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Showing posts from December, 2008

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Why Texas’ ‘death penalty capital of the world’ stopped executing people

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Since the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment in 1976, Harris County, Texas, has executed 126 people. That's more executions than every individual state in the union, barring Texas itself.
Harris County's executions account for 23 percent of the 545 people Texas has executed. On the national level, the state alone is responsible for more than a third of the 1,465 people put to death in the United States since 1976.
In 2017, however, the county known as the "death penalty capital of the world" and the "buckle of the American death belt" executed and sentenced to death a remarkable number of people: zero.
This is the first time since 1985 that Harris County did not execute any of its death row inmates, and the third year in a row it did not sentence anyone to capital punishment either.
The remarkable statistic reflects a shift the nation is seeing as a whole.
“The practices that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is following are also signifi…

Saudi Arabia: two men beheaded for raping man

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December 26, 2008: Two Saudis were beheaded by the sword in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of raping a man, the interior ministry said.

Nasser al-Harby and Majid al-Sibeiy entered a room of the unidentified man while he was sleeping before beating him, tying him up and raping him, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheadings in the capital Riyadh bring to 100 the total number of executions this year in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

Source: Afp, 26/12/2008

Palestine: Hamas pushes for Sharia punishments

December 24, 2008: The Hamas parliament in the Gaza Strip voted in favour of a law allowing courts to mete out sentences in the spirit of Islam, the London-based Arab daily Al Hayat reported.

According to the bill, approved in its second reading and awaiting a third reading before the approval of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as the Palestinian constitution demands, courts will be able to condemn offenders to a plethora of violent punitive measures in line with Sharia Law.

Such punishments include whipping, crucifixion and hanging.

The bill is made up of 214 subsections. Section 59 states that "any Palestinian found guilty of raising a weapon against Palestine in favor of the enemy; countering Palestine's interests in a negotiation with a foreign government; and placing Palestine's existence in danger by committing an act of aggression against a foreign country... will be sentenced to death."

A similar fate awaits anyone found guilty of the following: &q…

Singapore: Nonoi's murderer hanged

December 19, 2008: Mohammed Ali Johari, a murder convict, was hanged at Changi Prison in Singapore, police said.

He was found guilty of murdering his two-year-old stepdaughter, known as Nonoi, and was sentenced to death in August 2007. In April 2008, a final court bid to escape the gallows was dismissed by the High Court. Judge of Appeal V.K. Rajah dismissed the appeal, calling what Mohammed Ali did 'the cruellest thing you can do to a child'. Nonoi, or Nur Asyura Mohamed Fauzi, was believed to have gone missing from the Circuit Road flat belonging to her stepfather's parents on March 1, 2006.

Mohammed Ali initially blamed his father and younger brother for not taking good care of her. He confessed to the killing only three days later, claiming that her death was accidental.

He told authorities that Nonoi had began crying while they were in their Pipit Road flat. Wanting to pacify her, he slapped and punched her but she did not stop, so he dunked her in a pail of water. She d…

Iran : vers un nouveau record d'exécutions capitales ?

Pour ce 24 décembre, le régime des mollahs avait prévu de frapper fort en exécutant 10 personnes, 9 hommes (dont Mojtaba Abbassi 29 ans, Roshan Samim 25 ans et Behnoud Shodjaï 20 ans), et une femme (identifiée par son prénom Tayebeh). Un des hommes (mais nous ignorons lequel) a été gracié par la famille de sa victime, les 9 autres ont été pendus.

Il y a de plus en plus de grâces de ce genre en Iran : la conséquence d’un ras-le-bol populaire des pendaisons. En revanche, il n’y a jamais de grâce prononcée par les mollahs et en fin d’année, le rythme s’accélère comme si le régime voulait battre son propre record de l’année 2007 de 317 pendaisons, chiffre (partiel) calculé sur des articles parus dans les journaux iraniens.

