Showing posts from November, 2013


USA | Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a terrible opportunity for Trump

"Sometimes it felt like she was America’s last hope. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court judge since 1993, achieved celebrity status during Trump’s four years. Affectionately given the nickname “Notorious R.B.G” by a slew of online followers, she was the subject of superhero memes and the inspiration for much light-hearted merchandise (Urban Outfitters stocks T-shirts emblazoned with her face and her famously blunt quotes, and I gifted a friend in Brooklyn a cuddly Ginsburg doll for her newborn last year.)
Beneath the jokes, the quotes and the well-designed tote bags, however, ran an undercurrent of anxiety and fear. The fact that Supreme Court judges have lifetime appointments meant that many were morbidly obsessed with Ginsburg — who battled cancer on numerous occasions, and died of its complications today — staying alive long enough to get to the election. She herself clearly felt the same way, if NPR’s reports about her dying wishes are to be believed: “My most fervent wish is …

From Death Row to Restorative Justice

In June this year Texas marked a solemn moment in criminal justice history when it executed its 500th inmate since resuming capital punishment in 1982. Over coffee, on a misty November morning in Houston, Reverend Richard Lopez tells me he has witnessed nearly a hundred such deaths. Like Sister Helen Prejean he has stood by the side of the condemned, shared their last meal, laid one hand on their ankle as the lethal fluid is administered -- and prayed for God's grace.
As he recounts the stories of several of the men who he has attended to, he frequently falters, his eyes thick with emotion. Here is a man still deeply troubled by what he has witnessed. His original calling was to offer solace to the condemned, encourage repentance and show the way to God's forgiveness. Even the hardest and most brutal of men have softened to Rev. Lopez's gentle kindness. He went on to create support systems for the families who come to witness their loved one's last moments. Observing …

'Cities for Life' say no to the death penalty

(Vatican Radio) Over 1.600 cities are gearing up to say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to the death penalty, as part of an annual initiative organized by the Rome-based St Egidio community. Begun over a decade ago to raise awareness about the campaign to end capital punishment worldwide, the ‘Cities for Life’ event now includes marches, meetings and symbolic events in cities right across the globe.
Here in Rome the three day programme featured a meeting at the Italian parliament on Thursday, an international summit of Justice Ministers on Friday and will conclude with a ceremony for the lighting up of the Colosseum on Saturday November 30th.
While the list of countries abolishing, suspending, or commuting death sentences continues to increase, there has also been a number of nations – Gambia, Japan, India, Pakistan and Iraq - that have reintroduced or increased executions over the past year.
Among the goals of the St Egidio initiative is to highlight the Church’s care and concern for the dig…

Georgia high court reinstates many death sentences

In the last 5 years, the Georgia Supreme Court has considered 8 cases where lower courts threw out a death sentence handed down by a trial jury.
Each time, Georgia's highest court reinstated the original sentence.
That result pleases prosecutors, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. But defense attorneys and capital punishment opponents say it's troubling.
The cases typically involve a condemned inmate appealing his death sentence by arguing that his lawyer performed below required standards. Several appeals judges have agreed that an inadequate defense helped prosecutors reach the unanimous jury vote that Georgia law requires for the death penalty.
In most of the cases, the Supreme Court hasn't disagreed that defense lawyers were substandard. But the justices overruled the appeals courts by deciding that poor performance didn't affect jurors' decisions.
Source: Associated Press, November 28, 2013

Georgia: Jimmy Carter's legacy hovers over grandson's r…

China: Death penalty upheld for Beijing road-rage baby killer

Court rejects appeal of convict who pled for lighter sentence, saying he threw baby on the street because he mistook her for groceries
The Beijing High People's Court today rejected the appeal of a man who killed a 2-year-old during a carpark altercation with its mother, upholding the death penalty imposed by a lower court.
Han Lei, 39, was convicted of homicide by an intermediate court in September. The court ruled that he intentionally grabbed the girl from her pram and threw her on the ground during an argument with the child's mum over a parking space on July 23 in Beijing's Daxing district.
The girl suffered severe head injuries that led to her death a few days later.
Han appealed for a lighter sentence, arguing that he had no idea the child was in the stroller and that he mistook the sleeping child for a bag of groceries from the nearby supermarket. He even asked for a lie-detection test to support his claim at the appeal hearing earlier this month.
The prosecution …

