[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Mon Oct 3 16:48:20 CDT 2011
The death penalty: An open letter to the US ambass
On September 21, in Jackson, Georgia, the 42-year-old Afro-American Troy Davis
was put to death.
The execution of Davis has shocked the world. You may reply that the execution
was "prescribed by law and after due process". This is no longer a sufficient
reply. The great majority of members of the world organisation you helped found
already formally request a moratorium on such actions. International law
continues to require ever more narrow interpretation of the phrase "most
serious crimes" of Article 6.2, edging closer to an outright rejection of
"Any man's death diminishes me," wrote John Donne. Personally, I felt the
diminishment. All capital punishment is abhorrent. The executioners speak with
contempt of the "weaklings" who cannot stomach judicial killing. In fact it is
the strong who object, and do not just turn away with a tear in the eye.
The reason that the death penalty is a necessary deterrent has long been shown
to be a falsehood. The arguments are well known. One must counter that the
state, or any human agent, does not have the authority to deprive anyone of
life. It is thus written in the highest rule of life, the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.
You may respond further that it is the duty of an ambassador to uphold the laws
of the state she represents. I think not. The death penalty is a matter of
conscience, and no state may impose it on any of us. You lived in the
Philippines at the time that the death penalty there was abolished. For one
reason or another you may not risk a personal opinion on the issue, but at
least you may report the revulsion felt throughout the world to the execution
of Troy Davis. He spent 20 years on the ill-named "death row". We can have no
real understanding of the horror of such an experience. I can guess a little
from conversations with the condemned in Bang Kwang prison. Madame Ambassador,
you know the French language; doubtless you have read in its emotive original
Le Dernier Jour d'un Condamne by Victor Hugo. You may be familiar with the
writings of Robert Badinter, who visited his clients, the last men to be
executed in France, every day between their condemnation and execution. In
response to the news of the execution of Troy Davis he spoke of: a judicial
assassination; a stain on US history; a defeat for humanity
A man has been kept on death row for 20 years; a punishment considered cruel,
inhumane and degrading by the European Court of Human Rights. As one of the
founding members of the UN and as a permanent member of the Security Council,
the US has an exceptional responsibility to this body. I ask whether it is
appropriate that your country has declined to accept the call for a moratorium
on the death penalty, first passed by majority vote on December 8, 2007 and
since then twice repeated with an increased majority.
I am aware that your country claims to follow the letter of the law in
retaining the "right" to capital punishment, by adding to Article 3 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sotto voce, the phrase rejected by the
General Assembly of 1948, "except in cases prescribed by law and after due
process". Eleanor Roosevelt urged the rejection of this amendment. More
explicitly, your country claims the justification allowed in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6.2, "sentence of death may be
imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at
the time of the commission of the crime".
But we are no longer in 1948, nor even 1966, the date of the International
Covenant referred to. In 1966, Article 6.6 indicated that the allowance of
Section 6.2 was a temporary measure, allowing time to adapt to the full
requirement of abolition: "6.6 … Nothing in this article shall be invoked to
delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by a State Party to the
In 2011, attitudes to the death penalty have greatly changed. In his report to
the UN Human Rights Council, the UN secretary-general points out that, "About
140 of the 192 state members of the United Nations are believed to have
abolished the death penalty or introduced a moratorium either legally, or in
When we consider details of this case, the story becomes worse.
In 1991 Troy Davis was condemned to death for the murder of a white policeman
in 1989. There was no physical evidence that he committed the crime, nor was
the weapon ever produced. His condemnation followed the evidence of 9 witnesses
who identified him as the murderer. Seven of those witnesses later retracted
their evidence, some saying that their evidence was given under pressure of
police persuasion. The identification parade was carried out in a way which is
no longer tolerated; before seeing the parade, witnesses had been shown a
picture of Troy Davis, and told that this was the man they were expected to
identify. The identification parade is now known to be a very flawed process.
The standard of evidence in the trial was far short of the standards for
capital punishment. You will be aware that the standard of evidence in cases
involving the death penalty is far more demanding than is the case in other
criminal trials. In all probability Troy Davis was innocent.
