[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Thu Feb 2 16:33:40 CST 2012
Germans, Moroccan face death in Malaysia drug case
2 Germans and a Moroccan man are facing the death penalty on charges of
smuggling more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of methamphetamine into Malaysia,
known for its strict anti-drug laws.
A district court near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport charged the three
men on January 13 with drug trafficking, said a customs official who declined
to be named.
Airport officials arrested the men arriving from Istanbul on January 1 after
finding 10.2 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the bags they were
carrying, the official said Wednesday.
He said no plea had been recorded from the three pending the case’s transfer to
a high court once a chemist report on the drugs is ready.
The 2 Germans have parents from Afghanistan but were born in Germany, while the
Moroccan has lived in Germany for 15 years, the official said.
Authorities in the Southeast Asian country went on “red alert” late last year
following a surge in arrests and drug seizures, tightening passenger and
Despite Malaysia’s strict laws — death by hanging is the mandatory penalty for
drug trafficking convictions — Kuala Lumpur airport authorities last year
seized some 195 kilograms (430 pounds) of drugs and held more than 30 people.
Smugglers have traditionally arrived from Africa and the Middle East but are
increasingly coming from countries such as Turkey and the Philippines,
according to officials.
A high court sentenced a 23-year-old Iranian mechanic to death Monday for
trafficking 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine two years ago, according to the
official Bernama news agency.
Several other Europeans, including 2 from Britain, 1 from the Netherlands and 1
from France, were arrested in drug raids in Malaysia and charged with
trafficking in November.
In October, a Malaysian court sentenced a Japanese woman to death for smuggling
methamphetamine into the country in what officials said was the 1st such case
involving a citizen of Japan.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Perth opal dealer faces Malaysia's gallows Aja Styles
A 31-year-old Perth businessman faces the death penalty in Malaysia after being
charged with the murder of a Malay woman, 25, who was abducted and later killed
while jogging with her younger sister 6 years ago.
Shahril Jaafar, who is a permanent resident in Australia and works for his
father's meteorite and opal company, was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport on January 17.
Yesterday he faced the Sungai Petani Magistrates Court unrepresented and was
not required to enter a plea.
Mr Jaafar was charged under Section 302 of Malaysia's Penal Code, which means
he could be hanged if found guilty.
He is accused of abducting snack food marketing executive Chee Gaik Yap, 25,
who had been out jogging in the housing area of Kelab Cinta Sayang on the night
of January 14 with her then 24-year-old sister when she disappeared.
The recent university graduate's body was found 9 hours later in a "semi-nude
state", with a 10cm wound to the top of her head and an almost severed neck, a
local news agency reported.
It was believed she was tailed by her assailant, kidnapped and taken elsewhere
to be raped and killed before her body was dumped near the housing estate,
according to The Star online.
Following investigations, Mr Jaafar was arrested and released on police bail,
pending his DNA result. However, he fled the country to Australia where he
managed to obtain permanent residency, according to New Straits Times.
News organisations reported that for 6 years, police kept an eye on all
airports and entry points for the businessman who had fled the country in the
Clad in purple-coloured prison attire, Mr Jaafar was calm when the charge was
read to him before Magistrate Raja Shahril Anuar Raja Baniamin, The Star online
Mr Jaafar was kept in custody until his next hearing date on March 11, when DNA
and chemist reports were expected to be presented.
None of the family members of the victim and the accused were at the court.
However, a man believed to be a family friend of the accused was seen talking
with Mr Jaafar at the court, the news site said.
The Star had previously written a feature article about Mr Jaafar's family
business since his father was considered a prestigious man, marked by the title
Jamaludin Jaafar frequently jetted between his two homes in Canning Vale,
Perth, and Sungai Petani, Kedah, in Malaysia, to run his business that mainly
features jewellery made out of opals, meteorites and rare gemstones.
It is a family business that includes his wife Datin Norbariah Ibrahim and
their 4 children, Rosmina, Zamani, Shahril, and Amirah.
The family moved to Perth in 1994 when Mr Jaafar senior decided to venture
abroad and met a group of people who collected fossils, meteorites, and rare
"We turn them into affordable consumer products like jewellery, apparel, car
accessories, keris and souvenir," Mr Jaafar told The Star.
Their jewellery is reported to be designed exclusively in Hong Kong and
(source: Brisbane Times)
Tory senator recants on idea that murderers be allowed to hang themselves
A Conservative senator is backing away from an unconventional proposal for
reducing prison costs: Give convicted murderers a rope and let them decide
whether to hang themselves.
“Basically, every killer should (have) the right to his own rope in his cell.