Jusqu’au 13 décembre, le chiffre pour l’année en cours s’élevait selon notre décompte à 267 condamnés exécutés. Le 21 décembre, le quotidien Vatan Emrouz a annoncé la pendaison de 5 personnes à Qom. Cela fait donc 14 exécutions en 4 jours et ces 14 dernières pendaisons po…

Iran hangs nine

December 24, 2008: Iran hanged nine convicted murderers, including a woman, in a Tehran prison, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Ten convicts were taken to the gallows in Tehran's Evin prison in the morning, Fars reported, but one was returned to his cell because the family of the victim were not present at the prison.*

Under Iran's Islamic law, sharia, a victim's relatives may pardon the murderer in return for financial compensation.

The nine people condemned to death were hung in the jail yard at the crack of dawn.

According to the report, the woman killed was punished for the murder of her stepdaughter. She pleaded not guilty and told the court that the admission was forced out of her by the authorities.

The report did not identify any of those executed by name.

However, the woman who was hanged was identified as Tayebeh.

Source: IHR, Ynetnews, 24/12/2008

* According to IranPressNews, Behnood Shojaee’s name has been removed from the list of those scheduled to be exe…

Iran: pendaison collective programmée

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Mojtaba Abbassi 29 ans et Roshan Samim 25 ans ont été transférés de leurs cellules de la prison de Gohardasht à Karaj vers la prison d’Evin de Téhéran pour y être pendus. Selon certaines rumeurs, d’autres prisonniers ont été aussi transférés dans le même but. Il s‘agira d’une pendaison collective.

Ce lot comprendrait aussi Behnoud Shodjaï (ci-dessus), aujourd’hui âgé de 20 ans, qui à l’âge de 17 ans avait accidentellement tué un homme dans une bagarre de rue en portant secours à un ami. La Cour suprême a confirmé avant-hier la sentence et fixé la date de son exécution à mercredi 24 décembre.

Selon la loi islamique en vigueur en Iran, le condamné peut échapper à la mort s’il paye une compensation à la famille de la victime. C’est ce que l’on appelle le « Prix du Sang ». Dans le cas de Behnoud, la famille de sa victime exigeait 1.420.000 euros soit 14 siècles de salaire mensuel d’un ouvrier, autrement dit un montant impossible à réunir. Il s’agissait donc d’un refus de pardon. Cependant, …

NEW HELL HOLE NEWS #5, DECEMBER 17, 2008

Hey, ya’ll. Here I am again, just before Christmas. It’s been a rough three (3) weeks here, I’m tellin’ you, since my last.

I was readin’ over the capital case law opinions out of the CCA to see if anyone won anything and ran across the case of Andre Thomas. This poor fellow is seriously mentally ill, schizophrenic (or however you spell it), suffering hallucinations and delusions. Killed his ex-wife, son and step-daughter, pulled out their hearts and put them in his pocket and took ‘em home with him, then stabbed himself in the heart too, but did not die – they did open-heart emergency surgery on him and he survived! In the county jail awaiting trial he pulled out his right eye. Just put his finger in there and dug behind it, popped it right out. Said it had a demon in it.

Readin’ this I’m shocked beyond comprehension. I tell my neighbor “Whoa! Look at this! Would you not like to talk to him and see what was going through his mind!”

Couple days later they locked us all down aga…

Is Texas Changing Its Mind About the Death Penalty?

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Texas has executed prisoners with a regularity and in record numbers that has earned the state worldwide attention. But, while Texas still led the U.S. in executions in 2008, juries in the state appear to have began to turn away from the ultimate punishment even for the most heinous crimes.
Ten men and one woman were sentenced to death in Texas in 2008, according to the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. It was the lowest annual figure since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty. Texas handed out more than 20 death sentences in each of 2003 and 2004. In 2005, the number fell to 14, and it has not risen above that annual figure since. "The need for revenge, for vengeance is being curbed, the appetite is no longer there," contends Robert Hirschorn, a nationally known Texas attorney and jury consultant who has helped pick juries for many prominent clients, including, most recently, millionaire real estate mogul Robert Durst, who was found not guilty of killing …

Iran: man hanged for being 'corrupt on earth'

December 18, 2008: Iran hanged a man in a prison in the religious city of Qom, the government newspaper Iran reported.

Alireza, 41, was found guilty of being 'corrupt on earth' for 'promoting superstitions.'

