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To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Philippines: Roxas rejects death penalty, Duterte vows to execute drug traffickers

Mar Roxas (L) and Rodrigo Duterte (R)
Mar Roxas (L) and Rodrigo Duterte (R)
Presidential candidate Mar Roxas rejected on Thursday the proposal to revive death penalty in the country, stressing that it is not a proven deterrent to crime.

Instead, Roxas said the focus is on the ensuring that criminals are not only arrested but also being convicted if they are found guilty of committing the crime they are being accused of.

"The restoration of death penalty is not the key to a successful anti-crime campaign," said Roxas during the turnover of housing units to urban poor in San Juan City where he was invited as guest speaker.

"You may have death penalty law but if you can't catch criminals and even if you arrest them, you fail to present proofs because of lousy investigation then that's useless," he added.

Roxas was reacting to the position taken by his rival Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who said that he is inclined to restore death penalty if elected.

The tough-talking Davao City mayor was also quoted saying that he wants a regular execution of criminals, especially those engaged in illegal drugs.

But Roxas has a different view of addressing the crime problems in the country.

"It is not the penalty, it is the certainty of arrest of apprehension and conviction that is sure deterrent to criminality," said Roxas.

Roxas said he also opposed the execution of criminals which Duterte has openly admitted to have committed in the past.

"I will not allow summary justice. What is this, might is right? Those who have guns will prevail," said Roxas.

"If that is the case, then we should just go back to the Dark Ages wherein the most powerful prevails," he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin, December 9, 2015


Philippines presidential hopeful Duterte vows to restore death penalty

PHILIPPINE presidential front runner and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he favors the return of the death penalty to combat growing criminality in the Philippines.

In a wide-ranging 2-hour interview with teleradio station dzMM, the maverick Davao City Mayor said he will restore capital punishment for drug-related and heinous crimes.

"Yes, I approved. (Specifically on) drug and heinous crime," was his short replay when asked by program host Karen Davila.

The death penalty was abolished by Philippine Congress in 2006 after strong lobbying from the Catholic Church.

Capital punishment had been part of the Philippine statute since in gained independence in 1946.

Duterte is known to hit hard on criminals and drug pushers, with TIME magazine branding him "The Punisher."

Critics and human rights activist however have slammed Duterte for his high-handed approach to criminality.

He has admitted to pulling the trigger in at least 3 three shooting incidents involving criminals.

One such incident was the kidnapping of the daughter of a pawnshop owner who was also repeatedly raped by her abductors. The kidnappers later brought their victim to her home after collecting the ransom.

"When they alighted, I just shot them," Duterte said.

He defended his actions saying under the law, his action was justified.

Duterte said they were committing a crime under his presence.

"I am a person in authority and they were committing a crime in my presence," said the former Davao city assistant city prosecutor.

In a separate incident, he is reported to have pushed a drug suspect out of a flying helicopter.

Despite the fearsome reputation he has built and accusations of human rights violations, Duterte is widely popular and enjoys the support of Davao City residents.

Davao residents are taking pride that their city has become one of the peaceful places in the country and has been voted as among Asia's most livable cities.

Describing himself as a disinterested presidential candidate, Duterte has warned that his presidency will be bloody. He even threatened to dump the bodies of criminals in Manila Bay for the fish to feast on.

Duterte formally filed and affirmed his candidacy on December 8 as substitute for PDP-Laban candidate Martin Dino, who earlier withdrew his candidacy.

The 70-year city mayor is leading a privately commissioned survey garnering 38 % of voter preference nationwide.

Erstwhile survey leaders vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe are tied second at 21 % while administration candidate Mar Roxas is far behind at 15 %.

Source: asiancorrespondent.com, December 9, 2015

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