[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Tue Feb 14 11:14:56 CST 2012
Commute death sentence to life: Kasab tells Supreme Court
Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror
attack, today pleaded the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life
Arguing for Kasab, Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed by the top court to
represent him, said that the cost of keeping the terrorist alive should not be
considered by the court while deciding whether to hang him or not. He further
added that it is for the legislature to consider the cost criteria.
Kasab is lodged in a special cell in Mumbai's high-security Arthur Road jail,
the construction of which alone cost the state exchequer over Rs. 5.24 crore.
Stressing on the Pakistani gunman's age as an important factor to commute his
sentence, Mr Ramachandran said, "Kasab is young and was drawn into this by
exploitation of religious faith, false ideology and distortion...young age
coupled with economic conditions drove Kasab to this path."
Saying that "Kasab has not waged war against India", Mr Ramachandran told the
court that there was a denial of fair trial to him. "The choice before the
Supreme Court is life and irreversible death penalty. It would not be prudent
to affirm the extreme penalty," he said. He also told the court that Kasab
should be treated like any other accused.
To this, the top court observed that the Pakistani gunman's trial was unlike
any ordinary murder trial. "There may be hundreds of murder trials going in
this country because of the facts and circumstances of the case. But in many
ways, this is entirely different. Application of law is one thing but the
manner of trial is different - venue of the trial (inside jail), special court,
day to say hearing etc,", the court said.
The Maharastra government will counter the arguments by Kasab's counsel
tomorrow. Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam is representing the state
The trial court sentenced Kasab to death on May 2010, an order which was later
upheld by the Bombay High Court in February last year.
(source: NDTV News)
3 Executed by Militants for Helping U.S. in Yemen
Islamist militants in southern Yemen said they executed 3 men on Sunday for
giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes in the
Residents of the towns of Jaar and Azzan said 2 Saudis and 1 Yemeni were
beheaded at dawn by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.
A spokesman for the group later said none of those executed were Saudi
citizens, but all three had been working for the intelligence services of the
kingdom, a close ally of the United States.
A number of important figures in Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen are Saudi militants
wanted by the authorities in Riyadh.
The United States has been launching drone strikes against militants in the
south. Last month, at least 12 people were killed in one such attack.
Federal prosecutors in the United States said Friday that Anwar al-Awlaki, a
leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate who was killed in a drone strike last
year, had personally directed and approved the 2009 attempt to blow up an
airliner over Detroit.
Weakened by months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s
government has lost control of whole chunks of the country, giving Islamist
militants room to tighten their grip in the south.
In Aden late on Saturday, witnesses said, separatists set fire to a tent camp
housing about 100 antigovernment protesters, in opposition to an election on
Feb. 21 to replace Mr. Saleh. About 10 people were injured.
Last year, southern separatists joined protesters calling for Mr. Saleh to
leave, but the 2 sides have since grown apart.
The separatists want to revive a southern socialist state that was united with
the north in 1990. They fear that the election will not serve their goal.
Anti-Saleh demonstrators broadly back the vote as a step toward ending his
Northern Shiite rebels have said they too will boycott the vote, in which
acting leader Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is the sole candidate.
Mr. Saleh is in the United States receiving medical treatment for injuries
inflicted during an assassination attempt, but he has said he will return home
before the vote, shedding doubt on his commitment to leave office in line with
a Persian Gulf-brokered plan to end a year of political upheaval.
Prosecutors say will push for death penalty – Suspected Bali bomber on trial in
A Muslim militant arrested in the same Pakistani town where US commandos later
killed Osama bin Laden stood trial in Indonesia yesterday on charges including
murder for the 2002 Bali bombings. Umar Patek, 45, faces 5 other counts,
including bomb-making and illegal firearms possession, and prosecutors say they
will push for the death penalty.
Amid a security lockdown, with anti-terrorism units deployed in Jakarta, Patek
arrived at the court in an armored police vehicle, giving a 2-thumbs up gesture
with his handcuffed hands, but said nothing. The Indonesian is charged with
premeditated murder and assembling bombs for the October 2002 Bali nightclub
attacks, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, and strikes on
churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve of 2000.
