type of activity," Sheriff Joe
"There are many murders that occur because of domestic violence. I would
presume drugs may enter in the picture sometimes, people high on drugs."
Arizona has the death penalty, while the maximum sentence that can be handed to
a killer in Canada is 25 years.
"I'm not too familiar with all the laws in Canada," the sheriff said.
"I would surmise their laws may be a little more lenient than laws in the
(source: Toronto Sun)
Death penalty 'proper punishment' for some crimes - MP ---- Andrew Turner has
represented the Isle of Wight as a Conservative MP for 10 years
A Conservative MP has said the death penalty is the "proper punishment" for
some serious crimes.
Andrew Turner said a full Parliamentary debate should take place about whether
it should be brought back for those who killed children or police officers.
He said his "instinct" was such crimes were "horrific" enough.
Rights group Amnesty International said the death penalty was "a cruel relic of
the past that we should leave in the past".
Mr Turner said he was timing his comments with the recent launch of a
government petition website enabling the public to initiate parliamentary
Campaigners who secure at least 100,000 signatures will be eligible to have
their ideas debated in the House of Commons.
The government will begin publishing the petitions for signing on 4 August but
people can already create them.
Mr Turner said he was backing a petition by right-wing political blogger Paul
Staines - who writes the Guido Fawkes blog - for a review into "all treaties
and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to
restore capital punishment".
Mr Turner said Moors murderer Ian Brady committed "evil" acts Mr Turner, who
represents the Isle of Wight, said in a statement he thought it was "high time
that this issue is debated".
"My instinct is that some crimes are so horrific that the proper punishment is
the death penalty," he said.
"A few people commit acts so evil they are beyond understanding, for example
Ian Brady, the Moors murderer; Roy Whiting who abducted and killed 8-year-old
Sarah Payne and, more recently, those who tortured and were then responsible
for the death of Baby P, Peter Connolly.
"Like many people I have concerns about the possibility of wrongful
convictions, so perhaps we should consider whether before a death sentence
could be passed, a higher standard of evidence would be needed than 'beyond
reasonable doubt' which is used to secure a criminal conviction.
"Some people have suggested that there should be proof 'beyond the shadow of a
doubt' before a death sentence could be passed."
He added he had put up a short survey on his website to enable islanders to
give their view, adding he welcomed "the new petitions initiative which will
enable people to have some input into the work that Parliament does".
Amnesty's UK head of policy and government affairs, Jeremy Croft, said: "In our
experience public support for capital punishment falls dramatically when people
are confronted with the grim reality of what it means to put a person on trial
for their life and then kill them.
"One of the reasons the UK abolished the death penalty decades ago was public
concern over miscarriages of justice, and those concerns are as real as ever -
think of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, or Stephen Downing and Barry
(source: BBC News)
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