[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Mon Feb 20 11:10:28 CST 2012
Death penalty in Belarus
The use of death penalty in Belarus is condemned in another resolution
highlighting the death sentences handed down to Dzmitry Kanavalau and
Uladzislau Kavalyou by the Supreme Court on 30 November 2011. It urges
Alyaksandr Lukashenka to pardon both men and to impose a moratorium on all
death sentences and executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty from
the penal system. The two men were sentenced for allegedly committing terrorist
attacks in 2005, 2008 and 2011 in Vitebsk and Minsk, but according to reports
by human rights organisations (FIDH, Human Rights Watch), there are arguments
showing that the trial was unfair and that the investigation was marred by
serious human rights abuses.The executions of the two may be carried out very
Underlining that this "irreversible, cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment,
which violates the right to life", is unacceptable, MEPs deplore the continuing
failure of the Belarusian authorities to take any tangible steps towards
abolishing the death penalty or imposing an immediate moratorium on it. They
reiterate that the European Union and other international institutions have
repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to abolish the death penalty.
Finally, they condemn the continuous persecution of human rights defenders and
members of the democratic opposition and the harassment of civil society
activists and the independent media in Belarus for political reasons and demand
the unconditional immediate release of all political prisoners.
Belarus remains the only country in Europe that imposes the death penalty and
still carries out executions.
Death penalty in Japan
In a resolution on the death penalty in Japan, MEPs urgently call on the
Japanese Minister of Justice, Toshio Ogawa, not to approve any execution order
in the future. According to press reports, Ogawa had announced that he did not
wish to continue his predecessor's policy of "caution".
MEPs also call on Japan to sustain its efforts towards returning to the de
facto moratorium in place from November 1989 to March 1993 and to encourage to
a public debate on the use of capital punishment in the country.
2011 was the 1st year without any execution in Japan since 1992. Some 130
persons sentenced to death in Japan are currently on death row.
Death penalty to stand for man over 1999 murders of 2 as minor
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday by a 30-year-old man who was given
the death penalty for the murders of a woman and her baby girl in
Hikari,Yamaguchi Prefecture, in 1999 when he was 18.
The decision by the country's top court marks the 1st time the death penalty
has effectively been finalized for the murders of 2 people for a person under
20 at the time of the crimes since court guidelines on capital crimes committed
by minors were issued in 1983.
The man could still ask the highest court for an amendment over technicalities
such as an error in the wording of the ruling within 10 days. But such a
request has never led the court to review a ruling.
Death sentences have previously been given to 5 people who committed murders as
minors, but in each of the three cases involved, the number of victims was 4.
The ruling by the top court's first petty bench presided over by Justice Seishi
Kanetsuki, branded the crime "very evil" and said there was no room for
leniency and that the death penalty was "inevitable" despite the man being a
minor at the time of the murders.
It also said, "Despite a severe sense of victimization by the bereaved family,
sincere remorse is not seen as the defendant made irrational pleas" over the
matter of whether he had intention to kill the victims and the way he committed
Under the Juvenile Act, which defines juveniles as those under the age of 20,
the death penalty can be applied to defendants aged 18 at the time of the
crime. The law prohibits reporting of the names of suspects or defendants in
juvenile crime cases.
The top court supported the Hiroshima High Court's ruling in 2008 that handed
down a penalty of capital punishment on the man, overturning the Yamaguchi
District Court's ruling that found him guilty but sentenced him to life in
prison. The defense had appealed the high court ruling of capital punishment.
Koji Miyakawa, a justice on the court's panel, expressed a dissenting view,
saying the man's mentality appeared to be immature compared with his real age
and that capital punishment should be avoided.
Hiroshi Motomura, the 35-year-old husband of the murdered woman, said at a
press conference, "A death sentence was given. That's what I wanted. Even at
the age of 18, a death penalty can be handed down on a criminal who does not
repent of his act."
Motomura also said he wants the man to face the sentence in a sincere manner.
According to the high court ruling, the man broke into the Motomuras' apartment
in the western Japanese city on April 14, 1999, while Motomura was away and
strangled his 23-year-old wife Yayoi and their 11-month-old daughter Yuka. He
also raped the wife. The man lived near the family.
In 2002, the high court had upheld the ruling of life imprisonment by the lower
court but the top court ordered the high court in 2006 to review the ruling,
saying his age at the time of the crime was not a sufficient reason for
avoiding the death penalty.