“Defendant Umar Patek committed an evil conspiracy with others to commit a
crime by bringing in, obtaining, providing or owning firearms, ammunition or
explosive materials and other dangerous materials to carry out terrorism,”
prosecutor Widodo Supriady said, reading part of the indictment to court.
Wearing a white Muslim skull cap, white trousers, white shirt and an orange
prison shirt, he smiled broadly to reporters before entering a holding cell
inside the court building.
The West Jakarta district courtroom was packed with about 100 spectators, more
than half of them reporters, many of whom were working for Australian media.
Patek, facing a panel of five judges, was flanked by prosecutors and defence
lawyers, who say attempts are being made to paint him as a Bali bombings
mastermind. He sat in a white shirt, wearing glasses and quietly reading the
indictment. After the session adjourned for next yesterday, he shook hands with
judges and prosecutors and smiled as he was escorted from the courtroom.
The trial of Patek, believed to be a key member of the Al-Qaeda-linked
Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), is expected to last over
four months as prosecutors present evidence from 86 witnesses. They will
testify to Patek’s decade-long involvement in terror, prosecutor Bambang
Suharyadi told AFP. Patek allegedly used simple household tools including a
rice ladle to assemble bombs, which were housed in ordinary filing cabinets,
according to Suharyadi and details contained in the indictment.
The indictment states that Patek was instructed by fellow Indonesian Imam
Samudra to assemble the bombs for the Bali attacks. Samudra, convicted of being
one of the masterminds, was executed in 2008 by an Indonesian firing squad.
Riduan Ismudin, also known as Hambali and widely regarded as the brain behind
the attacks, was arrested in 2003 and is now held by US forces at Guantanamo
But defence lawyer Asludin Hatjani told reporters yesterday: “Prosecutors are
trying to suggest that Patek was the mastermind of the Bali bombings, but he
was not. He didn’t initiate the attack.” “The premeditated murder charge was
also inappropriate,” he added. “We don’t deny that he (Patek) was involved in
the Bali bombing but his role was really small,” Hatjani told AFP after the
session. Among the crowd in court yesterday was Farihin, an Indonesian who goes
by a single name and who said he had attended the same terrorist training camp
on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan as Patek.
“Umar is an expert in demolition. He was an ordinary member of the team, not
the mastermind or perpetrator of what happened in Bali,” said Farihin, a former
JI member who was twice jailed in Indonesia for Islamic militancy and is now a
cold drinks vendor. He said he last saw Patek before the Bali attacks. Patek,
once the most-wanted terror suspect in Indonesia, who spent nearly a decade on
the run, had a $1 million bounty on his head under the US rewards for justice
program. He was extradited to Indonesia after being arrested in January 2011 in
the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where US commandos killed Al-Qaeda chief bin
Laden in May.
(source: Kuwait Times)
Iran 'misleading international community' with death penalty claimsExperts
question claims that a new Iranian penal code bans the death penalty for
juveniles and stoning for adulterers
Iran has been accused of misleading the international community by claiming to
have abandoned the death penalty for juvenile offenders and execution by
stoning for those convicted of adultery.
Local news agencies reported at the weekend that Iran's guardian council, a
body of clerics and lawyers in charge of approving parliamentary activities,
had approved a new amendment to the country's penal code which had been passed
into law by the MPs.
The new penal code – which will come into effect after being signed by the
president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – is believed to have been adopted in response
to international criticism of Iran's violations of human rights.
But experts who have studied the new code questioned claims that the country
had fully abolished the death penalty for those convicted under the age of 18
or abandoned its use of stoning. They also believe the amendments have
complicated some other parts of the law, especially the punishment of
Sodomy for men was punishable by death for all individuals involved in
consensual sexual intercourse, but under the new amendments the person who
played an active role will be flogged 100 times if the sex was consensual and
he was not married, but the one who played a passive role will still be put to
death regardless of his marriage status.
Under the new code, the death sentence has been removed for juveniles only in
crimes whose punishment can be administered at the discretion of the judge
(such as drug offences). Under the same law, however, a death sentence may
still be applied for a juvenile if he or she has committed crimes that are
considered to be "claims of God" and therefore have mandatory sentences (such
as sodomy, rape, theft, fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for
the 3rd time).