He claimed that he was the 14th Shiite Imam, Iranian news agency Aftab reported.

Sources: Straits Times, Iran Human Rights, 21/12/2008

U.N.: second resolution against the death penalty approved

December 18, 2008: the United Nations General Assembly approved the resolution for the moratorium on the death penalty for the second consecutive year, with 106 in favour, 46 against and 34 abstentions.

With respect to last year, votes in favour increased by two, votes against dropped by eight, and abstentions increased from 29 to 34.

"The new UN vote against the death penalty confirms the evolution taking place around the world. It also shows that the moratorium is the main vehicle to end this abhorrent anachronism whereby a state becomes Cain to defend Abel," Sergio D'Elia, Secretary of the Radical association Hands Off Cain, said. He was speaking after the approval of the pro moratorium resolution, and noted that it was approved for the second consecutive year and with an even higher margin than the year before.

"Now, we need to ensure that this success is not quickly weakened or wasted. This means we must double our efforts in order to give concrete application to …

Man beheaded in Saudi Arabia

December 21, 2008: Authorities in Saudi Arabia beheaded a Saudi citizen convicted of killing a fellow national after a dispute.

An Interior Ministry statement says Jassim al-Bahrani was executed in the eastern region of Ihsaa. He was convicted for killing his Abdul-Aziz al-Fozan in an argument over money.

Source: Ap, 21/12/2008

Diaz leaves bench with call to end death penalty

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JACKSON, Miss. -- Outgoing Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr.'s impassioned call for an end to the death penalty has drawn both criticism and praise.

In what was likely his departing dissent as his tenure on Mississippi's highest court ends, Diaz says society finally must recognize that "even as murderers commit the most cruel and unusual crime, so too do executioners render cruel and unusual punishment."

Jimmy Robertson, a Jackson attorney who served on the state Supreme Court from 1983 to 1992, said Diaz laid out a number of points, including that the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder, that were "pretty close to being irrefutable to anybody that's objective on the question."

However, Kent Scheidegger, legal director for the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Sacramento, Calif., said Diaz's opinion is "a litany of the familiar arguments against the death penalty, all of which have been refuted many times over."…

Jamaica: Senate votes for death penalty

The Senate yesterday voted to retain the death penalty. Three senators were, however, absent. The final count was 10 for the retention of the death penalty and seven against.

Opposition Senator Sandrea Falconer turned up a few minutes after the vote was taken.

Efforts were made by the Opposition to delay the vote until she arrived, but it was not supported by the Government senators.

When the reverse question was asked for those who were in favour of abolishing the death penalty, seven voted to abolish while 10 voted against removing it from the books.

Similar case

Yesterday's conscience vote in the Senate followed a similar vote in the House of Representatives, where 34 members voted in favour of retaining the death penalty, while 15 voted against. Ten members were absent and the Speaker of the House did not have a vote.

While stating that he was not making a comparison between the Senate and other quarters, Speaker of the Senate Oswald Harding said he was pleased with how the members …

New Death Penalty Interest in Caribbean

One Caribbean nation, St. Kitts and Nevis, staged its first hanging in a decade on Friday. Another wants to begin executing criminals who use weapons, even if they have not killed anyone. And a South American country in the region is seeking the death penalty for murderous pirates.

A crime wave appears to be prompting public officials in and around the English-speaking Caribbean region to pay new attention to the death penalty. The trend has human-rights advocates concerned. They say better police tactics would do more to deter criminals.

A bell tolled Friday from inside Her Majesty’s Prison on the island of St. Kitts to signal the execution of Charles Elroy Laplace, who was sentenced in 2006 to be hanged for killing his wife.

“We have to be certain that there is a deterrent among our people in taking another man’s life,” Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said, announcing the execution to the National Assembly. The homicide rate in St. Kitts and Nevis, with nearly 40,000 people, increased to…

St. Kitts hangs murderer in rare execution in English-speaking Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — St. Kitts and Nevis has hanged a convicted murderer in the first execution in the English-speaking Caribbean in nearly a decade.

Officials say Charles Elroy Laplace, sentenced to death in February 2006 for killing his wife, was hanged Friday inside Her Majesty's Prison in Basseterre.

