FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

UN: Halt death penalty of Nizami, Mir Quasem

Bangladesh Supreme Court
Bangladesh Supreme Court
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Bangladesh government to halt the death penalty to condemned war criminals Motiur Rahman Nizami and Mir Quasem Ali.

The OHCHR made the call in a statement issued on Friday.

Expressing concern about the death sentences to the duo, the OHCHR also raised question in relation to international due process and fair trial standards.

It stated that the UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, no matter the gravity of the crime committed and even if the most stringent fair trial standards were respected.

"While recognising Bangladesh's determination to tackle past crimes, the trials conducted before the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal have unfortunately not met international standards of fair trial and due process as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)," it says.

The statement reads: "We renew our call to the Government of Bangladesh, as a 1st step forward, to halt all executions and institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty."

Bangladesh's 1st war crimes tribunal handed Nizami death on October 29, 2014 on 4 charges and life imprisonment on 4 other charges. He challenged the verdict at the apex court.

On January 6, a 4-member Appellate Division bench upheld the tribunal's sentence for the Al-Badr chief for masterminding the killing of intellectuals and involvement in 2 incidents of mass killing of over 500 people in Pabna in 1971.

The Supreme Court on March 8 upheld the war tribunal's death sentence awarded to Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Top Jamaat-e-Islami financier Quasem, now 64, was awarded capital punishment by the tribunal on November 3, 2014. 

Source: Dhaka Tribune, April 8, 2016


Nizami review hearing on Supreme Court's cause list for Sunday

The Supreme Court's business agenda for Sunday includes the matter of a petition by war crimes convict Motiur Rahman Nizami for a review of the verdict upholding his death sentence.

After being deferred once, the matter has been listed as the 19th issue on the agenda at the 4-member appeals bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.

The other members of the bench are justices Nazmun Ara Sultana, Syed Mahmud Hossain and Hasan Foez Siddique. On Apr 3, the court deferred the matter for a week after Nizami's counsels pleaded for time.

Nizami, who heads the Jamaat-e-Islami, filed a petition for a review of his death sentence over his 1971 war crimes on Mar 29.

In January this year, the top court rejected Nizami's appeal to overturn the International Crimes Tribunal's 2014 verdict.

As the head of the Jamaat's then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha, Nizami commanded the Al-Badr, a militia known for its ruthless mass murder, rape, loot and killing of Bengali intellectuals in complicity with Pakistani soldiers during the 1971 war.

Review is the last legal recourse for a death row convict after all other judicial means have been exhausted.

The option to seek presidential mercy provides the only remaining hope ahead of execution in case the review is rejected.

On Mar 16, the death warrant issued by the ICT was read out to Nizami after the Supreme Court published the full copy of his verdict.

Nizami's case is the 6th among all war crimes cases so far to have reached the stage of a review petition after the publication of the full verdict.

The 72-year-old is the 3rd former minister facing the gallows for war crimes.

Nizami, industries minister in the 2001-06 BNP-led coalition government, was also handed the death penalty in 2014 for arms trafficking in the sensational Chittagong 10-truck arms haul case.

Source: bdnews24.com, April 8, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Ex-Aum member Yoshihiro Inoue’s last words: ‘I didn’t expect things to turn out this way’

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Ohio Governor commutes one sentence, delays another

Oklahoma: Death row inmate’s legal team hopes DNA testing on key piece of evidence will exonerate him before execution