Morocco: murderer and rapist of an 8-year old child sentenced to death

November 28, 2013: The court of appeal of the city of Casablanca, Morocco, sentenced the murderer and rapist of an 8-year old child to death penalty, Moroccan TV channel 2M reported.
The incident happened in April 2012 in the city of Mohammedia (30 Km from Casablanca) when the rapist enticed his victim, Meriem, an 8-year old girl to his shop, raped her then killed her and cut her corpse into pieces.
This is the second time in over a month that a Moroccan court hands death sentence to a rapist.
Last October, the court of Agadir, handed a death sentence to the rapist and murderer of a 3-year old.
Moroccan courts rarely rule in favor of death penalty, therefore, the decision seems to be the result of the civil society’s growing indignation regarding child sexual abuse in the country.
The last time a death sentence was carried out in Morocco was in 1993.
Source:, November 28, 2013

UAE: Death penalty for duo who repeatedly ran their car over friend in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah: Two men who killed their close friend after repeatedly running him over with their car on a beach have been given the death sentence.
The duo, identified as N.A., 28, and A.A., 37, both Emirati, told police they planned to murder their 34-year-old friend (who had no documents to prove his identity) when he lost consciousness on a beach after drinking alcohol. They said they had a personal dispute with the victim.
Medical reports showed the victim was repeatedly run over, and sustained injuries to his feet and chest, including fractured ribs. The incident happened in early 2012.
A passer-by found his body under bushes on Maaridh beach and told the two Emiratis about it. Police said the suspects pretend to be shocked over the news. The arrests were made within 24 hours.
Human blood, hair and skin was found on the car of one of the suspects and the bumper was dented.
Presiding Judge Yousuf Rajab announced the verdict at Ras Al Khaimah Criminal court on Wednesday. The vic…

India denies Italian marines face death penalty

'Criteria for capital punishment not met'
India on Thursday rejected media reports that two Italian marines may face capital punishment there for the deaths of 2 Indian fishermen.
"The case does not meet the criteria for crimes punishable by death," government spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told ANSA at a press conference.
The Hindustan Times had reported that investigators from India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) have asked to judge Navy Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone on the basis of the 'Sua Act', which punishes piracy by death.
The 2 are charged with opening fire on a fishing trawler and killing Ajesh Binki and Valentine aka Gelastine on February 15, 2012.
The shooting occurred while the marines were aboard a private vessel on an anti-piracy mission in international waters off the coast of Kerala in southern India, sparking a diplomatic row between the governments of India and Italy over conflicting opinions on jurisdiction and…

Stoning will not be brought back, says Afghan president

Hamid Karzai's government backs away from reintroduction of brutal punishment after outcry
Afghanistan's government has backed away from a proposal to reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery after the leak of a draft law stirred up a storm of international condemnation.
The president, Hamid Karzai, said in an interview that the grim penalty, which became a symbol of Taliban brutality when the group were in power, would not be coming back.
"It is not correct. The minister of justice has rejected it," he told Radio Free Europe, days after the UK minister Justine Greening urged him to prevent the penalty becoming law.
Afghanistan's penal code dates back over three decades. The government is drawing up a new one to unify fragmented rules and cover crimes missed out when the last version was written, such as money laundering, and offences that did not even exist at the time, such as internet crimes.
Rights groups who first highlighted the draft law war…

Drug-related offences put hundreds of Britons in foreign jails: foreign office

LONDON, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- More than 850 British nationals are currently in overseas prisons for drug-related offences, said the Foreign Office on Thursday.
They are serving sentences from months to up to 39 years, it said.
"Some drug crimes can lead to even more severe penalties, and in 33 countries or territories some drug offences carry the death sentence," the Foreign Office warned.
"People continue to be astonished at some of the penalties handed down for certain crimes overseas," said Mark Simmonds, Foreign Office Minister for Consular Affairs.
In the last year alone, consular staff handled over 650 drug-related cases. "We want to reduce this number significantly," Simmonds said.
"Laws, penalties and sentences vary considerably around the world for the use, possession and trafficking of all types of drugs," he said.
He warned Britons not to take risks, saying "the consequences are simply not worth it."
The Foreign Office, in co…

France: Une plaque en mémoire des deux derniers homosexuels exécutés en France bientôt apposée à Paris