Legal restrictions imposed by colonial powers in Europe, together with overwhelming international opposition, have all but ended capital punishment in the region.

Nobody had been executed in the Caribbean outside Cuba since the Bahamas hanged a convicted killer in 2000.

But soaring crime is prompting islanders to demand the resumption of capital punishment.

The execution order against Laplace was approved by the governor general of St. Kitts and Nevis, where eight others remain on death row.

Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said earlier this month that he is alarmed by rising crime and called on parents to teach their children "what is right from wrong."

At least 22 people have…

Drug smuggler in Thai court

Dec 19 - An Australian man who attempted to smuggle three kilogrammes of heroin out of Thailand says that he was in need of the money to support his family.

The 36 year old man was arrested at Suvarnabhumi International airport, if he is found guilty he will face the death penalty by lethal injection.

Police said they are looking for another suspect who they believe is an accomplice. He is on the run after managing to escape from the airport.

Thailand was once a major supplier of heroin, which was grown in the mountainous and relatively lawless area close to Myanmar and Laos.

Source: Reuters, December 19, 2008

Two beheaded in Saudi Arabia

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December 17, 2008: Two men were beheaded by the sword in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of murder. Saudi Abdullah Ruili was found guilty of the shooting death of an unnamed compatriot and decapitated in the northern border city of Araar, said an interior ministry statement carried by SPA official news agency.

Mohammed al-Saadi, whose nationality was not given, was convicted of the shooting death of Saudi Ali al-Qahtani and executed in the southwestern city of Bisha, the ministry said.

The beheadings bring to 96 the total number of executions this year in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

Source: Afp, 17, 12/2008

Tennessee inches closer to joining states that have put women inmates to death

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In 1985, allegedly abusive husband Ronald Owens was beaten to death in a gruesome murder-for-hire scheme in Shelby County by a man his wife paid $17,000. Now, his former wife, Gaile K. Owens (pictured), sits on Tennessee’s death row, and could become only the 12th woman in the last 30-plus years to be executed in the United States.

Owens was convicted in 1988 in Shelby County of hiring Sidney Porterfield to murder Ronald Owens. Both sit on death row for a crime court records suggest was violent and savage. The crime began with Gaile Owens openly soliciting men to kill her husband. Records in the State v. Porterfield, 746 S.W. 2d 441 (Tenn. 1988), showed that she met with one of the would-be hitmen, Sidney Porterfield, at least three times.

“Ronald Owens was found in the family’s den on February 17, 1985, with his skull smashed from at least 21 blows from a tire iron,” the court record states. “He had been beaten with so much force that fragments of his skull had been driven into his bra…

Death penalty will be ultimate test for Aust-Indon ties

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It’s been a mixed year for three Australians languishing on death row in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison.

But one thing is certain in 2009 - the fates of heroin smugglers Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and Scott Rush will continue to test Australia’s relationship with Indonesia.

What happens to the three might ultimately prove to be one of the defining tests of the relationship.

Indonesia understands what a sticky issue the drug smugglers pose for the Australian government, given the role of Australian police in sharing intelligence on the ring with Indonesia before their arrests.

But Indonesia is adamant too that the worst drug criminals, seen as contributing to the scourge of addiction in the country, deserve to die.

The involvement of Australian police in a case that exposed Australians to the death penalty is not the only difficult issue for Canberra.

The government did not speak out against the November executions of the Bali bombers, but has said it will seek clemency for Chan, Sukumaran and R…

Death penalty rare in New Hampshire, last execution was 1939

Thursday's death sentence for Michael Addison makes him the 1st person on death row in New Hampshire in decades.

New Hampshire hasn't executed anyone since 1939. The last time a New Hampshire court imposed the death penalty was in 1959, but the lives of the 2 convicted men were spared by a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

In 2004, a federal judge in Massachusetts, which has no death penalty, ordered convicted killer Gary Sampson executed in New Hampshire, but Sampson is appealing and is being held in Indiana.

New Hampshire's narrow capital murder law applies to a half dozen crimes, including killing a police officer, murder for hire and killing during a kidnapping. Prisoners who kill another while serving a life sentence, murder during a rape and certain drug crimes also qualify.

