[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Tue Feb 7 22:15:12 CST 2012
Indonesian teacher faces death penalty for drug smuggling
A female Indonesian teacher who was arrested on the Indonesian resort island of
Bali late last year could face the death penalty after smuggling drugs with a
street value of around $1 million, local media reported on Tuesday.
Theresia Avilla Yanti Siwi, 39, of Malang, East Java, was arrested on October
11 after arriving at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on a Qatar Airways
flight from Kenya. She was caught with 3.8 kilograms (8.3 pounds) of
methamphetamine, which has a street value of around Rp 9.3 billion ($1
Siwi was carrying the drugs in a hidden compartment in her luggage after being
promised $700 for smuggling in the drugs. She was indicted on Monday at the
Denpasar District Court in Bali and, with Indonesia's harsh 2009 Narcotics Law,
she could now face the death penalty.
According to the Jakarta Globe, prosecutor Ketut Sukada told the court in the
indictment that it is "very concerning" that Siwi is also a teacher because she
tried to smuggle a large quantity of the illegal substance. Siwi was reportedly
an English teacher.
Siwi's arrest led to the arrests of Erika Dewi Widya Yanti, who recruited the
teacher, as well as that of Nurhadi Imron, who reportedly operated the meth
distribution scheme in Indonesia. Authorities have also claimed that Nurhadi is
behind several drug smuggling operations in Indonesian prisons such as Bali's
Kerobokan and Jakarta's Pondok Bambu penitentiaries.
Both are expected to be tried next week.
(source: BNO News)
Uganda revives anti-gay bill but drops death penalty
A Ugandan MP has revived a controversial anti-gay bill but dropped the
provision for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.
A BBC correspondent says MPs laughed, clapped and cried out: "Our bill, our
bill," when its architect David Bahati reintroduced the draft legislation on
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was shelved in 2011 after an international outcry.
It still increases the punishment to life in prison for homosexual offences.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda - a largely conservative society,
where many condemn homosexuality.
Anyone failing to report to the authorities a person they knew to be homosexual
would also be liable to prosecution.
The BBC's Joshua Mmali in the capital, Kampala, says Mr Bahati, the primary
backer of the bill, has confirmed the draft legislation has changed in one
Those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" - defined as when one of the
participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a "serial offender" - would
no longer face the death penalty, as originally proposed.
A parliamentary committee recommended the revision, after the original
legislation was condemned by Western leaders, including Barack Obama who
described it as "odious", and threatened to cut off aid to Uganda.
Mr Bahati hopes his private member's bill will finally be debated during this
parliamentary session, which opened on Tuesday.
The MP leads the ruling party caucus in parliament, so the proposed legislation
would never have been tabled without the government's backing, our reporter
The bill was first introduced in 2009, but has never made it to a debate in the
In recent years, some gay rights groups have been set up in Uganda.
In January 2011, gay rights activist David Kato was killed in what some said
was a hate crime - the police said it was linked to a robbery.
At his funeral, the priest condemned gay people.
Death row convict in SC against delay in deciding mercy plea
The Supreme Court today sought responses from the Centre and the Assam
government on a plea by a death row convict assailing the decision on his mercy
petition by the President on ground of delay of more than 12 years. "Issue
notice only to the Union of India and the state of Assam," a bench of justices
A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said while posting the matter for further
hearing on February 9. Mahendra Nath Das, who awarded death penalty in a double
murder case in Guwahati. His mercy petition was rejected by President Pratibha
Patil on May 27, 2011 and Das assailed the decision on his mercy plea on the
ground of "excruciating agony and trauma" suffered by him while in the pendency
of decision for almost 12 years. Das contended that his mercy plea was kept
pending for "no explainable reasons". He raised a legal question, identical to
that raised by Devendar Pal Singh Bhullar and Rajiv Gandhi assassins relating
to "unexplained delay" lasting over a decade, in deciding the respective mercy
petitions. Earlier, the apex court another bench of justices G S Singhvi and S
J Mukhopadhaya had called for the records of all the mercy petitions which are
pending consideration and their respective status.
