[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Thu Aug 18 11:44:44 CDT 2011
Killer gets death sentence
A 32-year-old Point Fortin man was yesterday sentenced to death for the murder
of a fellow prisoner at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. A 12-member jury took
more than four hours to return with a guilty verdict for Jay Chandler before
Justice Mark Mohammed, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Second Assizes. When the
sentence was read shortly after 6 pm, a close female relative lunged towards
Chandler, while he was being led out of the prisoner’s dock. The woman was then
restrained and removed by female police officers. Chandler was accused of
stabbing Kern Phillip with a improvised weapon on October 8, 2004.
The incident occurred after an altercation between the men during visiting
hours at the Remand Yard Prison, Golden Groove, Arouca. Phillip later succumbed
to injuries while being treated at the prison’s infirmary. Post-mortem results
showed that his heart was punctured. Both men were incarcerated at the prison
while awaiting trial.
Chandler was ordered to be retried after his initial trial before Justice
Rajendra Narine in 2009 ended with a hung jury. Bad character evidence
concerning another stabbing incident involving Chandler while he was in prison
was also accepted into evidence during the ten-week retrial before Mohammed.
Chandler was represented by attorneys Larry Williams and Nicholas Ali, while
the State was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kathy-Ann
Waterman-Latchoo and attorney Lee Merry.
(source: Trinidad Guardian)
Think tank unveils N. Korean court ruling ordering public execution
A South Korean state-run think tank on Thursday unveiled a North Korean court
ruling sentencing a man to public execution, suggesting the totalitarian regime
uses the punishment as part of its legal system.
The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) said it included images of
the document in a 20-minute-long DVD it recently produced to cover North
Korea's serious human rights abuses. The communist regime has long been accused
of public executions, torture, and holding hundreds of thousands of political
Pyongyang denies the accusations, calling them a U.S.-led attempt to topple its
The DVD, titled "No Tears," was produced based on the eyewitness accounts of
North Korean defectors. More than 21,000 North Koreans have fled poverty and
repression in their homeland to settle in the South since the end of the
1950-53 Korean War.
In the ruling, dated September 2010, North Korea's top court sentenced a
40-year-old man to public execution on charges of stealing six cows, or
deliberate damage to national wealth.
It is the 1st time such a document has been released in South Korea, according
to KINU. The institute said it has been difficult to find the legal grounds for
public executions in North Korea's criminal code, but the ruling, which it
obtained from a defector, shows the existence of legal procedures that include
the punishment. KINU estimates that at least 60 public executions were carried
out in the North last year. (source: The Korea Herald)
Pro-LTTE parties mount pressure on Jayato commute death sentence
Various political outfits in Tamil Nadu have begun to mount pressure on AIADMK
chief and chief minister Miss J Jayalalitha to take steps to reduce the
punishment for the 3 charged for assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi, whose mercy pleas have been rejected recently by the President.
The 1st mention of the issue came up in the state Assembly today with members
of the PMK trying to raise it in the House. It was disallowed by the Speaker on
the grounds that this was not the time for raising the issue. The PMK members
walked out in protest.
However, PMK leader, Dr. S. Ramadoss, at a press meet in the city raised the
demand that the three, Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan, whose mercy pleas have
been rejected, be commuted to life sentence through the state government’s
The demand has already been raised by various Tamil nationalistic groups who
are also pro-LTTE apart from the mainstream political parties, the VCK and the
At a meeting in Chennai last night organised by the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam
(PDK) and Naam Tamilar outfit, an appeal was made to the chief minister to move
a resolution in the state Assembly abolishing capital punishment and to make a
recommendation to the Tamil Nadu Governor to commute the death sentences of the
3, 3 of them Sri Lankan Tamils and 1 from Tamil Nadu, into life sentences using
the powers granted under Article 161 of the Constitution.
“There are precedents as in the case of Tamil poet Kaliaperumal in Tamil Nadu
who was pardoned in 1974 after being awarded the death penalty and the case of
C. A. Balan in Kerala who was pardoned similarly after the state Assembly was
moved to bring down his punishment,” said PDK leader, Mr. Kolathur Mani. The
mother of Perarivalan, Mrs. Arpudham Ammal, was also present at the meeting.