The execution was delayed for four hours until the Supreme Court ordered the
lethal injection to proceed. Is there another Victor Hugo, who can decode for
us this ultimate inhumanity? President Obama declined to intervene. Before he
died, Troy Davis declared that the movement to abolish the death penalty will
go on. Indeed it will, Troy. This case has shocked many, and may well prove
decisive in leading to abolition. One may also truly pity the wife of the slain
policeman who declared her satisfaction that vengeance was achieved.
This letter is addressed to Your Excellency ahead of October 10, World Day for
Abolition of the Death Penalty. One ambassador in Thailand has submitted her
plea to the government of Thailand to proceed with abolition. Other ambassadors
have assured me that they avail of every opportunity to make the same
submission to the Royal Thai Government. Perhaps Your Excellency can find some
diplomatic way to express support for an initiative parallel to that taken in
(source: The Nation; Danthong Breen is chairman of the Union for Civil Liberty)
EA Still Needs Death Penalty
To hang or not to hang murderers has in our times become a heated subject of
political thought and emerging social philosophy. Like in many other winds of
change though, the campaign comes not so much from within but far afield in the
so called older democracies.
European countries would like to see Africa abolish the death penalty,
punishment that was inherited from their colonial rule.
There can be no doubt that condemning a person to death is one the gravest
decisions that judges have to make. It is needless to belabour our imagination
also about how traumatising the actual taking of another person's life is to
the hangman and jailers in general even if such an order is carried out in the
name of state justice.
The holy scriptures also do not leave us with a clear course of action. There
is on the one hand, the very strong admonition: "Though shall not kill." But,
the same scriptures also warn strongly that whoever kills by the sword shall
also perish by the sword. Clerics can advance the arguments further but suffice
here to say the subject is fairly complex.
Abolitionists of the death penalty often argue that it has failed to stop more
murders being committed. In other words, the death penalty is no deterrence
against the commission of murder as a crime. That is fair enough. But on the
other hand, society knows very little of what would happen if there was no
death penalty. It is quite possible that without the death penalty, many people
would feel less restrained to take the life of other persons.
The main question to ask is whether East Africa is ready for the abolition of
the death penalty. Admitted, there can be no time when it is ideal to take or
not to take another person's life. But as judges generally observed in a recent
meeting about the subject in Nairobi, the death penalty also serves as
"justice" for the victim of a murder. Of course the victim is never there to
see that delivery of justice by the courts of law except as witnessed by
relatives and friends.
It is also true that law as promulgated by man can never be perfect. It is also
quite possible that mistakes can sometimes be committed in the delivery of
justice, including wrongful handout of the death penalty by judges. Yet, to
cast doubt on some sentences passed by our courts is the same as trashing our
entire judicial system.
Suffice to say that East Africa as a region still needs the death penalty.
However, this is one subject that could need the involvement of the people in
order to reach consensus.
A simple survey often produces quite mixed feelings about the matter. There are
perhaps as many people who oppose the death penalty as those who support it. It
might be pertinent therefore to hold a referendum on the matter as basic
culture for entrenching broader democracy in a region that works on greater
integration with each passing day.
(source: Opinion, Mboneko Munyaga, All Africa News)
Iran hangs 7 drug traffickers, 1 rapist
8 people who were previously convicted of serious crimes including rape were
hung in northern and southern Iran on Sunday, state-run media reported on
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that an unidentified man was
hung in Sari, the capital of Mazandaran Province, after he was previously
convicted of raping a woman through deception and intimidation. Other details
about the case were not released.
In Shiraz, the country's 6th most populous city and the capital of Fars
province, 7 men were hung after they were convicted of trafficking drugs. ISNA
said the men already had a criminal history before they were arrested.
Murder, rape and drugs trafficking are among the crimes which are punishable by
death in Iran. Dozens of people were executed across the country last month
alone, including 22 convicted drug traffickers who were all hung on the same
day in the Tehran suburb of Karaj.
But the most controversial execution last month took place on September 21 when
17-year-old Alireza Molla Soltani was executed after stabbing a popular athlete
to death in mid-July. The teenager argued he stabbed the athlete in
self-defense but a court still ordered he be executed in breach of
international law which forbids executing anyone below the age of 18.
According to Amnesty International, the Iranian government acknowledged that at
least 252 people were executed in Iran last year, although Amnesty's reports
indicate the actual figure is more than 550. Among those executed were five
women and one adult who committed his crime when he was underage.
The vast majority of those executed in Iran last year was for alleged drug
trafficking, a crime authorities claim has led to the deaths of more than 4,000
police officers in recent years.
