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 -…

Philippines: Legal & international complications over the death penalty

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
IN 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a "moratorium on the use of the death penalty" in member countries around the world. The resolution proposed a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the future. It was passed by a vote of 104 in favor - the Philippines among them, with 54 against, and 29 abstentions. A subsequent resolution in 2008 was adopted with increased support from 106 states, with 46 against, and 34 abstaining.

In 2010, the General Assembly approved a new resolution drafted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, by a broader margin of support - 109 votes for, 41 against, and 35 abstentions. The resolution renewed its call on "states that still maintain the death penalty to progressively restrict its use, reduce the number of offenses for which it may be imposed, and to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. States which have abolished the death penalty are called upon not to reintroduce it."

The Philippines became the 1st country in Asia to abolish the death penalty when it incorporated in the Constitution of 1987, in the Bill of Rights, Article III, Section 19(1): "The death penalty shall not be imposed unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress thereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua." In 1993, however, following a series of crimes described as heinous, RA 7659 reimposed the death penalty for 46 crimes, to be carried out by lethal injection, no longer by electric chair as before.

After 7 executions in 1999, President Joseph Estrada issued a moratorium on executions in observance of the "Jubilee Year" of the Roman Catholic Church. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lifted the moratorium following a rise in drug trafficking and kidnappings, "to sow fear in the hearts of criminals." But no further executions were actually held, as the administration issued reprieves.

Today, the incoming Duterte administration has announced that it will renew executions as part of its campaign against crime, preferably by hanging. Secretary of Justice Emmanuel Caparas, however, has pointed out that the Philippines approved the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at abolition of the death penalty in 2007. In the absence of a withdrawal mechanism in the protocol, he said, once a state ratifies it, the death penalty cannot be reintroduced without violating international law.

The outgoing Aquino administration has urged the incoming Duterte administration to conduct a thorough study of the issue in view of these complications involving international law and international relations. There could be sanctions, such as withholding of international cooperation and aid. A referendum on the issue has also been suggested - this would help to determine the people's - not just the officials' - views on this most critical issue.

Source: tempo.com.ph, June 16, 2016

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

Most Viewed (Last 30 Days)

Idaho County commissioners take stand against death penalty

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

Texas: Reginald Blanton executed

China sentences ten to death in front of cheering crowd of thousands

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

Japan hangs 2 inmates; first executions since July

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