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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Singapore: Belgian accused of killing son could escape death penalty

Philippe Graffart
Philippe Graffart
A Belgian man accused of murdering his 5-year-old son in Singapore could be spared from hanging if he pleads guilty to an amended charge, state prosecutors said Wednesday.

Philippe Graffart, 42, was charged with the murder of his son Keryan at an upmarket condominium in October 2015 but has been found to be suffering from severe depression.

Murder is punishable by death through hanging in Singapore, but Graffart would instead face a maximum term of 10 years and caning should he plead guilty to an amended charge of culpable homicide under the Singapore penal code.

"The accused suffered from major depressive order which substantially impaired his mental state at the time of the offence," the Attorney-General's Chambers told AFP in reply to a query.

"The charging and sentencing position will be made clear when the matter is heard in open court."

Execution by hanging dates back to British colonial rule in Singapore and is applied to convicted murderers and drug traffickers. There is no other form of execution in the city-state.

Graffart's lawyer Ramesh Tiwary said his client was "still very depressed about what happened".

The Belgian, a former finance executive who has been in remand since his arrest in October hours after the killing, did not appear in a district court on Wednesday during a pre-trial session because he was unwell, Tiwary said.

He said the next pre-trial conference on the case is scheduled for March 29.According to Singapore media reports, Graffart's son was found strangled in his bedroom with hand-shaped bruises around his neck.

The father was believed to have been fighting for the boy's custody with his ex-wife at the time.

Graffart's account on business networking service LinkedIn before his arrest described him as an executive director and head of fund distribution in the Asia-Pacific region for Oslo-based Nordea Investment Management

Source: asiaone.com, March 23, 2016


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