[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Sat Feb 4 14:12:59 CST 2012
Death penalty debate far from closed
Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu was wrong to suggest vicious killers be offered
a rope. They shouldn't have any choice in the matter. His suggestion, since
retracted, was technically flawed because it's illegal to counsel suicide in
this country. It's apparently OK to say if people aren't as sharp, limber, sexy
and healthy as they used to be they should be allowed to off themselves. Just
not Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson or Mohammad Shafia. But clearly most of the
beautiful people's objections weren't on this narrow ground. Rather, they found
the suggestion too, too shocking.
Potty-mouthed NDP MP Pat Martin went so far as to hurl an obscenity at the
Senator, and refused to retract it when told the Senator's own daughter had
been kidnapped, raped and murdered... by a repeat offender. I don't know where
the left's famous compassion went on that issue. But I'm even more puzzled by
where their commitment to democracy went.
NDP interim leader Nycole Turmel, for instance, said "The death penalty debate
has been closed in Canada for decades. Why are the Conservatives reopening the
whole debate?" and added that Canadians generally oppose capital punishment.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. First, polls consistently show majority support for the
death penalty in some cases, including a 2010 Angus Reid poll finding 62 % of
us want it for homicide convictions. Second, Conservative Senator Bob Runciman
immediately reiterated the Tory party line that the country is not ready to
reopen the debate, so they're not. Third, no matter what politicians of any
stripe say, the debate is not "closed".
How could it be? This is a free society. We can talk about things if we want.
Even things that are unpopular, as gay rights once were, can be debated and
discussed in our homes, coffee shops, newspaper pages and airwaves and we can
pester politicians to put them on the public agenda if we wish.
Is there any other subject on which politicians would haughtily declare the
debate "closed" even with majority opinion against them?
Actually yes. Abortion. Again, polls routinely show around 2/3 support for some
protection for the unborn - less than a third from conception on, the rest at
some point closer to delivery. But this one, too, is "closed".
I have news for all you snooty politicians. There's no procedure for closing
debate in a country the way there is in Parliament. The fact that you collude
not to bring it up doesn't mean we can't. And if the NDP are such champions of
the people, how can they be so contemptuous of their opinions? And the Grits,
and the Tories?
Now that we've established our right to discuss matters our betters find
unseemly, let me note briefly that my main objection to the Senator's comments
is that justice requires that society put heinous villains to death, not allow
them personal "choice." As I've noted before in this newspaper, after the
Nuremberg tribunal sentenced Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering to hang, he
managed to swallow poison smuggled into his cell, prompting the famous United
Press news flash "Goering Cheats Death by Committing Suicide." Of course he had
not cheated death; that was his corpse there in the corner. But the comment was
not as incoherent as it sounds. For he had cheated justice.
That's why horrible killers should be given no choice when it comes to a date
with the noose. It's a matter of simple justice. And I don't care what dirty
name Pat Martin wants to call me or how quickly the chattering classes shuffle
away from me there on the bench.
The debate is not "closed". And it never will be as long as we're a free
society that aspires to be a just one.
(source: The Sun News)
Turkey opposes Egypt’s Mubarak execution
Turkey is against the execution of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak,
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday, February 4. Mubarak risks
getting the death penalty when his trial ends.
Responding to a question on the future of Egypt, Davutoglu said despite his
belief that there should be no place in the new Middle East for regimes such as
those of Mubarak, Bashar al-Assad of Syria or Moammar Gadhafi of Libya, Turkey
would object to executions as a country which has abolished death penalty.
“Besides humanitarian reasons, as a matter of principle,” Davutoglu said, “I
would find the execution of Mubarak wrong with regards to maintaining social
peace in Egypt.”
Davutoglu is expected to attend the “Building the New Middle East” panel as
part of the 48th Munich Security Conference, together with Egyptian Foreign
Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Hürriyet Daily News reported.
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