Bruno Lenoir et Jean Diot. Ces noms ne vous disent peut-être pas grand chose et pourtant, ils font partie de l'histoire de l'homosexualité. 
En 1750, ce furent les deux derniers hommes exécutés pour raison d'homosexualité en France.
Alerté par un internaute à l'occasion d'un chat sur Yagg le 22 mars 2011, Ian Brossat, président du groupe communiste au Conseil de Paris, s'était engagé favorablement pour que leur mémoire soit honorée. Il a tenu parole. Le 16 et 17 mai suivant, le Conseil de Paris votait à l'unanimité un vœu en ce sens. Et quelques mois plus tard, selon nos informations, ce même Conseil s'apprête à approuver une délibération afin qu'une plaque commémorative puisse être apposée à la mémoire des deux hommes.
Yagg s'est procuré cette délibération et révèle le texte de la plaque: «Le 4 janvier 1750, rue Montorgueil entre la rue Saint-Sauveur et l’ancienne rue Beaurepaire, furent arrêtés Bruno Lenoir et Jean Diot. Condamnés pour hom…

Four executed in Iran, three in public

Two Executions Scheduled for Tomorrow in Southern Iran
Iran Human Rights, November 27: Four prisoners were hanged in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas today, reported the official Iranian news agency.
Three of the prisoners, who were not identified by name, were convicted of drug trafficking while one prisoner identified as "S. Gh." (34) was convicted of rape said the report.
According to the report three of the prisoners were hanged in public while one of those convicted of drug trafficking was hanged in the central prison of Bandar Abbas.
The report also said that two prisoners are scheduled to be hanged in the central prison of Bandar Abbas tomorrow Thursday 28. November.
Source: Iran Human Rights, November 27, 2013

Ten Men and One Woman Executed in Iran Today - One Man Hanged in Public on Sunday

Iran Human Rights, November 26: According to reliable sources in Iran eleven prisoners, among them one woman, were hanged in the Ghezelhesar prison of Karaj (west of Tehran).
The female prisoner was transferred from the Gharchak prison of Varamin to Ghezelhesar for execution.
The executions were reported by the groups "Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran" and HRANA. Iran Human Rights (IHR) has confirmed the executions through independent sources and has the names of the ten Ghezelhesar prisoners.
According to the Iranian State Broadcasting, one Afghan citizen was hanged in public in the town of Khonj (Fars Province, southern Iran) on Sunday. 
The prisoner who was not identified by name was 32 year old and convicted of two murders allegedly committed in 2006.
Source: Iran Human Rights, November 26, 2013

Texas Preps for Last Inmate to Die in 2013

On Dec. 3, Jerry Duane Martin is slated to be the final inmate Texas puts to death this year. He was convicted and sentenced to die five years ago for the 2007 murder of Texas Department of Criminal Jus­tice prison guard Susan Canfield during a prison escape.
Martin and an accomplice, John Ray Falk Jr., were part of a work detail in the prison onion field at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville when Martin used a ruse to get near a guard, stole the guard's .357 revolver and tossed it to Falk. The two inmates then climbed a fence where, on the other side, 59-year-old Canfield was on horse-mounted patrol. Falk struggled with her and stole her rifle while Martin stole a pickup truck parked nearby. Martin drove that truck into Canfield and her horse, pitching her onto the windshield. She sustained head injuries and reportedly died immediately. Martin and Falk then drove a short distance, abandoned the pickup truck, and carjacked a woman in a bank parking lot. After police shot out a tire in …

South Sudan: Amid a Shroud of Secrecy, the Government of South Sudan Quietly Executes Four People

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan should publicly disclose information about its use of the death penalty. South Sudan's prison service carried out at least four executions this November. Two men convicted of murder were hanged in Juba on 12 November. Two others were killed in Wau on 18 November.
The SSLS has been unable to obtain specific information about these executions. Members of the Judiciary declined to provide the names of those executed. The facts of their alleged crimes are not known. Whether or not they had access to legal counsel is not known.
"The Government should disclose the identities of those executed and make public the details of their trials and convictions," said Priscilla Nyagoah, advocacy officer with the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS). "This information is necessary to contribute to an informed and transparent national debate."
These recent hangings are the latest in a disturbing series of judicial executions in South Suda…

Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani for drug trafficking

RIYADH: Saudi authorities beheaded on Tuesday a Pakistani man convicted of smuggling drugs to the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry said.
The man, who has not yet been named, was found guilty of attempting to smuggle an undisclosed amount of heroin that he had swallowed, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
Om Nov 6 Saudi authorities beheaded a Pakistani man Jaafar Ghulam Ali in the eastern Qatif province after he was convicted of drug trafficking in the kingdom,
His beheading in the eastern city of Dammam brings to 72 the number of executions carried out in Saudi Arabia this year, according to an AFP count.
In 2012, the kingdom carried out 76 executions, according to a tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch put the number at 69.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, homosexuality, witchcraft and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the oil-rich Gulf state’s strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.