According to human rights groups, trials in Iran do often not meet
international standards of fairness. Proceedings, particularly those held
outside Tehran, are often summary, lasting only a few minutes. Mass trials also
take place on some occasions.
In October 2010, Amnesty International reported, Iran's Interior Minister
stated that the campaign against drug trafficking was being intensified and the
Prosecutor General stated in the same month that new measures had been taken to
speed up the judicial processing of drug-trafficking cases, including by
referring all such cases to his office, thereby denying them a right to appeal
to a higher tribunal as is required under international law.
2 months later, the amended Anti-Narcotics Law came into force, apparently
making it easier to sentence to death those convicted of drug trafficking,
according to Amnesty International. The law also extended the scope of the
death penalty to include additional categories of illegal drugs such as crystal
meth, possession of which became punishable by death. Under the Anti-Narcotics
Law, some defendants are not granted a right to appeal as their convictions and
sentences are confirmed by the state Prosecutor-General.
Family members of executed persons also faced persecution in some cases last
year and were often not given the bodies of their relatives for burial. Others
said that they had to pay officials in order to receive their relatives' bodies
as payment for the rope used to hang them.
Iranian Pastor Faces Death Penalty; International Community Weighs In
A young Iranian pastor currently faces the death penalty for refusing to recant
his Christian faith.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was charged with apostasy for supposedly converting
from Islam as a teenager and was sentenced to death last week when he refused
to renounce his beliefs before the Iranian Supreme Court. The international
community, including the U.S. State Department, has expressed outrage at Iran’s
blatant disregard for human rights and continued oppression of religious
A husband and father of two young children, Nadarkhani has been imprisoned
since October 2009, when he attempted to register his 400-member church with
Iranian authorities. Although Iranian officials could not conclusively
establish that the young pastor had ever been a practicing Muslim, the Iranian
Supreme Court convicted Nadarkhani of apostasy merely because he has Muslim
U.S. leaders have denounced Iran’s actions and called for greater respect for
religious freedom from the country’s government. Calling religious freedom a
“universal human right,” House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) urged the Iranian
government to “abandon this dark path” and release Nadarkhani without
Representative James Lankford (R–OH) likewise stated that Iran’s detainment of
Nadarkhani “clearly shows that they devalue basic human liberty and faith in
pursuit of unrelenting control of their country.” He continued: “It is a
discriminatory belief that has led to the religious persecution of many Iranian
citizens who are endowed with the unalienable right that all men and women
around the world have to pursue a more fulfilling and joyous life through
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on the situation, saying the
United States is “deeply concerned” about the religious persecution perpetuated
by the Iranian regime: “The United States stands with the international
community and all Iranians against the Iranian government’s hypocritical
statements and actions, and we continue to call for a government that respects
the human rights and freedom of all those living in Iran.”
The need is great for the international community to speak out against the
serious religious oppression of the Iranian government and particularly the
looming death of Nadarkhani. The profound importance of religious liberty to
upholding other democratic freedoms, as evidenced in America’s own history,
should be integrated into U.S. public diplomacy.
As Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall writes in a backgrounder entitled “Religious
Liberty: An Idea Worth Sharing Through Public Diplomacy”:
The international freedom agenda should better integrate the ongoing work to
promote religious liberty, the “first freedom.” … The vision of religious
liberty needs to be robust. Condemning and curtailing religious persecution is
a critical goal, but a more expansive agenda should seek to promote political
conditions that consistently apply religious liberty tenets rooted in
International attention from both official government sources and private
religious groups has a track record of successfully opposing state-sanctioned
persecution of members of minority faiths. As Nina Shea, a commissioner on the
U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom, points out: “Not only were
American hikers accused of spying for Israeli recently released, but 13 Iranian
Jews convicted in 2000 of spying for Israel and facing the death penalty were
all released by 2003—but only after voices had been raised in Washington and
other Western capitals.”
The U.S. cannot defer to others to uphold human rights. The United Nations
Human Rights Council, for instance, has a dismal record of denouncing human
rights violations, including those in Iran. As Heritage’s Brett Schaefer
China, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea have submitted false reports to the council,
laughably affirming their commitment to fundamental human rights and freedoms.
