Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

North Korea's Kim Jong Un has top official executed for 'disrespect', Seoul reports

Image
Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed his deputy premier for education and purged two other senior officials, sending them to re-education camps, the South Korean government said Wednesday.
Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the South's Unification Ministry, said at a news briefing that the government had used various means to confirm the execution of Kim Yong Jin, the deputy premier, and the purge of Kim Yong Chol, the head of the United Front Department of the ruling Workers' Party, which handles relations with, as well as spying operations against, South Korea. Choe Hui Do, a deputy chief of the party's Propaganda and Agitation Department, was also banished for re-education, Jeong said.
Mr Jeong provided no further details, including when the reported punishments were believed to have taken place or how South Korea had learned of them.
Kim Yong Jin, the deputy premier, would be the highest-ranking official known to have been executed since 2013, when North K…

Ohio execution dates now stretch in 2020

Image
The list of convicted Ohio killers waiting to die keeps growing, with execution dates now stretching into 2020.
As has been the case for 2 years, however, the lethal injection drugs required to execute them aren't available.
The Ohio Supreme Court set 2 new execution dates in the past week, bringing the total to 28 scheduled over the next 4 years. 
Added were John E. Drummond of Mahoning County for Sept. 17, 2020, and Nathaniel Jackson of Trumbull County on July 15, 2020.
Another 26 men are ahead of them, beginning with Ronald Phillips, of Summit County, on Jan. 12, 2017. Phillips is the 1st of 11 slated to die next year at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility nearly Lucasville. Another 8 are on the list in 2018 and 7 are scheduled in 2019.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has not found drugs required for the executions.
"DRC continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court-ordered executions," spokeswoman JoEllen…

Bangladesh: Halt imminent execution of Mir Quasem Ali after unfair trial

Image
The Bangladesh authorities must halt the imminent execution of a senior political leader who has been sentenced to death following a deeply flawed trial, Amnesty International said today.
"The people of Bangladesh deserve justice for crimes committed during the War of Independence. The continued use of the death penalty will not achieve this. It only serves to inflame domestic tensions and further divide a society riven by violence," said Champa Patel, Amnesty International's South Asia Director.
The Bangladesh Supreme Court today upheld the conviction and death sentence against Mir Quasem Ali, a key financier of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, after rejecting his review appeal. It follows an International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) judgement - a Bangladeshi court examining war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 War of Independence - that found Mir Quasem Ali guilty of committing crimes against humanity in November 2014.
Last week a group of UN experts urged the Bangladeshi gove…

Over 800 Nepali migrants in jails abroad, at least 27 on death row

Image
Blood money can save 17 of the 27 facing death sentence

More than 800 Nepali migrants are serving jail term in their job destination countries, mostly in the Gulf countries and Malaysia.
In addition to that at least 27 Nepali workers are facing death sentence in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. However, most of them can skip their execution if they pay 'blood money', according to an official report.
As per the Islamic Sharia law, blood money is the money paid by a murderer or his/her family to the family or kin of the victims generally to get clemency from death penalty.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour and Employment today jointly presented the details of the report in front of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who earlier directed both the ministries to swiftly work for safety and welfare of migrant workers.
Deputy PM and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Foreign Minister Prakash…

At least 3 Filipinos await execution in China over drug-related offenses

Image
At least 3 Filipinos are awaiting their death execution in China over drug-related offenses, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday.
At yesterday's House Committee on Appropriations briefing on the DFA's proposed P16.63 billion budget for 2017, he said "2 or 3" Filipinos are facing death penalty in China for illegal drugs.
"In Indonesia, we have 1. In China, 2 to 3 (Filipinos) are facing death sentence. They have not been scheduled for execution," he told the lawmakers.
The government is flexing its muscles to spare the life of Mary Jane Veloso, who was apprehended in 2010 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia upon her arrival from Malaysia for transporting 2.6 kilograms of heroin concealed in her luggage.
She was given a temporary reprieve on the eleventh hour by Indonesian President Joko Widodo last year after the previous Aquino government asked the Indonesian government that she be first allowed to provide testimonial evidence against her alleg…

Bangladesh ex-MP sentenced to death over 1971 war crimes

Image
August 10, 2016: A special tribunal dealing with war crimes committed during Bangladesh's independence war against Pakistan in 1971 sentenced a former lawmaker to death and seven others to life in prison for murder and other crimes.
The tribunal sentenced Sakhawat Hossain, a former parliament member belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, to death on August 10. 
He and one of the other defendants were present in the court. 
The six others were tried in absentia.
Hossain was a central committee member of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami party at the time, and was accused of acting as a local commander of a group that aided Pakistani soldiers. 
He left Jamaat-e-Islami and joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. 
At the time of the court case he was involved with Jatiya Party headed by former military dictator H. M. Ershad.
His lawyers said they will appeal. 
Sources: AP, August 10, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, a…

UN rights expert expresses outrage over execution of 12 people in Iran

Image
NCRI - 29 August 2016- Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed (1), who had earlier this year noted that 'the overall situation has worsened' with respect to human rights," today condemned Iran’s ‘illegal’ execution of 12 people on drug-related charges, following is the press release which was published today by The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
UN rights expert condemns Iran’s ‘illegal’ execution of 12 people on drug-related charges
GENEVA (29 August 2016) – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, has expressed outrage at the execution on 27 August of 12 people, including Alireza Madadpour, on drug-related charges. 
Mr. Shaheed had appealed publicly on 26 August to the Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the planned executions at Karaj Central Prison.
“The execution of individuals for drug-related offences is simply illegal,” Mr. Shaheed said, noting t…

