FEATURED POST

Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

Image
In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
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 -…

Jakarta prosecutors refuse to rule out death penalty in cyanide-laced coffee case

Jessica Wongso
Jessica Wongso
Despite assuring the Australian Federal Police the death penalty would not be sought, Jakarta prosecutors are publicly refusing to rule it out.

Jakarta prosecutors have refused to publicly rule out the death penalty in the case of a woman accused of murdering her friend with a cyanide-laced coffee.

This is despite the Australian Federal Police (AFP) being given assurances she would not be executed before they agreed to help Indonesian authorities.

Jessica Kumala Wongso is accused of killing her 27-year-old friend Wayan Mirna Salihin in January with a poisoned Vietnamese ice coffee at a popular Jakarta restaurant.

After months in which the case file on the alleged murder was repeatedly sent back to police due to lack of evidence, prosecutors declared the investigation complete this week.

Jessica, also 27, said nothing as she was brought to the prosecutor's office in central Jakarta amid a crush of shouting local media.

Trailing behind her were 2 policemen carrying the brief against her and a box which contains new information provided by the AFP.

The AFP received approval in February from Justice Minister Michael Keenan to provide assistance to Indonesian authorities.

The approval came after the Indonesian government assured Australia the death penalty would not be "sought nor carried out" if Jessica were to be found guilty of the alleged murder.

But Jakarta Attorney Office spokesman Waluyo refused to publicly rule out the death penalty as a possible punishment when talking to local media, saying that even for Jessica "it's possible".

"It depends on facts found in the trial later," he said.

Speaking outside the office, her lawyer Yudi Wibowo told reporters the AFP had given local authorities information about an alleged quarrel between Jessica and her then boyfriend - known only as "Patrick" - while they were living in Australia.

Mr Wibowo claimed "Patrick" had reported her to police, because he was "afraid of being reported first".

"She (Jessica) told me they had a quarrel ... her boyfriend had debt. She asked him about the money he owed to her ... that's all," Mr Wibowo told reporters.

He said the AFP had also received reports of Jessica crashing her car into a nursing home in August last year in Sydney.

But Mr Wibowo said he was doubtful the new information could be used during her trial.

In a case that has dominated local press, Jessica is accused of killing 27-year-old Wayan Mirna Salihin, with whom she studied in Australia - first at Billy Blue College in Sydney and later at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne in 2008.

Jessica met up with Mirna and their friend Hani on January 6, during a trip home to Indonesia in January.

It is alleged she laced Mirna's Vietnamese iced coffee with cyanide.

Moments after sipping it Mirna collapsed and began convulsing.

She was confirmed dead a short time later in hospital.

Prosecutors will now have 110 days to prepare the indictment against Jessica and hand it to Central Jakarta District Court.

The AFP have been contacted for comment.

Source: sbs.com.au, May 27, 2016

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

Most Viewed (Last 30 Days)

Harris County leads Texas in life without parole sentences as death penalty recedes

Idaho County commissioners take stand against death penalty

Texas: Reginald Blanton executed

30-year-old Chinese inmate bids farewell to daughter, wife and mother before execution

USA: Executions, Death Sentences Up Slightly in 2017

Indonesian death penalty laws to be softened to allow reformed prisoners to avoid execution

Death penalty cases of 2017 featured botched executions, claims of innocence, 'flawed' evidence

Virginia Governor commutes death sentence of killer found mentally incompetent to be executed

5 worrying things we’ve learned from new Saudi execution numbers

New book features Kansas man who executed Nazi war criminals