A majority of the council accepted these patently dishonest reports at face
value and approved them. A final decision on the death penalty is still pending
before a lower Iranian court. The American Center for Law and Justice, which
has been in constant contact with Nadarkhani’s attorney over the past week,
suggests that the international community’s cries to release the young pastor
may have begun to ring in the ears of the Iranian judges. This incident should
remind the U.S. State Department and government leaders of the profound role
America can play in advancing the cause of human liberty by staunchly defending
religious liberty in public diplomacy.
(source: The Foundry)
Dead wrong: Catholics must no longer support capital punishment
The Catholic Church's position on capital punishment has evolved considerably
over the centuries.
And as a result, "it is not a message that is immediately understood -- that
there is no room for supporting the death penalty in today's world," said a
Vatican's expert on capital punishment and arms control.
Because the church has only in the past few decades begun closing the window --
if not shutting it completely -- on the permissibility of the death penalty,
people who give just a partial reading of the church's teachings may still
think the death penalty is acceptable today, said Tommaso Di Ruzza, desk
officer at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
St. Thomas Aquinas equated a dangerous criminal to an infected limb thereby
making it "praiseworthy and healthful" to kill the criminal in order to spare
the spread of infection and safeguard the common good.
However, over the centuries, justice has evolved from being the smiting arm of
revenge toward a striving for reform and restoration, much like today's medical
science, where amputation is no longer the only recourse for curing an
Modern-day popes have reflected that change in attitude.
As far back as the 19th and early 20th centuries theologians pondered the
seeming paradox between the Fifth Commandment, "You shall not kill," and the
church's dark history of condoning state-held executions to deal with heresy
and other threats and crimes.
Pope Paul VI took concrete action in distancing the church from this form of
punishment, first by formally banning the use of the death penalty in Vatican
City State, although no one had been executed under the authority of the
Vatican's temporal governance since 1870.
Pope Paul also spoke publicly against planned executions and called for
clemency for death-row inmates. Pope John Paul II also would punctuate his
Angelus and general audience talks with impassioned appeals to spare the life
of a prisoner on the verge of execution.
It was the Polish pope who "earnestly hoped and prayed" for a global moratorium
on the use of capital punishment and the abolition of the death penalty
Pope Benedict, too, continues to send appeals for clemency in high-profile
cases via telegrams either through a country's bishops or nuncio, and he has
praised a U.N. resolution calling upon states to institute a moratorium on the
use of the death penalty.
The 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church recognized "as well-founded the right
and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of
penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases
of extreme gravity, the death penalty." At the same time, it said, "bloodless
means" that could protect human life should be used when possible.
The "extreme gravity" loophole was tightened with changes made in 1997, which
reflected the pope's 1995 encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae." It specifies that the
use of the death penalty is allowed only when the identity and responsibility
of the condemned is certain and if capital punishment "is the only possible way
of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor."
However, given the resources and possibilities available to governments today
for restraining criminals, "cases of the absolute necessity of the suppression
of the offender 'are very rare, if not practically nonexistent,'" it says.
Pope Benedict, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had a major role in drafting the
1992 Catechism and, especially, its 1997 revised passages. When he told
journalists about the changes in 1997, he said while the principles do not
absolutely exclude capital punishment, they do give "very severe or limited
criteria for its moral use."
"It seems to me it would be very difficult to meet the conditions today," he
When a journalist said the majority of Catholics in the United States favor use
of the death penalty, Cardinal Ratzinger said, "While it is important to know
the thoughts of the faithful, doctrine is not made according to statistics, but
according to objective criteria taking into account progress made in the
church's thought on the issue."
Di Ruzza said the divergence of many Catholics in the United States from the
church's current position is a sign that "the universal church must also
accompany the particular churches a little bit" and help guide them on this
"journey of purification," which is more a process of "maturity rather than a
revolution or change in tradition."
Without reading Popes John Paul and Benedict's clear condemnations of the death
penalty, the catechism will "unfortunately have the risk of being ambiguous or
taken out of context," he said.
The church upholds the inherent dignity of all human beings, even the most
sin-filled, and believes in hope, conversion and mercy, he said.
There is always room for conversion, he said, and forgiveness does not mean
being naive about the real evil the human being is capable of committing.
The death penalty does not solve much; a victim still feels loss and crime is
not deterred, he said.
Communities must strive to promote the common good, and it's dubious "that you
can kill someone for the good of all," he said.