Speakers at the meeting that included Naam Tamilar leader, Mr. Seeman, held
that they are using this opportunity to seek abolition of capital punishment
and held that the law had been bent by the enforcing authorities to punish the
3, in particular, Perarivalan, just 19 years then, who is guilty of nothing
more than the purchase of three 9-volt batteries, “supposedly used in the belt
“Whereas the Court has pronounced that TADA charges cannot be raised in the
case, the confessions made under TADA detention has been used to hold the three
guilty. The Rajiv Gandhi case has been held as one of murder, with vengeance
being the motive, and not terrorism. The rejection of the mercy plea has been
done with some urgency on the part of the Sonia government. Whereas those who
executed Rajiv Gandhi are all dead, those who assisted them are now being lined
up for their second punishment after they have spent 20 years in jail for the
same crime,” said Mr. Mani.
“Do you think the LTTE cadres could not have purchased the batteries
themselves. The makers of the belt bomb remain mysterious till date as per
investigating officer Mr. Ragothaman’s confessions. So how is my son
Perarivalan guilty?” a weeping Mrs. Arpudham Ammal asked. “Am I guilty of
bringing up a well-behaved son and sending him out to serve society as per
Periyar’s ideals? Is he guilty just because he liked the LTTE?” she asked. Mr.
Paul Newman, professor of Political Science, Bangalore University, said, “In my
court, all 3 are innocent.”
Various pressure groups have come up in the state now seeking abolition of
capital punishment. Rallies, demonstrations have been lined up by the groups
for the rest of the week. Naam Tamilar and PDK are seeking an appointment with
Miss. Jayalalitha to press the case. DMK chief Mr. M. Karunanidhi to a question
on death penalty being awarded for the three held yesterday that he too was of
the view that capital punishment should not be given to anyone, not just the
Students road roko for clemency to Rajiv killers
Police arrested as many as 25 students of Government Law College when they
blocked the vehicular traffic movement in front of the District Court Complex
demanding the Centre not to execute three assasins of Former Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi, here today.
The students abstained from their classes and came in a procession to the
District Court Complex where they resorted to a road roko demanding immediate
release of Murugan, Shanthan and Perarivalan, who were languishing in the
prison for the past 20 years.
The students also urged Tamil Nadu Government to pass a resolution in the State
Assembly urging the Centre to commute their death penalty in the wake of
President having rejected their mercy petitions.
Police swung into action and arrested the agitating students and restored
(source: New Kerala)
No to death penalty
Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights puts it simply: “No one
shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.” The death penalty is the ultimate cruel punishment. Abolitionists
tend to advance two main reasons why it must go: it does not deter crime; and,
as justice systems around the world are flawed, there is more than a
possibility that someone will be punished wrongly, and irrevocably. These are
sound arguments, backed by statistics. But there is no more important strike
against capital punishment than the sheer barbarity of taking another person's
life even under sanction of law. There is no humane method of execution either.
Death by hanging, lethal injection, electrocution, beheading, shooting are
equally repugnant in their intent to take life, and in the violence they
inflict on the condemned person. Proponents of the death penalty argue that
this is the only way to compensate, or provide justice to, those affected by
heinous crimes such as murder or terrorism. But an ‘eye for an eye' has no
place in a modern, progressive criminal justice system. Internationally, there
is an increasing trend towards abolition, with 96 countries doing away with it
and 34 countries being abolitionist in practice by observing official or
unofficial moratoria on executions. Each of the three United Nations
resolutions calling for a moratorium has seen more countries backing it. On the
other hand, China, the United States, Iran and other West Asian countries, and
countries in South-East Asia buck the trend by frequently using the death
In India, there has been no execution since 2004 but that is poor consolation
considering the swelling number of those who face the threat of execution.
Indian courts handed down105 death sentences last year, according to Amnesty
International. Earlier this week, President Pratibha Patil dismissed the
clemency pleas of Murugan, Santhan, and Perarivalan, on death row for the
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The Home Ministry has advised President Patil to
dismiss the plea of Afzal Guru, sentenced to death in the 2001 Parliament
attack case. Without going into the possible motives for forefronting these
mercy petitions at this politically difficult time for the United Progressive
Alliance government, it must be recognised that both were monstrous crimes that
deserved the harshest civilised punishment — an actual lifetime in prison
rather than the seven to 14-year apology of a life sentence. It has been The
Hindu's consistent stand for decades that India must make a clean break with a
savage tradition by abolishing capital punishment. An immediate moratorium on
executions should be the first step.
(source: Editorial, The Hindu)
No cyber law use for death penalty: report
Legislation surrounding Australia's ascension to the European Convention on
Cybercrime must not allow for information to be sent offshore that would result
in the death penalty, a parliamentary committee has today advised.