My journey with Vui Kong

Human rights lawyer M. Ravi tells Elias Tan how he got to know drug courier Yong Vui Kong, what inspired him to save the then 19-year-old from the hangman’s noose and how, in return, Yong has taught him the importance of perseverance.

Q. Now that Vui Kong’s case has come to a close, what are your thoughts on how the case progressed and how it has changed you as a person?
A. Vui Kong’s case is one Singaporeans should reflect on… our so-called love affair with the death penalty. Public opinion polls suggest that most Singaporeans favour killing people who have committed drug offences. Are we really a modern, educated and civilised society? Vui Kong’s case may mark a turning point… we can learn that we will not lose our well-ordered lifestyle as a result of allowing a drug courier to continue on living: that the entire structure of our metropolis will not collapse because a drug offence is not met with a killing; and that a mature society is one that can tolerate breach of the law without…

Food for thought...

“The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless. But the person that committed that act is no longer here - I am. I’m not going to struggle physically against any restraints. I’m not going to shout, use profanity or make idle threats. Understand though that I’m not only upset, but I’m saddened by what is happening here tonight. I’m not only saddened, but disappointed that a system that is supposed to protect and uphold what is just and right can be so much like me when I made the same shameful mistake…Tonight we tell the world that there are no second chances in the eyes of justice...Tonight, we tell our children that in some instances, in some cases, killing is right.”
- Napoleon Beazley, executed in Texas on the evening of 28 May 2002, despite a former Texas death row warden, 18 state legislators, the prosecutor from Beazley's home county, and even the judge who oversaw his trial and set his execution date, being among the thousands of people who had a…

Murderers to face firing squad in Dubai

Dubai’s highest court upholds death sentence against duo who killed compatriot.
Dubai: Two Bangladeshi men who killed their compatriot and stole his cigarettes have lost their appeal and will face a firing squad.
On Monday the two defendants, 27-year-old M.G. and 22-year-old R.N., failed to convince the Dubai Cassation Court to reduce their sentence after contending they killed the victim in self-defence.
Court records said the defendants planned the murder and lured the victim, identified as Rahimuldeen, to meet them in a sandy spot behind their labour accommodation in Al Rashidiya. They then battered his head with a metal rod and a concrete block. They also kicked and beat him until they were sure he was dead. The defendants also stole Rahimuldeen’s cigarettes, mobile phone and wallet.
A third Bangladeshi suspect, R.A., was cleared of involvement in the murder.
“I assaulted him but that was in self-defence. I defended myself after we exchanged blows. He attacked me first and I hit h…

Iraq Executes 11 'Terror' Convicts

BAGHDAD -- Iraq said it had executed 11 people convicted of crimes related to "terrorist attacks."
The Justice Ministry said the executions took place on November 24. A total of 162 people have been executed in Iraq so far this year, compared with 129 in all of 2012.
International organizations and human rights groups have called on Baghdad to impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty; with UN human rights chief Navi Pillay claiming Iraq's criminal justice system does not function "adequately."
But Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari said the executions are carried out only after an exhaustive legal process.
The executions come amid increased sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims that has left more than 500 people dead in November alone, most of them in explosions and car-bomb attacks.
Source: Agence France-Presse, November 26, 2013

Iran: Man hanged in Khonj

November 24, 2013. A 32-year-old man was executed in public in Khonj, Iran, over rape and murder charges.
The execution was carried out in presence of the families of the murdered ones and members of Khonj security council.
According to the sentence issued by Khonj revolutionary court and the confirmation of Fars province judiciary and the Supreme Court, the man was sentenced to death for killing 2 persons in 2006.

