[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Thu Oct 20 14:41:55 CDT 2011
Reps seek death sentence for kidnappers
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed for the 2nd reading, a bill
recommending death by hanging as punishment for kidnapping and hostage taking
in the country.
The bill, which was jointly sponsored by Honourable Friday Itula (PDP, Edo
State), Honourable Samson Osagie (ACN, Edo State) and Honourable Dickson Henry
Seriake (PDP, Bayelsa State), initially prescribed life imprisonment for
anybody liable on conviction for involvement in kidnapping activities.
During the debate on the bill before it passed through the second reading,
members said that life jail was a mild punishment for kidnappers in view of
what they make their victims and relations to go through, hence the need for
To this end, the House committed the bill to its Committees on Justice, Police
Affairs and Human Rights for further legislative inputs.
Honourable Rotimi Makinde (ACN, Osun State), Honourable Arunsi Arua (Abia
State), Honourable Shehu Shagari (Sokoto State) and Honourable Pally Iriale
(Edo State) recommended death penalty for kidnappers in order to put an end to
the dastardly act.
The bill also recommended a jail term of not more than 10 years without an
option of fine for any persons who attempt to commit the offence under Section
1(1) and Section 2 of the act on conviction.
Kidnapping according to the bill, involves seizure, confinement, enticement,
decoys, abduction, concealment or carrying away of another person by any means
whatsoever with intent to hold or detain the person for a ransom or extortion.
(source: Nigerian Tribune)
Iraq okays executions of 53, including 5 foreigners
Iraq's presidency approved on Thursday the executions of 53 people, including 5
foreigners, according to the head of the presidency council office.
"There are 53 people who have been approved for execution -- among them are 5
foreigners," Nassir al-Ani told AFP. He provided no further details of who the
people were who would be executed, or the nationalities of the foreign
Ani heads the office of the presidency council, comprised of President Jalal
Talabani and his 2 deputies Tareq al-Hashemi and Khudayr al-Khuzaie, which must
approve all death sentences in Iraq.
Last month, Abdelsattar Birakdar, the spokesman of the Higher Judicial Council,
said 338 death sentences had been issued so far this year, and 3 executions had
been carried out.
Iraq's Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said in December 2010 that Iraq
has executed 257 people, including 6 women, since 2005.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is an ardent supporter of capital punishment, but
President Jalal Talabani is a staunch opponent.
Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog, noted in a September 2009 that
Iraq was 1 of only 46 countries that voted against a December 2008 UN
resolution in favour of a moratorium on the use of capital punishment. The
resolution was approved by 106 states.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Graduate's conviction, death sentence upheld by court of appeal
The Court of Appeal here today upheld the conviction and death sentence on a
graduate over the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Norzi Ayu Mohd Noor, 7 years
A 3-man panel unanimously dismissed Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
economics graduate Irawadi Mohammad's appeal to quash the decision of a High
Court to convict and sentence him to death.
The panel comprised Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, Datuk Sulaiman Daud and Datuk
Clement Allan Skinner.
Irawadi, 30, was found guilty by the Shah Alam High Court on Nov 11, 2009, of
killing medical researcher Norzi Ayu, 27, in her home at 2-1-6, Block ST2,
Apartment Sri Tanjung, Jalan 7/1D in Section 7, Bandar Baru Bangi between
3.30pm and 5pm on July 26, 2004.
The victim had dated Irawadi for 2 years while studying at UKM, only to break
up with him before the murder. Norzi Ayu was seeing someone else after the
Evidence of a witness revealed that Irawadi was said to have uttered: "If I
can't have her, no one can."
A post-mortem report and forensic pathologist's testimony confirmed Norzi Ayu
died of massive blood loss due to injury to the main blood vessel in the
abdomen, caused by stabbing with a sharp weapon.
In delivering the decision, Zaleha said the panel disagreed with the contention
of Irawadi's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, that there was a mis-trial because
the third judge who took over his case, Judicial Commissioner Mohd Yazid
Mustafa, had ruled that the prosecution had proved a prima facie case against
Irawadi when there already existed an earlier ruling by another judge.
The evidence of 20 prosecution witnesses was heard by then High Court judge
Datuk K. N. Segara (now appellate court judge).
Submissions made by the defence and prosecution at the end of the prosecution's
case was subsequently, heard by another judge, Nallini Pathmanathan, after
Segara transferred the case before her (Nallini) with the consent of the
prosecution, defence and Irawadi.
Mohd Yazid took over the conduct of the case upon his transfer to the court.
Zaleha said, records showed the second presiding judge made a prima facie
finding, and that the 3rd presiding judge did not make another finding on prima
facie. Instead, he took over the case from where the second presiding judge had
Irawadi was represented by Hisyam and Imran Hadzalie Abdul Hamid while Fatnin
Yusof was the deputy public prosecutor.
3 Convicts On Death Row Survive Hangman
3 convicts who were on death row at Luzira Prison will not face the hangman
after High Court yesterday substituted their maximum penalty to just countable
Enoch Tumuwine, Abdu Maliyamungu and Walker Muhairwe, who were found guilty of
aggravated robbery about a decade ago, appeared before Justice Vincent Kibuuka
The first 2 had their sentences reduced to 15 years while Muhairwe's sentence
was lessened to 20 years. The convicts, through their lawyers, had applied for
mitigation basing on the Supreme Court ruling delivered on January 21 2009.