"The beauty of forgiveness must also be truly discovered; it's this that saves
us," said Di Ruzza.
Otherwise, "by killing the just or the unjust without understanding that they
have dignity, we will find ourselves after 2,000 years in the same courtyard
shouting, 'Kill him!,' like they did with Jesus."
"God forgave us. He did not call us to death. Jesus let us overcome death" so
as to more fully embrace life, he said.
(source: Catholic News Service)
End the Executions in Honour of Maathai
A month ago I wrote about the Judiciary's efficient and professional handling
of the murder of a colleague of mine in Kericho. What I omitted was that the 3
young men found guilty of the crime were sentenced to death.
The family were distraught upon hearing the sentence, insisting that the late
priest would be the 1st to oppose retributive justice.
Yes, the death penalty is more about vengeance than justice, although no one
has been executed for almost a quarter of a century in Kenya.
Still it remains on the statute books because of the ambiguity of Article 26 of
the Constitution that states that everyone has the right to life and should not
be deprived of life intentionally except to the extent authorised by the
Constitution or any other written law. Exceptions border on contradictions in
No such ambiguity, however, in the USA where 1,214 have been executed since
1976, with the state of Texas alone accounting for 40 per cent of those
legalised killings. Statistics also reveal that it is 3 times more likely for a
black to be executed than a white.
The American figures far exceed other countries with disastrous human rights
records like Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran and are on a par with the Chinese who
still retain the death penalty.
Any country that keeps retributive justice on the statute books is more likely
to engage in revenge wars, which might explain the US war in Iraq.
The whole issue of the death penalty resurfaced last week with the execution of
Troy Davis, who had been convicted of the death of a Georgian policeman in
Davis had consistently maintained his innocence and seven prosecution witnesses
even retracted their evidence in support of his claims. There was no physical
evidence in his case, no DNA and no murder weapon produced as an exhibit.
Innocent or not, delaying the execution for over two decades meant that the
state eliminated a different person than the one earlier sentenced.
We may take pride that no public execution has taken place in a quarter of a
century in Kenya. However, if accurate statistics were available we might
discover that there have been more extrajudicial killings since 1976 than legal
executions in the US.
Suspects and most wanted criminals have been summarily executed without fair
trial. The Ngong forest executions are well documented and we have all seen TV
footage of suspects executed with impunity on busy Nairobi roads. We have
become immune to such acts despite their frequency.
A few months ago, human rights organisations came together to organise a
campaign against extrajudicial killings. The conceived plan was that Wangari
Maathai would be the public face of the campaign.
Despite her ailing health, she attended several of the planning meetings. It
was not to be and we now mourn the death of an amazing, vivacious woman who
loved life in its entire cosmic beauty.
We would best honour her by retaining her name on a campaign to end legal and
extrajudicial killings in the country.
(source: opinion, Gabriel Dolan, All Africa News)
Ill-timed death penalty to Qadri
THE death sentence awarded by an anti-terrorism court to Mumtaz Hussain Qadri
was understandable because the late Governor was murdered in the broad daylight
and there were many witnesses to this gory incident. Secondly Mumtaz Qadri
himself admitted in the court of committing the murder though he and his
lawyers quoted from the Holy Quran and Ahadiths to establish that he fulfilled
his religious obligation.
However after the announcement of the penalty, there was strong reaction
outside Adiyala Jail and in Rawalpindi, Lahore and other cities as hundreds of
charged workers of many religious parties came on roads to protest against the
verdict. They expressed their outrage by burning tyres on almost all main
roads, blocking traffic, hitting windowpanes of public and private transport
with sticks and iron rods and ripping portraits of government figures.The
police took the wise decision of not trying to disperse the enraged protestors
otherwise the situation would have gone out of control. The protests indicated
the serious concern of the Pakistani people and it is feared that they could
take a serous turn. The religious parties in Pakistan have a vast following and
they are particularly very strong in organising street protests. Sunni Tehrik
has declared the verdict as political, malafide and discriminatory in
comparison to the Raymond Davis case. They argued that they had offered Diyat
but it was not accepted. The defence counsels had their own complaints saying
that the judgement was announced in their absence and its copy was handed over
to the convict and it is for certain that they would go for an appeal. However
at this juncture when Pakistan is facing a number of problems due to divisive
issues and above all the serious threats from the United States, there is need
for national unity. In our view the verdict at this point of time was ill
(source: Pakistan Observer)
Muslims, extremists and others, oppose death penalty for “hero” Mumtaz Qadri
“Release Mumtaz Qadri the Islamic hero”, “a true worrier of Islam”, “By
punishing one Mumtaz Qadri, you will produce a thousand Mumtaz Qadris!" are
some of the slogans uttered by Pakistani (and non-Pakistani) Muslim extremists
as they protested against the sentence inflicted upon Salman Taseer’s killer.
