[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Feb 8 10:46:45 CST 2012
Majority of Canadians support return of death penalty, poll finds
A half-century has passed since the last person in Canada was executed, but a
recent public opinion poll suggests Canadians are warming to the idea of a
return to capital punishment.
The survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in partnership with the
Toronto Star found that 63 % of the 1,002 Canadians surveyed across the country
believe the death penalty is sometimes appropriate. 61 % said capital
punishment, which was abolished in Canada in 1976, is warranted for murder.
“I think people might be warming to the idea of having it as an option on the
table, if anything just as a deterrent,” said Jaideep Mukerji of Angus Reid.
But Mukerji said the poll also reveals that it is “not a black and white” issue
for many Canadians. Given the choice of supporting the death penalty or life
imprisonment, 50 % chose the latter, the survey found.
“We ask the question in 2 ways — do you support or oppose the death penalty —
and in that context people really do support it,” he said. But when the option
of life imprisonment is introduced as an option for those convicted of murder,
“50 % actually say they would prefer life in prison.”
The debate over restoring the death penalty took on new life last week when
Conservative Senator Pierre Hugues-Boisvenu suggested serial murderers should
be given a rope to hang themselves in prison. In June 2002, the senator’s
daughter Julie was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Boisvenu later withdraw his
The Angus Reid online survey found that Canadians’ views on the death penalty
differ greatly according to political allegiance and region. The poll was
conducted Feb. 2 and 3 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 %, 19 times
out of 20.
In British Columbia and Alberta, about seven in 10 support the return of the
death penalty; 6 in 10 Ontarians, or 62 %, agree.
The most opposition was in Quebec, with about 45 % against the return of
capital punishment. Some 32 % in Ontario and 24 % in British Columbia were also
“These respondents (about 75 %) are primarily concerned over the possibility of
wrongful convictions leading to executions, but most (54%) also feel that even
if a convicted murderer has taken a life it is wrong to take the murderer’s own
life as punishment,” the survey results stated.
The poll found that respondents who voted Conservative in the 2011 federal
election were more likely to regard the death penalty as “always” or
“sometimes” appropriate while the majority of those who vote Liberal, Bloc
Québécois or Green were opposed to the return of the death penalty. NDP
supporters were divided on the question.
Last year, Angus Reid Public Opinion asked similar questions in the United
States and Britain and found that the majority of respondents in both countries
supported the continuation or the return of the death penalty.
(source: The Star)
Former Chinese billionaire now on death row
Wu Ying, a tycoon once listed among the richest women in China, has come to her
last hope of survival.
The former 31-year-old billionaire, now on death row, is waiting for the top
court's final review of her capital sentence, which was upheld by a local court
last month, a few days ahead of the Chinese New Year.
Shen Ziming, the presiding judge of the case from the High People's Court of
East China's Zhejiang province, told China News Service that the court endorsed
the previous judgment after finding the defendant illegally raised up to 770
million yuan (US$122 million) from 11 lenders with the promise of high returns
from 2005 to 2007, and hence should be "severely punished" for the apparent
Ponzi-like scheme, as she has "brought huge losses to the nation and people
with her serious crimes".
Shen said Wu concealed her debt to lenders and pretended to be financially
powerful by "showing off jewelry and registering nominal companies".
According to China's criminal code, a person convicted of financial fraud is
punishable by death if the money involved is "especially huge" and an
"especially heavy loss" of the interests has been made to the state and the
Although some legal experts supported the judgment, wide sympathy and pleas for
the fair-skinned woman with a short haircut have quickly ranked top on the
country's most popular micro-blogging site.
Speculation swirled around both the suitability of the charge and whether
capital punishment is too severe for a non-violent financial crime.
Zhang Sizhi, an 85-year-old barrister with national renown, wrote an open
letter to the top court and pleaded for re-consideration when it exerted its
right of review, for there are still "reasonable doubts".
Zhang Yanfeng, Wu's lawyer, argues that the case does not constitute the crime
of financial fraud, a charge that requires fundraising from the general public
by means of "swindling" for the purpose of illegal possession.
"9 out of the 11 lenders are Wu's old friends and should not be considered
general public," said Yang Zhaodong, one of Wu's lawyers.
He then said Wu has used the funds to invest in trading companies, hotels and
real estate, instead of using the money to cover existing debt and purchase
personal luxuries as accused by the prosecutors.
Oral testimony shows the lenders still believe Wu borrowed the money to improve
cash flow instead of illegal possession and personal indulgence.
"The last time I met her was in November 2011, and she looked robust," Yang
He said Wu's request to meet lawyers was turned down by the detention house one
week before the provincial court announced the final verdict.
Insisting that his daughter is innocent, Wu Yongzheng, a slightly tanned man
with a bony figure, said he believes his daughter is being treated unjustly
because it "implicates government officials".
(source: Asia One)
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