A decision on whether such a death sentence for a juvenile can be issued relies
on the "judge's knowledge" – a loophole that allows for subjective judicial
rulings where no conclusive evidence is present.
Amnesty International's Iran researcher Drewery Dyke said: "Let's not be fooled
by this seeming suggestion of improvements to Iran's penal code. The penal code
still allows for stoning to be carried out. Child offenders are still at risk
of being placed on death row, and men and women can still be convicted on
grounds of consensual extramarital and same-sex relations."
"These new amends to Iran's penal code have done nothing to improve the
country's human rights record.
Shadi Sadr, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer exiled in London, said:
"The amendments are flawed but it shows international pressure on Iran still
works." Sadr's colleague, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who highlighted juvenile executions
in the Islamic republic, remains in jail in the country.
Confusion over Iran's definition of a juvenile has also added to the complexity
of the issue, said Raha Bahreini, a fellow at Amnesty International Canada. The
country does not provide a clear distinction between the age of majority – when
minors cease to legally be considered children – and the minimum age of
criminal responsibility, which is 15 for boys and 9 for girls under Iranian
"Iran's penal system has often taken the minimum age of criminal responsibility
for the age of majority," she said, "thus allowing individuals under the age of
18 to be treated and sentenced as adults as soon they reach the minimum age of
According to the old penal code, people convicted of having an "illicit
relationship outside marriage" would be sentenced to death by stoning. The new
code, however, still considers "adultery while married" as a crime but has not
designated any punishment for it, thus referring the judge to the fatwa of a
reliable cleric (the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in this case) for
a decision. Khamenei has not yet issued a fatwa for such a crime, but all other
clerics in the country order stoning as its punishment. It would be highly
unlikely that Khamenei would contradict his fellow clerics.
"It's simply a trick," said Sadr. "They've removed death by stoning from the
penal code but in reality it remains in place."
The new penal code does not mention stoning as punishment for any crime but it
does refer to it twice in a section about the criminal procedure rules and
conditions under which such a punishment can be administered.
"The fact that stoning has been mentioned in the criminal procedures of
administrating the punishment – it shows they are truly expecting the method to
be used in future," said Sadr, adding there were other discrepancies in the
In recent years, Iran has been criticised by human rights organisations for its
escalating use of the capital punishment. Recently, an international outcry
over the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 44-year-old mother of two,
highlighted the plight of at least a dozen Iranians behind bars who are
awaiting death by stoning.
(source: The Guardian)
China court to review Wu Ying death penalty amid outcry ---- Wu Ying's case has
raised debate about local loan laws
China's top court says it is to review a death sentence "with caution" after a
Former businesswomen Wu Ying has been sentenced to death over a multi-million
yuan fraud case.
But the case has sparked heated discussions ranging from whether it is the
right charge to whether the sentence is too harsh.
In a rare gesture, the Supreme Court said it would scrutinise facts and
evidence seriously in the case.
Wu Ying, 31, from the eastern province of Zhejiang, was arrested in 2007 and
accused of fraud worth 770m yuan ($122m; £79m) through illegal investments.
She was subsequently sentenced to death and the High Court in Zhejiang upheld
her sentence last month.
Under Chinese law all death sentences must be reviewed by the Supreme Court
before permission to execute the defendant is granted.
However, it is rare for the court to speak out before such a review has been
"This is a case of financial fraud from the liquidity aspect, which involves an
especially huge amount of money, and the case is relatively complicated," said
Supreme Court spokesperson Sun Jungong.
"The Supreme Court will, based on legal procedures, scrutinise the facts and
evidence relating to the case during the review process and prudently handle
the case according to law."
Some members of the public welcomed the top court's comment.
"Wu Ying is guilty, but she does not deserve the death penalty," said a
microblog user from Shaanxi. "She is just an innocent entrepreneur who has
Another user from Shandong said the best option was to have the case decided by
China's parliament, while another from Fujian believed what Wu Ying was doing
was no more than personal lending, which developed under loopholes of current
financial rules and regulations.
The Supreme Court spokesperson did not say when the results of the review would
be made public.
(source: BBC News)
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