(source: The Mainichi Daily News)
Japan court upholds death penalty for baby killer
Japan's Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for a man who killed
a young mother and her baby daughter when he was a juvenile, ending years of
campaigning by the victim's husband.
The decision closes a case that captured the public's imagination as the
distraught father and husband Hiroshi Motomura fought for years to bring the
killer to justice.
Presiding judge Seishi Kanetsuki said the death penalty was inevitable for
Takayuki Otsuki, who was 18 when he raped and killed 23-year-old Yayoi Motomura
before strangling to death her 11-month-old daughter Yuka in 1999 in Yamaguchi,
Otsuki, who is now 30, was found guilty in 2000 and initially jailed for life
by a district court, with judges citing the fact that he was a juvenile --
deemed as anyone below 20 under the Juvenile Act -- for their leniency.
The sentence was upheld by Hiroshima High Court in 2002 following an appeal by
The decisions led Motomura to tell media that he would wait for Otsuki's
release and kill him.
However, following a long campaign by Motomura, the case was finally heard in
2006 by the Supreme Court, which asked the high court to review the sentence.
It said the original high court decision failed to offer clear rationale to
avoid the death penalty.
Two years later the high court changed its decision and passed the death
sentence on Otsuki.
Upholding that decision on Monday, Kanetsuki said hanging was inevitable.
"His criminal responsibility is so significant that we must approve death
penalty, even though he was a juvenile at the time of the crime," he said.
After the announcement Motomura said he hoped Otsuki would accept his penalty.
"Is it social justice to give a person an opportunity to return to the society
when someone younger than 20 years old kills? Or is it social justice to have
the person to pay for the crime with death?" he said.
"I thought very hard. Perhaps, there is no right answer."
The death penalty will be confirmed after an administrative review period of 10
While Japanese law provides some protection from the death penalty for
juveniles, it does allow for those above the age of 18 to face the gallows in
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Kuwait couple get death penalty for murder of Filipina maid
A court has sentenced a Kuwaiti couple to death for beating and then murdering
their Filipina domestic helper, newspapers in the Gulf state reported today.
Topic KuwaitThe criminal court found the disabled husband and his wife guilty
of "premeditated murder" after throwing the maid from their car and driving
over her, Al Rai and Al Anbaa daily newspapers reported, citing the verdict.
No names were published in the reports, for the couple or the maid.
Newspapers said that based on testimony by one of the couple's sons, the wife
beat the maid for days until her health deteriorated.
The son told interrogators that his parents had said they were taking the maid
to hospital for treatment, but he never saw her again.
According to the ruling, the couple took the maid, who was "unconscious" at the
time, to a remote area in the desert where they threw her from the back seat of
the car and then drove over her until she died.
An estimated 73,000 Filipinos - 60,000 of them women working mostly as maids -
live in Kuwait, where some 600,000 domestic helpers, mostly south-east Asians,
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Egypt prosecution: Mubarak deserves death penalty
The chief prosecutor in the trial of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak has
said in his closing remarks that the former president should be given the death
penalty for the killings of protesters in last year's uprising.
Mustafa Suleiman says Mubarak clearly authorized use of live ammunition and a
shoot-to-kill policy against peaceful protesters. Over 800 were killed in the
crackdown from Jan. 25 to Feb. 11, 2011.
For this, Suleiman said on Monday, Mubarak and 5 co-defendants, including his
longtime Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, should receive the maximum sentence.
The defense team of the former president, who ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years,
is expected to present its closing arguments later this week.
(source: Associated Press)
Death sentence for Baghdad bombers
3 brothers and a 4th man are to hang for a March 2007 car bombing in Baghdad
that killed 6 people and wounded 7, a statement released on Monday by the
Higher Judicial Council said.
Iraq has executed at least 65 people so far this year, close to the total of 68
for all of 2011.
“The central criminal court of Iraq issued sentences of death by hanging for 3
brothers and another defendant involved with them in blowing up a car bomb in
the Bayaa area,” the statement said.
The defendants, who were identified only by their initials, admitted to
belonging to al-Qaeda and carrying out the Bayaa bombing, in addition to being
involved in other attacks, it said.
On February 7, Iraq hanged 14 people in a mass execution, many of them al-Qaeda
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has expressed shock at the
number of executions in Iraq, criticising the lack of transparency in court
proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
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