Source: Associated Press, December 18, 2008

Fleury-Mérogis, la plus grande prison d'Europe, filmée de l'intérieur

La prison de Fleury-Mérogis filmée par des détenus
par lemondefr
Une plongée exceptionnelle dans une prison française. Des détenus de la maison d'arrêt de Fleury-Mérogis (Essonne), la plus grande d'Europe, ont réussi à introduire une mini-caméra et ont filmé pendant plusieurs mois, à l'intérieur de leurs cellules, dans les douches et dans la cour de promenade.

De ces 2 h 30 de vidéos tournées en cachette, auxquelles s'ajoutent plus d'une centaine de photos, ressort un témoignage brut sur la vie quotidienne en prison. Un récit, de l'intérieur, des conditions de détention, avec ses locaux dégradés et surpeuplés, ses tensions et ses violences, la débrouille du quotidien mais aussi ses rires et ses instants de solidarité.

Les vidéos originelles, que Le Monde a pu visionner et faire authentifier par plusieurs sources, ne comportent pas de révélations spectaculaires mais confirment, avec la force de l'image, ce que dénoncent régulièrement les rares autorités indépend…

Iran: man hanged for double murder

December 15, 2008: a man convicted of killing two people in Iran was hanged in a prison in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Quds newspaper reported.

It said the unidentified convict stabbed a man to death man two years ago and, while in detention, admitted to a second murder.

Source: Agence France Presse, 16/12/2008

Iran: 267 pendaisons depuis le 1er janvier 2008

Le 13 décembre, deux prisonniers identifiés par leurs noms et prénoms ont été exécutés dans la ville de Tabas. C’est la marque des exécutions politisées. L’identité de l’un des 2 condamnés évoque un lien avec le mouvement armé Jundallah.

Il s’agit de Mohammad-Amin Barahouï, 28 ans, pendu pour trafic de drogue. La famille Barahoui est l’un des trois grands clans de la région. En 2006, le régime avait pendu Alireza Barahoui et plus récemment Mohammad Barahoui. L’autre condamné se nomme Zahed Saleh Abadi, il avait 35 ans, selon Baloutchy FM il serait également baloutche et a été pendu pour meurtre après avoir passé 5 ans en prison. Il n’y a rien de plus précis sur son cas.

Le régime détient actuellement plus de 750 combattants du Jundallah, et prépare un procès spectacle. Il n’est pas impossible qu’il exécute quelques prisonniers pour faire parler les autres et améliorer ce spectacle qui souffrira d’un défaut : de son propre aveu, le régime ne détient pas Abdol Malek Riggi, le chef du Jund…

In Georgia, Push to End Unanimity for Execution

ATLANTA — For three and a half years, prosecutors in Georgia carefully built their argument for sentencing Brian G. Nichols to death for a rash of murders in downtown Atlanta in 2005. With Mr. Nichols admitting to killing four government employees, it seemed like an open-and-shut case in a state where the death penalty remains common.

But on Friday, three jurors shocked the legal community here by failing to agree with nine others on a death sentence and therefore, under Georgia law, sparing Mr. Nichols from execution. Without a unanimous sentence from the jury, a judge instead gave him 11 life sentences, plus 485 years in prison without parole.

Now, just days after the decision, Georgia legislators have began lining up to introduce bills eliminating the requirement that juries be unanimous for a death sentence. Hard-on-crime lawmakers have long favored easier rules on death sentencing, but the Nichols sentence has given new urgency to their cause.

“Unfortunately, you have people who say…

Iran: man hanged in Semnan for murder

December 13, 2008: Iran hanged a man convicted of murder in the northern city of Semnan, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The man, identified only as M. Sh., was hanged for murdering a woman in 2007, IRNA said, without specifying whether the execution took place in public or in prison.

Source: Agence France Presse, 13/12/2008

Saudi Arabia: one man beheaded for murder

December 13, 2008: a Saudi Arabian man was beheaded by the sword after being convicted of murdering a compatriot, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the SPA official news agency.

Zamim bin Sarawi al-Asiri was found guilty of killing Mohammed bin al-Hussein al-Asiri by hitting him on the head with an axe during an argument.