On Saturday, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) handed down the death sentence to
Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of the governor of
Punjab Salman Taseer, who was killed by his bodyguard on 4 January for
defending Asia Bibi against charges based on Pakistan’s blasphemy legislation.
Taseer had described the latter as a ‘black law’.
At the end of the proceedings, judge Syed Pervez Ali Shah was escorted out of
the Adyala Jail, where the trial was held, through a side gate to avoid Qadri’s
supporters who had gathered outside the facility (see Jibran Khan, “Pakistan:
death sentence for Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri,” in AsiaNews 01
During the weekend, Islamic extremist movements and fundamentalist groups
demonstrated in Pakistan’s main cities, including Karachi, Lahore and
Despite the massive police deployment and the presence of security forces,
protesters blockaded roads and burnt garbage bins and tyres. In Rawalpindi, the
Benazir Bhutto monument in Liquat Bagh was damaged.
Officials from the Sunni Tehreek movement said the verdict was passed to
“please the Jewish lobby”. Demonstrators also shouted slogans and waved their
party’s green and yellow flag.
Members of the Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat (TNR) also called for the sentence
to be rescinded.
Among Muslim extremists, there is virtual unanimity condemnation for the
sentence. The judge himself has received threats for sentencing a “hero of
Mullah Abbas Qasim, TNR leader in Karachi, said Mumtaz Qadri’s face was “full
of Noor” (heavenly light) because he killed a man “who was supporting the
repeal of the blasphemy law.” For this reason, he called on “all Muslims” to
“save our brother”.
Mufti Hanif Qureshi of Rawalpindi added that as a Muslim, “Taseer committed
blasphemy” and for this reason Qadri was “justified”. The same fate will “fall
on the Christian blasphemer, Asia Bibi”.
The sentence against the murderer of Punjab governor was welcomed among
Christians, even though they all insist on the sacredness of life.
Mgr Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad, stressed the importance of the
separation between “state and religion” because Qadri’s defence was based on
the “flaws of Pakistan’s constitution, which is based on a specific religion.”
“Death is not something to celebrate,” said Haroon Barkat Masih, president of
the Masihi Foundation. Instead, “we should celebrate justice” and “support the
work of the judiciary”.
In commenting the sentence, he added that no one should “rejoice in the pain
this man shall suffer;” however, “let’s rejoice over the fact that for once, at
least, justice has prevailed”.
Fr Francis Xavier, a priest and activist in Lahore, said that Qadri wanted to
“become a hero, and in Pakistan, all you have to do “is commit some violent act
in the name of Islam”.
The murder “is already a hero, a murderer raised to the level of a saint,
respected by prison guards,” the clergyman explained. “Imagine what would
happen if he should be released” from prison.
For Anglican Bishop Alexander John Malik, the court reached a “good decision”.
Although “I am against the death penalty,” sometimes it is necessary “to take
courageous decisions to ensure respect for the law.”
(source: Asia News)
British MP to move UN body for Bhullar
A British lawmaker on Sunday lent his support to Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, a
death row convict in the 1993 Delhi blast, saying he would take up the issue of
clemency to him with international jurist and rights panels.
Liberal Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Simon Hughes said on his return to UK within a week he would take up the issue
of clemency to Bhullar with Geneva based International Commission of Jurists
and the UNO's Human Rights Commission. The clemency petition of Bhullar,
sentenced to death for his role in 1993 bomb blast in Delhi targeting the
cavalcade of then Youth Congress President Maninderjit Singh Bitta in which
nine security personnel were killed, has been rejected by the President.
In many cases in India, people spent life in prison and then it came to light
that they were innocent, he said adding that death penalty shouldn't be awarded
to Bhullar as the matter could again be discussed or investigated further.
(source: The Times of India)
More information about the DeathPenalty