Abdollah Mohammadi, the head of Khonj judiciary said: "The executed convict had also confessed to raping a woman."
Source: HRNA, November 25, 2013

Death penalty upheld for Kuwaiti royal

Kuwait's supreme court has upheld a death sentence for a member of the Gulf state's ruling family convicted of killing his nephew, also a royal.
Sheikh Faisal Abdullah Al-Sabah was convicted of shooting Sheikh Basel Salem Al-Sabah to death at the latter's palace in June 2010, apparently over a dispute on board membership at a sports club.
The sentence is final but can be commuted to life in jail by the emir of the Gulf state where executions are carried out by hanging.
Sheikh Basel was the grandson of the late former emir Sheikh Sabah Salem Al-Sabah and the son of late minister of defence and interior Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah.
Courts in Kuwait, which has an elected parliament and a vibrant political life, have in the past handed down death sentences to members of the Al-Sabah ruling family.
Kuwait resumed executions earlier this year after a moratorium since 2007. Around 50 prisoners are currently on death row.
Source: MSN, November 25, 2013

Kuwaiti woman to hang for murdering maid

Kuwait's supreme court upheld on Monday a death sentence against a woman for murdering her Filipina maid after torturing her, and confirmed a 10-year sentence on her disabled husband.
The ruling is final and cannot be challenged but could be commuted to a life term by the ruler of the emirate. Executions in Kuwait are carried out by hanging.
The Kuwaiti woman was convicted of premeditated murder based on evidence that she had regularly tortured her maid before driving over her in a remote desert area.
The husband was handed the jail term for "assisting her," according to a copy of the ruling.
The couple were both sentenced to death by the lower court in February last year. Three months later, the appeals court upheld the death penalty against the woman but commuted the sentence against her husband to 10 years in jail.
According to the ruling, the woman beat her maid for several days until her health deteriorated.
The couple then took the maid "unconscious" to …

Afghanistan considers reintroduction of public stoning for adulterers

Proposal to bring back one of the most repugnant symbols of Taliban regime is in draft revision of country's penal code.
Afghan government officials have proposed reintroducing public stoning as a punishment for adultery, Human Rights Watch said, even though the practice has been denounced both inside and outside the country as one of the most repugnant symbols of the Taliban regime.
The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country's penal code being managed by the ministry of justice.
There are several references to stoning in a translated section of the draft seen by the Guardian, including detailed notes on judicial requirements for handing down the sentence.
"Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]," article 21 states. The draft goes on to specify that the stoning should be public, in a…

Food for thought...

"The profound moral question is not, 'Do they deserve to die?' but 'Do we deserve to kill them?'"
- Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ

Two Women and Four Men Hanged in Iran

Iran Human Rights, November 23: Six prisoners among them two women were hanged in the prison of Yazd (Central Iran), reported the official site of the Iranian Judiciary in Yazd today.
According to the report the executions were carried out early Thursday morning, 21. November.
The prisoners are identified as "Abdolaziz A." convicted of participation in trafficking and possession of 18 kilograms of opium, 10 kilograms of crack and drug addiction; "Saeed B" for possession and trafficking of 52 kilograms of morphine containing drugs; "Sirus S" for possession and trafficking of 306 kilograms of concentrated heroin and for using opium; "Abolfazl A." for possession of one kilograms of heroin, and two women identified as "A. A." and "R. A." for participation in possession and trafficking of 31 kilograms of concentrated heroin.
According to reports by human rights organizations many of those convicted of drug trafficking are subject…

Aurora theater shooting trial postponed indefinitely

The judge in the Colorado theater shootings case on Thursday indefinitely postponed the trial of James Holmes so attorneys can argue whether he should undergo another psychiatric evaluation.
Holmes' trial had been set to begin in February.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 at an Aurora theater in July 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, and they want Holmes to undergo further evaluation of his sanity.
District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. scheduled hearings on further testing and other pre-trial issues for Dec. 17 and 18.
The findings of Holmes' 1st mental health evaluation, conducted at a state hospital, have not been publicly disclosed. But the fact that prosecutors want further evaluation suggests that the 1st exam might have found Holmes was insane.
Holmes' attorneys don't dispute that he committed the shootings, but his plea makes psychiatric evaluations - which assess whether Holmes was sane a…

Mississippi: Woman convicted of killing her infant son shares story of death row pardon

Sabrina Butler remembers July 2, 1990, as she waited in a Mississippi prison to be taken to the death chamber.
Charged in the murder of her infant son, Butler had been sentenced earlier that year to die by lethal injection.
Butler, the 59th person to be exonerated of a crime for which a death penalty was ordered and the only woman, said when her "death day" came, she strained to hear the sound of the jailers coming for her.
Speaking Wednesday before more than 20 people who gathered in Patridge Campus Center at Union College, Butler - who is black - talked about the 6 1/2 years she spent in prison, including the day she thought the jailers would come to take her to her death. She said she didn't know at the time her execution would be delayed to allow more legal proceedings to occur.
Butler was joined by Kate Mudd, an intern with the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Mudd shared some of the results of an American Bar Association Symposium that found serious…