The execution took place in the southwestern region of Asir.

Source: Agence France Presse, 13/12/2008


Iranian to be blinded with acid for doing same to woman

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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- An Iranian woman, blinded by a jilted stalker who threw acid in her face, has persuaded a court to sentence him to be blinded with acid himself under Islamic law demanding an eye for an eye.

Ameneh Bahrami refused to accept "blood money." She insisted instead that her attacker suffer a fate similar to her own "so people like him would realize they do not have the right to throw acid in girls' faces," she told the Tehran Provincial Court.

Her attacker, a 27-year-old man identified in court papers as Majid, admitted throwing acid in her face in November 2004, blinding and disfiguring her. He said he loved her and insisted she loved him as well.

He has until early this week to appeal the sentence.

Doctors say there is no chance Bahrami will recover her vision, despite repeated operations, including medical care in Spain partially paid for by Iran's reformist former president, Mohammed Khatami, who was in power when the attack took place.

Majid…

Maryland Becomes Latest State to Seek End to Death Penalty

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The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment this week released its final report, calling for an end to capital punishment and making Maryland the latest state in the nation to move toward abolishing the death penalty.

"After a thorough review of this information, the Commission recommends that capital punishment be abolished in Maryland," the report reads.

The commission's chairman, former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, said during a press conference held for the report's release, "There is no good and sufficient reason to have the death penalty and plenty of reasons against it."

Later, in an exclusive interview with WEAA/AFRO First Edition radio talk show, Civiletti said, The death penalty is a difficult and complex issue regardless of who considers it, whether it is our court of appeals or the Supreme Court."

In reaching its conclusion, the commission's report cited among its primary concerns the existence of racial and jurisdictional di…

Death penalty losing its appeal in U.S.

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The death penalty could be on the wane in the United States, where a study released Thursday shows death sentences in 2008 are at more than a 3-decade low, and executions the fewest since 1994.

The decline comes despite an U.S. Supreme Court ruling in April that lifted a de facto moratorium on executions by upholding the lethal injection process in Kentucky.

Death penalty opponents had predicted the ruling would lead to a spike in executions as states "caught up."

The report from the Death Penalty Information Center shows Texas remains by far the state that has most applied the death penalty, executing 18.

But Ohio distinguished itself by being the only state outside the South to carry out executions - accounting for 2 of the 37 this year in all states.

"We were surprised that the surge did not happen," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington-based centre, which works for the abolition of the death penalty.

"Courts, legislatures, and the public are…

The religious roots of southern punitiveness

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The Death Penalty Information Center reports that 37 people will be executed in the United States in 2008, down 12 percent from 42 in 2007 and a 30 % drop from 2006.
Are we looking at a gradual erosion of support for the death penalty, or a meaningless statistical blip?
The AP report notes that Texas accounted for 1/2 of the executions in 2007 (18 of 37, or 48% of the national total). Thats a big improvement from 2007 when Texas executed 26 people (62%) out of the 42 inmates executed nationally.
Unlike most reports on this year's numbers, the AP article notes that nearly all of the executions in America this year took place in the South. Only 2 non-Southern states, Oklahoma (2) and Ohio (2) performed executions this year.
Although Oklahoma was still a dumping ground for displaced native Americans at the end of the Civil War, it was largely populated by Southerners and is sometimes considered a southern state for statistical purposes.
But let's not quibble. Of the 1137 executions in…

Tennis Tournament on Death Row

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STUDENTS of the surreal or the preposterous might struggle to come up with a better idea: a fun day of tennis on death row.

For Australian inmates Scott Rush and Andrew Chan, yesterday's tournament in Bali's Kerobokan prison was not only real, but a welcome diversion.

"Thank God for the competition today," Rush said. "It's good for us here. To keep us active, and I like to be active, so do all the prisoners here."

Chan and Rush formed a doubles team to take on the finest from Indonesia's Immigration Department as the prison opened its doors to the media for the tournament.

Prisoners and public servants traded groundstrokes as an organ played and singers serenaded about 100 spectators, among them Australia's consul in Bali, Bruce Cowled.