Turkey: Erdogan Renews Call for the Death Penalty

Image
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his support for the death penalty, saying its reinstatement would fulfill the wishes of the Turkish majority.
At a rally Sunday in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Erdogan told hundreds of people his remarks were also directed at members of the Turkish parliament.
"I am now conveying your request once again," Erdogan said of the death penalty. "They should assess this issue and make a decision. I would approve that decision."
Erdogan, who traveled to Gaziantep to express condolences to the families of the 54 people who were killed last weekend at a Kurdish wedding, has pushed to reinstate the death penalty in the wake of last month's failed coup against him.
Erdogan's calls for its reinstatement have become more frequent since the July 15 coup attempt as he carries out a massive purge of those suspected of taking part it in it.
The purge has mostly targeted members of the military, police and int…

North Korea publicly executes two officials: South Korean newspaper

Image
North Korea publicly executed two officials in early August for disobeying leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean newspaper reported on Tuesday, in what would be the latest in a series of high-level purges under the young leader's rule, if confirmed.
Kim took power in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, and his consolidation of power has included purges and executions of top officials, South Korean officials have said.
Citing an unidentified source familiar with the North, the JoongAng Ilbo daily said former agriculture minister Hwang Min and Ri Yong Jin, a senior official at the education ministry, had been executed.
The report could not be independently verified, and South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles North Korea-related matters, did not have immediate comment.
Some previous media reports of executions and purges in the reclusive state later proved inaccurate.
The report of the executions comes soon after the South said North Korea's deputy ambas…

Iran regime mass executes 30 prisoners in 3 days

Image
The mullahs' regime has stepped up a spate of mass executions in recent days, hanging at least 18 people last Thursday alone.
On Thursday, August 25, 7 prisoners, including a woman, were executed en masse in the Central Prison of Yazd, central Iran.
The state-run Rokna news agency claimed that 5 of the victims were accused of drugs-related charges.
Separately on Thursday, the regime mass executed 11 prisoners in the Central Prison of Zahedan, south-east Iran. One of the victims was identified as Hamzeh Rigi.
On Saturday, August 27, despite international calls for a halt to the executions, 12 prisoners were hanged in the Central Prison of Karaj. 
These prisoners had been transferred to solitary cells on August 24 to prepare them for implementation of the death sentence.
Commenting on the recent spate of mass executions in Iran, on Monday Shahin Gobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said: "As the regime plunges further int…

Racial bias found in Texas death penalty cases, Harvard Law School study says

Image
Harris County was named 1 of 16 'outlier' counties in the US, where 5 or more death sentences were assessed between 2010 and 2015
A Harvard Law School study has found that racial bias, overly aggressive prosecutions and inadequate representation for poor defendants affect death penalty cases in Harris County, Texas. Juries in the county, which includes Houston, have imposed the death penalty more than any other county in the US since its reinstatement in 1976.
The Fair Punishment Project also notes that the number of death sentences handed down in Harris County has fallen to 10 since 2010, from 53 between 1998 and 2003.
Harris County was named 1 of 16 "outlier" counties in the US, where 5 or more death sentences were assessed in between 2010 and 2015. In the 8 counties examined by the study, 41% of the death sentences were given to black defendants and 69% to minorities overall. In Harris County, all defendants condemned since 2004 were from racial minority groups.

Pakistan's death row: Where even angels fear to tread

Image
Last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan set a date for the final appeal hearing for Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death in 2010 on accusations of alleged blasphemy. The 51-year-old Christian convict and mother of 5 will have her final appeal heard before the court during the 2nd week in October.
Bibi initially appealed against her death sentence to the Lahore High Court, which in October 2014, upheld the verdict. The Supreme Court agreed last July to hear Bibi's case and stayed her death sentence.
One of the most controversial blasphemy cases to-date, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated for standing with Bibi; Minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down by terrorists and Taseer's assassin Mumtaz Qadri was given death in February 2016.
It all began over Bibi sharing a bowl of water with a Muslim woman in June 2009 in the town of Sheikhupura in the Punjab province. As the women were picking berries, a Muslim woman became furious when Bibi drank from th…

Illegal drugs are flowing into California's most guarded prisons — and killing death row inmates

Image
Condemned murderer Michael Jones was acting strangely and profusely sweating when guards escorted him in chains to the San Quentin medical unit that doubles as the psych ward on death row.
“Doggone, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again,” he told a fellow inmate, Clifton Perry.
Hours later, Jones was dead.
Toxicology tests later found that he had toxic levels of methamphetamines in his blood.
The condemned inmates on California's death row are among the most closely monitored in the state. Death row’s 747 inmates spend most of their time locked down, isolated from the rest of the prison system under heavy guard with regular strip searches and checks every half-hour for signs of life.
Still, six death row inmates died between 2010 and 2015 with detectable levels of methamphetamines, heroin metabolites or other drugs in their system, according to Marin County coroner records.
Three of them had toxic levels of drugs, including one in whose intestines were found five snippe…