Alex Sangha: I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen Harper resurrected the death
Recently on a radio station, I mentioned that Stephen Harper is turning Canada
into the United States, and that I would not be surprised if we end up with the
death penalty next.
A few days later, a Conservative senator publicly states that murderers with no
chance of rehabilitation should have the option to hang themselves with a rope
in prison. This is shocking considering the suicide rate of death row inmates
in the United States, for example, is 10 times the American average as a whole.
Then Stephen Harper officially goes on the record to state that it is his
personal opinion that there are times when the death penalty is appropriate but
that he does not have any plans to bring it back.
Can Stephen Harper really stop the social conservatives in his party from
promoting their agenda in Parliament? Many progressive conservatives along the
lines of former prime minister Joe Clark have essentially left the party. The
Conservatives of Stephen Harper share a much more right-wing ideology that
stems from the Reform party.
It is important to remember that it was the minority Conservative government of
Stephen Harper in 2007 that reversed Canada’s policy of automatically
requesting clemency for Canadian citizens facing the death penalty abroad. This
has essentially created a two-tiered level of fundamental human rights,
freedoms, and protections for Canadian citizens.
There are many reasons why I am against the death penalty. First, I feel the
death penalty is essentially state-sanctioned murder. It violates the 6th
commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” It violates the right to life. Everyone
should have the opportunity to experience a natural death because it is part of
the human experience and completes the cycle of birth and death.
Second, the death penalty may be used to eliminate the poor, marginalized, and
socially undesirable. In Canada this means that aboriginal people, the mentally
ill, and minorities will be disproportionately at risk. There is also no
guarantee that an innocent person is not being executed. This reason alone
should be enough to abolish the death penalty forever!
Was it fair to execute Métis leader Louis Riel for high treason for example?
Many people would argue that this was an unfortunate and irreversible mistake
in Canadian history. Riel was only fighting and advocating for the rights of
Last, justice should not be about revenge. The death penalty would just
encourage criminals to “go all out” in their illegal endeavors. Some people in
prison may even put corrections staffs or their families and possibly even the
victims in greater danger since they have nothing else to lose.
In addition, the death penalty may take an emotional and psychological toll on
the person administering the execution. More importantly, there is no
compelling evidence that suggests that the death penalty actually deters crime
In the past, the death penalty was applied to Canadians for theft and even
homosexuality. Who knows what crimes would be added to the list if the death
penalty was brought back.
The death penalty dates back to 1749 in this country. During World War I,
Canadian soldiers were executed for desertion. Starting in 1963, the successive
Liberal governments adopted a policy of commuting all death sentences. In 1976,
the death penalty was abolished in Canada.
As you can see the death penalty has made up a large part of Canada’s history.
It has only been relatively recent that Canadians have been free of this
extreme form of punishment. Why should a murderer be granted an “easy way out
of their lifetime of incarceration”? If they do the crime, then they should do
(source: Straight.com; Alex Sangha is a registered social worker and the author
of The Modern Thinker)
Sri Lanka conducts opinion poll on death penalty
Sri Lanka is conducting a public opinion poll on the re-imposing of death
penalty to evaluate whether the measure would deter the crimes committed on its
The research opinion poll conducted by the Department of Prisons of Sri Lanka
is currently administered at its stall at the Deyata Kirula National
Development Exhibition currently being held in Anuradhapura, Ministry of
Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has said.
Accordingly, the public are requested to fill in a questionnaire which is
available at the stall.
At the end of the Deyata Kirula Exhibition, a report based on the research
would be presented to the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the national news
agency Lankapuvath reported
Although Sri Lanka has the legal death penalty, all death penalty cases have
been commuted to life in prison and there have been no executions since 1973.
The government reinstated the death penalty in 2004 for murder, rape and drug
trafficking following the murder of a high court judge.
However, since 2000 there are 1,164 death row inmates languishing in jails
waiting for execution or a final decision for commutation for execution.
(source: Colombo Page)
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