The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 was first introduced into
parliament in June, and was passed by the lower house before being referred to
committee in the Senate. The Bill, when passed, will amend two criminal Acts
(the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 and the Criminal Code Act
1995) and two telecommunications Acts (the Telecommunications (Interception and
Access) Act 1979 and the Telecommunications Act 1997), which will allow
Australia to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.
The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime is a treaty designed to foster
cooperation and common policy between nations to deal with crimes committed on
computer networks across the globe, such as online fraud or child pornography
offences. Over 40 countries are party to the convention, and it has been in
place since 2004.
In Australia, police will be given greater powers under the proposed
legislation to force internet service providers (ISPs) to retain data of
customers who are suspected to have committed a cybercrime while the matter is
being investigated. However, according to Attorney-General Robert McClelland,
the authorities will only be able to access that data once a warrant has been
The committee's report (PDF) into the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill
2011, handed down in the Senate today, made 13 recommendations for amendments
to the Bill allowing for greater oversight of information sharing between law
enforcement agencies by the government. In cases where information being
transferred offshore may be used in a case that would attract the death
penalty, the committee has recommended that data only be sent with the approval
of the attorney-general or the Home Affairs minister.
In order to achieve this, the committee has recommended that the
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 be amended so that
discretionary grounds for refusing a mutual assistance request fall in line
with those set out in the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987:
"The attorney-general must refuse assistance to a foreign country if the
offence carries the death penalty in that country, unless he or she is of the
opinion that special circumstances of the case warrant the provision of
assistance (section 8 (1A) of the MA Act). Under section 8(1B), the
attorney-general may also refuse assistance where the assistance may result in
the death penalty being imposed, and, having regard to the interests of
international cooperation, decided that assistance should not be granted."
In Telstra's submission to the inquiry, the telco raised concerns about
"possible secondary uses" of customer information that may have been passed
legally to international law enforcement agencies. In response to this concern,
the committee has recommended that the Mutual Assistance Act be amended to
include a discretionary ground that would allow Australia to decline a request
if the country of origin's privacy protections are not substantially similar to
Since Australia's privacy laws are not as clearly outlined as they are in
European law, the committee has also advised that the legislation be amended
"to elaborate the conditions of disclosure of historical and existing
telecommunications data to foreign countries, including in relation to
retention and destruction of the information, and an express prohibition on any
secondary use by the foreign country". The committee has also asked the
attorney-general to look at whether those who are having their data retained
should be informed of that fact, provided that it would not prejudice an
The committee also suggested that ISPs be required to destroy preserved data as
soon as it is no longer required by law enforcement agencies, unless the ISP
needs that data in the regular course of business, and that the
attorney-general should review whether smaller ISPs, which are exempt from the
Privacy Act, should no longer be exempt from privacy regulation with the
passage of legislation.
During the inquiry, Telstra highlighted concerns that implementing a data
retention system would be expensive in time and money for ISPs, and that the
providers should not have to foot the bill. Rather than directing that any
compensation should be offered to the telcos, the committee has said that the
Attorney-General's Department should consult widely with the ISPs to ensure
that the legislation, "when enacted, can be implemented in a timely and
Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam told the parliament
today that the Bill was a "colossal overreach" that would encroach upon the
civil liberties of Australians in the name of law enforcement and
counter-terrorism, and has left the door open for scope creep. He was concerned
that the scheme would turn into full data retention.
"This does not just pertain to acts of terrorism or to child pornography or
child abuse material. This relates to everything, every form of offense and
every form of data," he said, adding that the Attorney-General's Department is
seeking to push its data retention agenda through this legislation, after
public outcry following ZDNet Australia's initial revelation of plans.
"Here it comes again, sneaking in under the cover of an otherwise sensible Bill
about signing onto this European Convention. The convention itself, don't
forget, these police powers in many European countries occur on the back of
very strong human rights protections that don't exist in Australia," he said.
"There are very serious grey areas in this Bill," Ludlam said pleading with the
government to review the committee report and "don't simply serve up the Bill
unamended ... this one needs a second thought".
The Senate will debate the Bill at a later date yet to be determined.
(source: ZDNet Australia)
Indonesia says Patek could face death penalty
Indonesian police said Thursday they will charge Bali bomb suspect Umar Patek
under the anti-terrorism law as well as with premeditated murder, either of
which could see him executed if convicted.
National police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said the 41-year-old who was
arrested in Pakistan earlier this year had breached the 2003 anti-terror law by
smuggling weapons and concealing information about a terrorist training camp.
He would be charged under the criminal code with premeditated murder in
relation to the 202 people killed in bombings of tourist night-spots on Bali
island in 2002.