They can decide whether to live,” Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu told reporters on
However, he later told a Montreal radio station he’d gone too far.
“The comment was altogether inappropriate,” he said.
Boisvenu, a victim’s rights advocate appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister
Stephen Harper, made the original comment to reporters on Parliament Hill.
He also said the death penalty should be considered in certain cases when
there’s no hope of rehabilitation. He said limited use of capital punishment
could save money.
He cited the case of the Shafias — the Montrealers who were convicted this week
of killing four female family members. Boisvenu estimated that it will cost
taxpayers $10 million to keep them locked up. They were sentenced to life in
prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
He also cited the example of serial killer Clifford Olson, who spent three
decades behind bars before he died last September.
“In a case as horrible as Olson’s, is there really a discussion to be had on
this?” he asked. “For people who have no possibility of rehabilitation? People
who have killed dozens of women? I don’t have much pity for that.”
Boisvenu made it clear, however, that he disagrees with regular use of the
death penalty. Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976 and the last
executions were in 1962.
The senator’s comments follow several high-profile prison suicides in Quebec,
in which hanging was the suspected cause.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae called Boisvenu’s comments “completely
unacceptable.” Moreover, he pointed out that providing ropes to inmates in
hopes of encouraging suicide would actually turn prison officials into
Rae said Boisvenu can no longer continue to be an official spokesman for the
Harper government on its tough-on-crime agenda.
“I don’t see how anybody can be a spokesman for the Conservative party in the
Senate on justice issues when you’ve made a statement like that. It’s just
completely out of line.”
Both Rae and interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel said Boisvenu should withdraw
from the Senate committee examining the government’s omnibus crime bill.
Boisvenu told reporters he’d like to see more debate on the death penalty in
Canada, but he noted that the Harper government has made it clear it has no
intention of reopening the discussion.
“Under certain circumstances, I think we could reopen the debate,” he said,
while downplaying the possibility that such a things might happen.
Boisvenu became a prominent victims’ rights advocate after his daughter was
kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2002. Another daughter was later killed in a
car accident. He was appointed to the Senate 2 years ago.
(source: The Canadian Press)
THE list of those charged or accused under the country’s questionable blasphemy
laws — that too on the flimsiest of pretexts — is far too long. Soofi Mohammad
Ishaq, sentenced to death by a judge in Jhelum on Monday in a blasphemy case,
is another addition to this unenviable list. As reported, Mr Ishaq, a cleric
settled in the US, returned to Talagang, Punjab in 2009. The custodian of a
shrine, he received a rousing reception from his followers. However, some
people apparently felt that his disciples were overzealous in their adulation
and considered ‘bowing’ before the cleric ‘blasphemous’. At this point, we
cannot but wonder whether the accusation of blasphemy was driven by ulterior
motives, as is usually the case.
Reportedly, the man who made the complaint against Mr Ishaq was unhappy with
the fact that he had been granted custodianship of the shrine. The background
of this case is suspect. What is also cause for concern is that the judge who
first heard the case in Chakwal felt he could not announce the verdict due to
‘security risks’, hence the case was transferred to Jhelum. The matter must be
Along with their misuse as a weapon against minorities, the blasphemy laws are
used by Muslims against Muslims to settle personal scores or grab property.
With growing polarisation in society, accusations of blasphemy are also being
made to persecute followers of ‘rival’ schools of thought within Islam.
Criticism of these laws, even mere talk of reforming them let alone their
repeal, invites emotional responses, violence or even death. Not only do we
oppose the death penalty, we also feel that laws such as these — which are open
to abuse and have brought much opprobrium to Pakistan domestically as well as
internationally — at the least need to have iron-clad legal provisos that
prevent their misuse.
(source: Editorial, Dawn.com)
Urgent Action Calling for a Stay of Executions in Japan
In July 2009, in its package of policies called INDEX 2009, the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) declared: “Regarding the death penalty, looking at
international trends such as the EU’s membership policy, which requires
abolition of the death penalty, we will continue to discuss widely, both inside
and outside the Diet, not only whether to retain or abolish the death penalty
but also a stay of executions in the meantime, and other issues such as prior
notification of executions, the execution method, and so on.” Many citizens
hoped for the realization of the policies expressed in the INDEX, and then the
DPJ assumed power.
To have discussions on “a stay of executions in the meantime” is one of the
DPJ’s policies. However, since Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa took office, he
has clearly denied the possibility of continuing the present stay of
executions, by claiming that ordering an execution is the Justice Minister’s
responsibility, and he has repeatedly shown his intention to approve executions
during his term as Minister.