The event was the idea of Yon Suharyono, the prison governor, who revealed that the many of the Bali nine, the young Australians convicted of trafficking heroin, were keen tennis players. "They love it," he …

Death Penalty Abolished in Togo

The Togolese government has announced the abolition of death penalty, the state radio reported.

The decision to scrap death penalty in the West African nation was announced at the end of the cabinet meeting held here Wednesday evening.

"The choice by the country to set up a healthy judiciary limiting miscarriages of justice, correcting, educating and ensuring human rights is no longer consistent with the criminal law that still implements death penalty," a statement read on the state-owned radio said.

Source: Afrik.com, December 11, 2008

Algerian parliamentarians filed a bill aimed at abolishing capital punishment

December 6, 2008: a group of Algerian parliamentarians filed a bill aimed at abolishing capital punishment, a move supported by the World Coalition.

The text was sponsored by 20 other lawmakers and states: “The death penalty is abolished. No one shall be executed.” The bill seeks to replace capital punishment with life imprisonment in Algerian law.

Once vetted by the Committee of Algeria's National Popular Assembly, the text will be in the hands of the government, which sets the parliamentary agenda. “It will all depend on us and on whatever international pressure may be applied”, said Ali Brahimi. The sponsors of the bill will organise a conference on the death penalty on December 15.

Another event will take place in January thanks to Algeria's National Commission for the Promotion of Human Rights and to World Coalition member organisation Penal Reform International. Apart from Brahimi's RDC party, representatives from two other political movements, including the ruling FLN,…

James McWilliams: 23 years on Alabama Death Row for a crime he did not commit.

Hello, My name is James McWilliams, for the past 23 years, I have been held captive as a prisoner in Alabama's deathrow for a crime that, both, evidence and circumstance show was committed by another man.

Sadly, my appeals are moving toward an unjust, end. An end that would result in the "termination" of my LIFE. Yes, my death !

Still there is great hope. If we can locate the DNA evidence that was recovered by the police from both the victim & crime scene. I could PROVE I am INNOCENT. I will be FREE, my Life SAVED.

To achieve this, I need your support and help.

Read what happened on my blog James McWilliams.

Then join me, I cannot do this alone. Your voice will be heard, your support will enable my lawyer and investigator to continue their efforts to locate the DNA. We believe we are close to proving the truth.

Please Help Me.

Nothing is too small, no one is insignificant. Our strenght is in Our numbers, join me, please.

Thank You

James (mcwi99@yahoo.com)

Qatar: death sentence of Egyptian woman commuted

December 7, 2008: a Doha Appeals Court commuted the death sentence given to a 31 year old Egyptian woman, accused of murdering her Filipina maid, to three years imprisonment.

The woman’s husband, who was sentenced to three years in jail, was acquitted by the second-degree court for lack of evidence. The appeals court said the case in question was “beating that led to death”, ruling out the charges of premeditated murder.

Legal sources said the family of the victim chose to accept a compensation of QR150,000 and they had dropped the claim for execution of the convict.

On June 22, 2007, the maid’s body was discovered in the bathroom of her employer’s house in Doha’s Hilal area. According to sources, the Egyptian housewife began to physically assault her maid after her five-year-old son complained that he had been mistreated.

According to the child’s testimony, given to police officers investigating the crime, his mother used to regularly assault the maid, sometimes tying her to a chair to p…

Droits de l'Homme

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Le blog (incontournable) de Chimulus...

More on this topic on this blog (en français).

9/11 suspects may not plead guilty if no death penalty

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Five men accused of planning the September 11th, 2001, attacks have changed their minds about pleading guilty after a military judge suggested it might prevent them from receiving the death penalty.

"Are you saying if we plead guilty we will not be able to be sentenced to death?" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, asked a military tribunal at Guantnamo Bay.

Two of the five men have not yet been judged competent to represent themselves, and Mr Mohammed and the two others said they would defer a decision on a guilty plea until all 5 could act together. Mr Mohammed has expressed a desire to die as a martyr but the presiding judge, Col Stephen Henley, questioned whether a death sentence was permissible without a verdict by a military jury.

The men are charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law …