Police say Patek has confessed to assembling the bombs used in the Bali
attacks, as well as to carrying out out a series of church bombings in
Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000.
As the last Bali mastermind still on the run, Patek was one of Asia's most
wanted terror suspects and had a US$1 million bounty on his head under the US
rewards for justice programme.
He was arrested in Pakistan early this year in the town where Osama bin Laden
was subsequently killed by US commandos.
(source: Channel News Asia)
Execution freeze leaves Pakistan's hangmen idle----A moratorium in Pakistan
against the death penalty has been welcomed by human rights activists who say
that Pakistan’s police and prosecution system lacks the competency to produce
His house is by a graveyard. His favorite haunt – a makeshift men’s club where
fellow Christians while away the day sipping tea and singing folk songs – is a
large carpet spread beneath an old tree in a graveyard. For Sabir Masih, 1 of 3
hangmen in Pakistan’s most populous Punjab province, death is a way of life.
“As you know, in Islam and in Christianity the response to death is death,”
says the tall, dark-skinned hangman. “And that’s the way it should be.”
But for the past 2 years, Pakistan’s gallows have remained unused, and Mr.
Masih has showed up at work, at Lahore’s infamous Kot Lakhpat jail, just to
collect his pay checks. That’s because, since 2009, Pakistan’s civilian
government led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has refused to sign
execution papers for some 8,000 prisoners on death row.
“Our opposition to the death penalty is on compassionate grounds. We feel if
the death penalty can be avoided, that is good,” says Farhatullah Babar, a
parliamentarian and spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari.
The moratorium has been welcomed by human rights activists who say that
Pakistan’s police and prosecution system lacks the competency to produce
reliable convictions. It’s also a rare positive in a country where human rights
abuses are all too common.
Prior to the moratorium in 2009, hangings in Pakistan had increased annually
under the military-ruler President Pervez Musharraf. According to figures
compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), 134 hangings took
place in Pakistan in 2007, placing it among the world’s top executioners,
alongside China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
“Given that the miscarriage of justice is widespread, given there is nothing
resembling due process, stopping the death penalty is only the humane course of
action,” says Ali Dayan Hassan, a Pakistan researcher for Human Rights Watch.
“We are of the view that the death penalty should be abolished,” he adds.
Still, Pakistan's police force is considered one of its weakest institutions
and is often criticized for chronic corruption and cultural prejudices
affecting women and religious minorities in the country. Though the
death-penalty is currently inactive, extra-judicial killings remain common.
“At times I would have to hang five men in one day,” recalls Masih, adding that
he, personally, has over 200 executions to his credit. The hanging profession
is something of a family tradition for Masih: His grandfather hung Bhagat
Singh, a socialist freedom fighter who sought independence from British rule in
1931, while his grand-uncle hung former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in
1979. These days, he spends much of his time at his club reminiscing about the
“good days” with his friends.
Of those he executed, he says, “Most would beg forgiveness from Allah. Some
accepted their guilt. Once, I hung a pair of brothers, before dawn, who came to
the gallows singing a song ‘Hush stars, the day is coming and you won’t be
Death by a Christian?
Some protested at being executed by a Christian, though their complaints went
unheeded. Christians are the largest minority in Pakistan’s Punjab province
(their estimated is population is about 6 million), and often take jobs that
Muslims consider too lowly or vulgar, such as waste collection. All three of
Punjab’s executioners are Christian, says Masih.
According to Pakistan’s Sharia law, a murderer may be pardoned if blood money
is paid to the victim’s family. When a family fell short of the full-amount,
says Masih, prison staff would organize a collection among themselves in order
to avoid an execution if at all possible. Sometimes, they would still fall
short. “The system of justice is loaded against the poor, and that lack of
financial means puts those accused of death penalty offenses at a serious
disadvantage,” says Najim U Din, a researcher at HRCP.
Pakistan’s Sharia laws also make it difficult for the government to make the
moratorium permanent by changing the law, says Mr. Babar. At present, those
awaiting the death sentence have had their executions postponed indefinitely,
because, according to some interpretations of the law, the president may not
pardon a murderer if the victim’s family has decided he or she should be
awarded death. “We would need a cross-party consensus to change the
constitution. Many consider abolition un-Islamic,” he says.
Meanwhile, according to Mr. U Din, death penalty offenses remain on the statute
books and courts continue to award the death penalty on the pre-moratorium
rates. Should a new government find itself in power following elections in
2013, Masih may find he’s back in business.
(source: Christian Science Monitor)
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