Different from other punishments, the execution of the death penalty must by
law be authorized by the Justice Minister because capital punishment, which is
irreversible once it has been carried out, requires especially careful
consideration. The Justice Minister is allowed to make a cautious and political
decision on the execution issue in the direction of not signing an execution
warrant, taking into account various factors, including the re-examination of
criminal records, the individual circumstances of inmates, and national or
But Minister Ogawa’s remarks can be interpreted as suggesting that execution is
a high priority. Indeed, it is not too much to say that he seems ready to
abdicate his job responsibility by abandoning the careful and deliberate
approach to executions.
In the past, some executions are suspected to have been wrongly carried out
because justice ministers failed to undertake careful consideration. Among
those who were executed while they were preparing for re-trial requests was an
inmate whose innocence could have been made clear by DNA tests. And while the
Criminal Procedure Code prohibits the execution of insane inmates, there are
quite a number of people on death row who are seriously mentally ill. These
people cannot take legal actions (such as a request for re-trial), nor can they
make the argument that they are insane. Despite these realities, we cannot
avoid the possibility of wrongful executions because Japan does not have a
reliable system for examining the mental conditions of death row inmates. How
can a Justice Minister take responsibility for unlawful executions?
The death penalty deprives persons of the right to life, the most fundamental
and important human right. Japan has been continuously urged by United Nations
bodies (such as the Human Rights Committee) and other organs to introduce a
moratorium on executions and to take steps toward abolition of the death
We ask you, Minister Ogawa, to use the authority of his position to stay
executions and to promote rational discussion of Japan’s death penalty system.
Towards this end, we also ask you to establish an open panel consisting of
specialists in various areas from outside the Ministry of Justice, so that the
panel can pave the way to the debate in the Diet on this issue.
Citizens calling for a stay of executions
(source: Google Docs)
Ethiopia jails journalists - and one faces death penalty
In a further sign of worsening repression in Ethiopia, a US-based journalist
has been sentenced, in absentia, to life imprisonment on anti-terrorism
charges. 2 other journalists were given heavy prison sentences.
Elias Kifle, the exiled editor of a website opposed to the governent of Meles
Zenawi, was charged over the content of online articles.
He was previously sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007, also in absentia, on
charges of treason for his coverage of the government's repression during 2005
The court in Addis Ababa also sentenced Reyot Alemu, a columnist with the
independent weekly Feteh, and Woubshet Taye, deputy editor of the now-defunct
weekly Awramba Times, to 14 years in jail and fines of £950 for their
The charges against all three relate to their alleged support for banned
opposition groups, which have been criminalised under the country's 2009
Their sentencing came days after a fourth journalist, Eskinder Nega, was found
guilty of terrorism charges. He faces the death penalty.
(source: The Guardian)
Iraq Executes 17 In One Day, 51 This Year
Iraq executed 17 convicted criminals in 1 day this week, the Justice Ministry
said, bringing to at least 51 the number of executions so far this year.
A ministry statement said the accused had been convicted of terrorism, armed
robbery, kidnapping, and murder.
Ministry statistics show Iraq executed 34 people in January.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last week called the number
of executions in Iraq "terrifying."
She urged the country to halt executions, expressing concern about the
transparency of court proceedings and the fairness of the judicial process.
Executions were suspended after Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003 but
reintroduced in 2004 by Iraqi authorities who said the death penalty was needed
to combat a wave of sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents.
(source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
ICC rejects Gadhafi daughter's appeal on jailed brother
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Thursday it had rejected a
request by former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's daughter to submit
information in the case of her brother, who is awaiting trial in Libya on rape
and murder charges.
Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who was captured disguised as a Bedouin in the Sahara
desert in November, has also been indicted by the ICC on charges of crimes
against humanity stemming from Libya's civil war last year.
On Tuesday, Aisha Gadhafi had asked the court if she could give information
about attempts she has made to contact Saif al-Islam, and submitted a document
suggesting the Libyan authorities were unwilling to let any foreign lawyer act
The court said on Thursday that it had rejected both Aisha's request and a
similar one by human rights activist Mishana Hosseinioun. Both requests were
"misplaced and contrary" to court procedures, a panel of judges said ruled.
Libya's ruling National Transitional Council says Saif al-Islam should be tried
at home and would be given a fair hearing. The ICC has reserved the right to
insist that he be sent to The Hague.
Saif al-Islam's supporters say they doubt he will be given a fair trial in
Libya and that he should be tried instead by the ICC in The Hague.
He faces the death penalty if found guilty by a Libyan court, but only a prison
term if convicted by the ICC.