The ruling stated, among others, that death row convicts whose sentences were
still pending before an appellate court, had their cases sent back to the High
Court for mitigation of sentence, and the court may pass such sentence as it
deems fit under the law.
Justice Kibuuka said the death sentence is no longer mandatory. "Since the
death sentence is no longer mandatory, it is substituted with 15 years," he
said while lessening Tumumwine's sentence.
The ruling further stated that if a convict on death row spends more than 3
years without being executed, the maximum penalty is reversed to life
imprisonment which is 20 years.
Maliyamungu was convicted and sentenced in 2002 after being found guilty of
attempting to use a pistol to rob Shs10m from Ms Grace Nansubuga, a cashier
then at Makerere University.
Muhairwe and his now deceased, co-accused, John Mugizi were found guilty of
killing Johnson Mugarura, who was shot to death before being robbed in 1998.
Another known death row convict Susan Kigula who killed her husband Herbert
Sseremba by cutting off his head with the help of a house maid Patience Nasamba
in Kawempe, Kampala in 2000 also appeared before the same court for purposes of
This was not possible as both the prosecution and the defence lawyers led by
Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa were not ready and the mitigation was adjourned to
(source: All Africa News)
Dar mulls repealing capital punishment
Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Celina KombaniTanzania has said
it recognises and appreciates the international community’s call in abolishing
death penalty although she retains it.
Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Celina Kombani told the just
ended regional conference on the abolition or moratorium on the execution of
the death penalty in Kigali, Rwanda.
She said while appreciating the international community’s efforts in abolishing
death penalty, Tanzania as a democratic country also recognised the importance
of involving her people in dealing with issues that had a direct impact on
their lives, including the death penalty.
“This is the position of Tanzania. A special committee was formed by the
government to collect opinions from members of the public on whether or not the
death penalty should be abolished,” she said.
She said further that the committee realised that the majority of Tanzanians
were for the retention of the death penalty.
“Since the public opinion on the death penalty is divided and taking into
account principles of the rule of law and democracy, the government
commissioned the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania to carry out research on the
death penalty and come up with appropriate recommendations,” said Kombani,
adding that the commission had already submitted its report and the government
was working on it.
Despite the existence of the death penalty for the last 16 years, Tanzania has
been exercising unofficial (de facto) moratorium.
“In other words, the last execution in Tanzania was carried out in 1994. The de
facto moratorium is exercised under the president’s prerogative,” she stressed.
“A process to reach the decision of hanging a person to death is so stringent
that the death penalty in Tanzania is only passed by the High Court,” she said.
She explained further that free legal aid service was provided to accused
persons facing charges that attracted the death penalty to ensure they were
legally represented during trial.
The minister stressed that a person sentenced to death by hanging by the High
Court had an automatic right of appeal to the Court of Appeal, which was the
highest Court in Tanzania.
Kombani said once a death sentence was passed and confirmed by the Court of
Appeal there was an advisory committee on the prerogative of mercy which
advised the president on an appropriate procedure of carrying out the sentence.
“In advising the president, the committee considers the views of relatives of
both the victim and convict, including the convict’s own submission to the
committee,” said the minister.
She said in addition to the committee, the president also directed the
sentencing Court to submit to him a written report on the case.
“These mechanisms, to a larger extent, provide a safeguard against arbitrary
execution of the death penalty,” she said.
She said since Tanzania was embarking on a constitutional review process and
bearing in mind that the right to life was enshrined in the Constitution, there
was the likelihood that during the constitutional review process, members of
the public might have an opportunity of expressing their opinions on the death
>From a human rights perspective, the death penalty is cruel, inhuman and
degrading with lethal consequences.
Already activists have questioned Tanzania’s quietness in abolishing it, saying
it is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.
In Tanzania, there have been several historical decisions that were made to
depict the cruelty of the death penalty as was the case with the late Chief
Justice James Mwalusanya who in the famous death penalty case of Republic v
Mbushuu alias Dominic Mnyaroje 1994 TLR, case No. 146 of the High Court,
bravely and boldly came forward and challenged the constitutionality of the
death penalty. In his words and in deciding this case he said:
“I hold that the two petitioners have managed to prove on a balance of
probabilities that the death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading
punishment and or treatment and also that it offends the right to dignity of
man in the process of execution of the sentence.
“At the same time the Republic has failed to prove on a balance of
probabilities that the impugned law is in the public interest and that it is a
lawful law under article 30(2) of the Constitution. It is, therefore, my
finding that the death penalty is unconstitutional – and, therefore, void as
per article 64(5) of the Constitution. Order accordingly.”
Activists have called upon a need to abolish the death penalty and alternate it
with life imprisonment on account that no justice system is safe from judicial
error and innocent people are likely to be sentenced to death.
The activists filed a petition at the High Court of Tanzania on October 10,
2008 calling upon the government to scrap the death penalty in its country
books and alternate it for the life imprisonment.
(source: The Guardian)
Iran hangs 3 convicted murderers
Iran on Thursday hanged three men convicted of murdering a man in the city of
Qazvin, north of the country, the Fars news agency reported.
The report did not identify them but said that the murder occurred 5 years ago.
There was no additional information.
The hanging brings to 231 the number of executions in Iran so far this year,
according to an AFP tally based on media and official reports.
Human Rights Watch counted 388 executions in Iran in 2010, while Amnesty
International put the figure at 252, ranking the Islamic republic 2nd only to
China in the number of people put to death last year.
Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that
it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes
punishable by death in Iran.
(sources: SAPA, Agence France-Presse)
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