"It Was Like Being an Alien": Damien Echols of the West Memphis 3 Speaks About Healing After Death Row

After 18 years in death row, with much of that time spent in solitary confinement, locked down 23 hours a day at the Varner Unit Supermax, Damien Echols of the West Memphis 3 now walks free - but he is not exonerated.
Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted for the murders of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993 in what prosecutors called a satanic ritual killing. Prosecutors asserted that Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were part of a satanic cult.
The 3 men now walk free in large part because of a new documentary directed by Amy Berg and produced by the couple behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. The film, West of Memphis, lays out the key findings of an investigation, more than a year long, funded by Jackson and Walsh after they got involved with Echols' defense team and the fight to free Echols and clear his name based upon new evidence the documentary brings to light.
The film reveals how prosecutors and politic…

Man Accused of “Gay Handshake” Stands Trial in Dubai

In Dubai, a federal law stipulates that male sodomy is punishable with the death penalty.
You can tell homophobia has gotten out of control when even handshakes between men are scrutinized for being “gay.” In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one man stands trial after being accused of giving a gay handshake to a colleague, reports The Huffington Post UK.
The fact that the case wasn’t immediately thrown out shows how the government is inclined to condemn homosexuality in even the most ludicrous of scenarios.
The handshake in question occurred between a pair of firefighters with a longstanding grudge. The prosecution has charged the defendant with indecency for shaking hands in a “perverted” manner. The supposed “victim” says that, when shaking hands with his coworker, the defendant rubbed his middle finger on his palm.
Although the gesture seems too insignificant to be considered a homosexual act, even supposing it were meant to communicate something “gay,” a harmless handshake should n…

Washington: Execution date set for man in 1997 murder

TACOMA, Wash. — The man who raped and murdered a 65-year-old Tacoma woman in 1997 now has his execution date set.
But prosecutors warn that while execution is scheduled for Dec.17, Cecil Davis will likely stay alive for years as the case moves through appeals.
The prosecutor originally asked execution to be set for Jan. 25, the 17th anniversary of Yoshiko Couch's horrific murder in her Tacoma home. However, certain laws around when the paperwork was received forced the date to be much sooner.
Davis declined to say anything in court.
"The method of execution shall be by intravenous injection or at your election if you wish, hanging by the neck until you're dead.," Judge Ron Culpepper informed him.
"We rarely seek the death penalty and when we do it's in the most egregious of cases," Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.
Seventy-eight people, all men, have been executed in Washington since 1904, the date the state uses as a reference point.

Iraq confirms further executions

BAGHDAD - Iraq has confirmed seven more executions, pushing the number of people put to death this year to more than 150 in defiance of widespread international condemnation.
Those executed, who included a Libyan, had all been convicted of offences related to "terrorism", a statement posted on the justice ministry website on Thursday said.
They bring to at least 151 the number of people put to death by Iraqi authorities this year, compared to 129 for all of 2012, according to an tally based on reports from the ministry and officials.
The statement, which was accompanied by an image of a noose, listed 19 executions between November 7 and 17 , but 12 of them had already been announced by a ministry official earlier this week.
The statement named the Libyan put to death as Adel Omar Mohammed, adding that he had been convicted of carrying out two car bombings.
In a departure from its normal practice, the ministry published the names of those executed, and the offences they had …

'Be prepared' for the death penalty says PNG government

The Papua New Guinea Government says the people should be ready for the government to begin executing death row prisoners.
Papua New Guinea's Attorney-General says the country needs to prepare for the government to begin carrying out the death penalty.
PNG's parliament passed legislation in May to reactivate the death penalty and apply it to seven offences like murder and aggravated rape.
The Attorney-General Kerenga Kua says officials have visited the US state of Texas, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to investigate different methods of capital punishment
"Their job was to go and work out the kind of technicalities involved; the kind of facilities you need to have for this process to take place and the technical methods you need to use." he said.
The team from the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission is now preparing a submission to the government based on their findings.
Mr Kua says it is not a process the government wants to rush.