The ICC has jurisdiction over the case because it issued a warrant last year
for the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi, Saif al-Islam, and the Libyan leader's
intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi.
(source: The Daily Star)
Death penalty announced for "disruptive" currency traders
The head of Iran's judiciary announced on Wednesday that the courts will
readily "issue death penalties" to the "disruptors" of the country's foreign
Black market currency traders have remained active despite government ban.
Dollar trades for about 18,800 rials in black market compared with official
rate of about 12,000.
ISNA reports that Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani emphasized that the judiciary
will deal with those who have been "identified as economic disruptors" just as
it would with "smugglers, bandits and drug traffickers."
Drug trafficking is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic.
In recent weeks, Iran's foreign currency and gold markets have experienced
sharp fluctuations, which many analysts have linked to the intensification of
international sanctions against Iran. A number of high-ranking Iranian
officials, however, have blamed the market instability on disruptive plans
implemented by the regime's enemies.
Ayatollah Larijani said some of the "problems in the foreign currency and gold
markets are created by groups linked to the regime's enemies." He added that
these groups "have made the market volatile by creating various websites that
fabricate rates for foreign currency and gold."
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly blamed certain unnamed political
figures and domestic media outlets connected to certain institutions.
MP Ahmad Tavakoli, the head of Parliament's research commission, warned that
the current economic situation could lead to "bankruptcy." He called on
Parliament and the judiciary to confront the administration, of which he was
1 man was hanged publicly in Karaj (west of Tehran)
1 man was hanged publicly in the courtyard of the Karaj police department early
Tuesday morning, January 31.
According to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, the man was identified as
"H. M." and convicted of driving over and killing a police officer in Karaj in
According to th reports from the human rights group "Human rights and democracy
activists in Iran" the prisoner who was executed today was "Hassan Armin
(Mafi)". According to this report Hassan, who was a coach in Kick boxing, was
paralysed in both his lower extremities as a result of being beaten while he
was in the prison.
(source: Iran Human Rights)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
Case against death penalty
In Part I of this series I suggested that there are certain issues on the death
penalty that need to be discussed. These are: (1) Morality (2)
Constitutionality (3) Deterrence (4) Retribution or Revenge (5) Mistakes (6)
Income level and/or Race (7) Quality of legal representation. In that article I
discussed Morality, Constitutionality and Deterrence. In this article I shall
discuss Retribution or Revenge and Mistakes.
(4) Retribution or Revenge
As I listen to the comments on the death penalty the most frequently voiced
opinions, whether the speakers realise it or not, are calls for retribution.
Sometimes the calls are so extreme (even from Government Ministers) that I am
reminded of the American "Wild West". In the movies portraying those times the
constant theme for any supposed murderous transgression was "hang them high"—
even for horse thieves since that was the law at that time.
Any time a relative was killed it was not considered necessary to wait for the
law but revenge killing was the norm as is the case in Trinidad and Tobago
today among criminal gangs. In this country there are constant calls for
"justice". If by this is meant apprehension of the criminals, a fair trial,
conviction and sentencing there can be no disagreement with that view. But this
is society's justice. It is not personal to the victim.
Particularly in view of the brutal nature of some of the murders an emotional
reaction on the part of the victims is understandable. Which one of us could
truthfully say that we would not react emotionally if someone close to us were
to be murdered? Often the statement is made that those who oppose the death
penalty are not thinking of the victims. If one were discussing compensation
for victims (which should be discussed) then there would be greater mention of
such victims, but if one is discussing the death penalty for murderers the
focus will be on the latter.
In 2000 the Catholic Bishops of America as part of a statement on restorative
justice stated: "A fundamental moral issue of the criminal justice system (in
the United States) is how it responds to those harmed by crime. Too often, the
criminal justice system neglects the hurt and needs of victims or seeks to
exploit their anger and pain to support punitive policies."
I do not adhere to the concept of retribution or revenge. I believe that such
feelings may do harm to the persons who harbour them. I give hereafter the
views of a Jesuit priest, Raymond A Schroth, as stated in the Pro-Con.org
website on death penalty: "Retribution is just another name for revenge, and
the desire for revenge is one of the lowest human emotions—perhaps sometimes
understandable, but not really a rational response to a critical situation.
"To kill a person who has killed someone close to you is simply to continue the
cycle of violence which ultimately destroys the avenger as well as the
offender. That this execution somehow gives 'closure' to a tragedy is a myth.
Expressing ones violence reinforces the desire to express it. Just as
expressing anger simply makes us more angry."
