FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Philippines would abandon 'serious' commitment if it revives death penalty - Amnesty International

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
Human right group Amnesty International on Friday said the Philippines would be abandoning international commitments if it pushes through with the plan to bring back the death penalty as favored by incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.

"It would be a shame on the Philippines," said AI vice chairperson Romeo Cabarde at a press briefing.

He said the Philippines is one of the countries at the forefront of the campaign against death penalty, having signed the Second Optional Protocol to the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The protocol mandates state members to push efforts in abolishing the death penalty.

"We are appreciated globally because we are the 1st country in Asia to outlaw death penalty," Cabarde said. "Reviving it means there are serious commitments that we are abandoning internationally."

The death penalty in the Philippines was abolished under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2006 with the signing of Republic Act 9346 or An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.

The said law ultimately repealed Republic Act 7659 or the Death Penalty Law.

"What kind of face are we going to show to the rest of the world, having promised that we will commit to the eradication of death penalty and here comes a new leader who would impose it just because he wanted to curb criminality?" Cabarde asked.

"Hindi naman natin bababa ang krimen just because there is a presence of death penalty. It is not a deterrent factor to the commission of crime," he added.

Not a deterrent to crime

Cabarde also said some studies have already been conducted which disprove the belief that imposing death penalty would result in lower crime rates. He noted that when the Philippines still had the Death Penalty Law, the crime rate was higher.

"There is no logical connection, between imposing death penalty and reducing crime rates in the country," he said

Cabarde instead proposed that to solve the crime problem, the government must strengthen law enforcement, and improve its judicial system and the provision of basic social ecomonic needs.

"Kung ito naa-address natin, then we would not need death penalty," he said.

He added that the more Duterte pushes for the death penalty, "the more there is an implied admission that law enforcement, the judiciary is not working in the Philippines."

"Kung 'yun ang root cause kung bakit mayroong criminality, then I think we have to hit the target at its very root and not propose something that is proven to be ineffective," he said.

Amnesty International-Philippines board member Veronica Cabe echoed the sentiment, saying their group expects the incoming president to instead implement programs on economic, social and cultural rights.

Proposed plan of action

During the press conference, the group outlined their programs of action on human rights which the group plans to submit as proposal to Duterte.

The document outlines 4 major concerns of the group, all of which boil down to the protection of human rights.

Cabe said one key point they would want to raise is the strenghtening of the independence and mandate of constitutional bodies that ensure government accountability in safeguarding the rights of its constituents.

"In societies stricken with high levels of inequality, a leader who does not adhere to human rights principles can be a threat to justice and freedom," Cabe said.

The group also wants human rights be embedded in peace process and prevent the use of counter-insurgency measures to justify human rights violations.

"Change is coming"

Meanwhile, Amnesty International country chairperson Ritzlee Santos said Duterte should stand for his slogan "Change is coming" and truly deliver changes when it comes to human rights.

"We want that change to happen," Santos said.

"The human rights situation in the Philippines is in dire need of uplifting... We would like to ask the President to make human rights the top of his administration's [priority]," Santos added.

Source: gmanetwork.com, May 20, 2016

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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Gambia: President Barrow Signs Abolition Of Death Penalty Treaty

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

Texas Child Killer John Battaglia Found Competent for Execution

Judge warns death row inmate to keep Nevada's execution manual secret

Iran: More Public Executions, Prisoner Hanged While Crowd Watched

Seventeen Hanged in Various Iranian Prisons, One in Public