I was horrified recently to hear a leading politician say that he is in favour
of flogging. I am not one who believes on excessive dwelling on the past but
that anyone who knows the history of slavery in this country should advocate
that we should return to one of the worst aspects of that time leads me to the
dismal conclusion that there is little hope for a meaningful solution to the
violence of our present circumstances. That one of our leaders should be so
insensitive to the social aspects of our situation is most depressing.
One of the greatest problems with the death penalty is the possibility (or even
the certainty) that mistakes will be made and innocent persons will be put to
death. Obviously such mistakes cannot be corrected. Many errors have been
discovered by modern methods of DNA testing.
In the year 2000 Russ Feigold, US Senator, is quoted in Pro-Con.org as stating:
"Since the reinstatement of the modern death penalty 87 people have been freed
from death row because they were later proven to be innocent. That is a
demonstrated error rate of one innocent person for every seven persons
It may, however, be argued that now that we have DNA as an investigative tool
errors are less likely to occur. But if these errors have occurred in the
United States how much more are errors likely to occur in Trinidad and Tobago
where low detection rates speak to the inefficiency of the investigative
In the United States Stanley Tookie Williams maintained to the time of his
execution that he was innocent of the crimes for which he was eventually
executed and there are still persons working to prove his innocence. However,
there seems to be little doubt that the Crips gang which he co-founded
committed many serious crimes. But Williams's importance lies in the fact that
in prison he was converted into a person whose subsequent writings evidently
had a great influence in leading young people away from a life of crime. He was
nominated on six occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Whether innocent or guilty of the crimes for which he was executed, the story
of his early childhood must be similar to that of many gang members in this
country. I venture to suggest that there are not many of us, however
sanctimonious we may be, who can say with certainty that we would not have
fallen into his gang life if we had been placed in similar circumstances. His
life story was made into a TV movie in 2004 starring Jamie Fox entitled:
Redemption—the Stan Tookie Williams Story.
—To be continued
(source: John Spence is Professor Emeritus, UWI. He also served as an
independent senator; Trinidad Express)
Death Penalty: Our only answer
There has been a lot of horrific crimes in South African over the past years
that makes me think that our only solution to the rampant crime is capital
Zoliswa Nkonyana was brutally beaten, stoned and kicked to death for being
lesbian. Hendrik Cilliers was badly assaulted, tied to a tree and then shot
dead in his farm. A Joburg doctor was shot and killed during a hijacking. And
these are only the reported stories.
These horrific crimes have been going on for years now and seem to be getting
worse. Clearly our crime mitigating measures are not working. The idea of death
penalty is a sensitive one. If ask any of you what you would do if you found
someone raping your wife/daughter the answer will be "I'll kill the bastard
myself". Critics of capital punishment argue on moral/religious grounds that
how are we better than a murderer if we take away his life? I'm saying we are
200% better. I'd rather have the bastard dead than locking him for live,
thereby putting expensive burden on law abiding, tax paying citizens. And if
you argument is based on biblical grounds then I say read Leviticus again,
capital punishment is nothing God of the old testament wouldn't have done
Without the death penalty the only fear of committing a crime is a jail
sentence. Considering how many crimes are committed by repeat offenders this is
not even a deterrent any more. Jail is simple not scary enough. What scares
anyone, including hardened murderers, is death. Having this ultimate form of
punishment in place shows that truly heinous crimes cannot and will not be
tolerated in civil society.
Before capital punishment can be implemented however there must be proper
legislation and facilities to prove beyond reasonable doubt, in order to avoid
potentially killing innocent people. This means that all capital convictions
have to be supported by DNA evidence, not just witness statements.
So how do we go about introducing death penalty? The easiest and most
democratic way is by holding a referendum. If the majority of South Africans
vote yes for capital punishment then it must be implemented.
The next question then becomes which crimes would be punishable by death? Any
involving murder obviously.....I would like to go an extra step and suggest
that we should include rape, armed robbery and car jacking. Like I said we need
a radical departure from the status quo. There in an economical benefit too for
introducing the death penalty. The Department of Correctional Services spends
millions of tax rands on keeping these criminals in jails, money that could be
invested in other sectors like education. If most of these barbarians were to
be convicted and killed, we would not have to spend money on them. South
African is not a rich country and we have a lot of people still living below
the poverty line (i.e. not able to afford 3 meals a day like the criminals in
jails). So how about we take that money and do something useful with it instead
of wasting it on criminals who, after getting bailed out, commit the same
crimes again. This "correctional service" is not working and has been nothing
but an embarrassing money wasting exercise.
(source: News 24)
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