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

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For the past 3 months, Christopher Anthony Young has awoken in his 10-by-6 foot concrete cell on death row and had to remind himself: He's scheduled to die soon.
As the day crept closer, the thought became more constant for Young, who's sentenced to die for killing Hasmukh "Hash" Patel in 2004.
"What will it feel like to lay on the gurney?" he asks himself. "To feel the needle pierce my vein?"
Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when Young murdered his father, has anxiously anticipated those moments, as well. He wonders how he will feel when he files into the room adjacent to the death chamber and sees Young just feet away through a glass wall.
For years, Patel felt a deep hatred for Young. He wanted to see him die. Patel knew it wouldn't bring his father back. But it was part of the process that started 14 years ago when Young, then 21, gunned down Hash Patel during a robbery at Patel's convenience store on the Southeast Side of San Antonio.
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Experts: Restoring death penalty in Turkey would be risky

Rights groups and legal experts said Wednesday that Turkey would be abandoning international rights conventions, and reverting to relics of military dictatorships if it reinstates the death penalty, which was abolished more than a decade ago.

Since the failed coup, hundreds of protesters have chanted in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and demanded the restoration of the death penalty.

Erdogan hasn't pushed back against those demands, saying reinstating it is a constitutional procedure that the parliament has to discuss. If the parliament approves it, he said, he would back it.

"You cannot put aside the people's demands," Erdogan told hundreds of supporters late Monday at a rally outside his Istanbul home.

But European leaders say talks on Turkey's bid to join the EU would end if Ankara restores the death penalty. Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004, as part of its bid to join the bloc.

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty researcher in Turkey, said it's ironic that the country has been among the main campaigners in the United Nations for countries to abolish capital punishment. The last execution carried out in Turkey was in 1984, following the last military coup in 1980.

"The death penalty is a relic of military dictatorship in Turkey," Gardner said. "By bringing back the death penalty, Turkey would be disregarding its international commitments, massively complicating their international relations."

A Turkish criminal lawyer said that even if capital punishment was reintroduced in Turkey, it couldn't be legally applied to any of the alleged perpetrators of the coup because it would be violating international rights principles. The reinstating of the death penalty would require an amendment to the constitution or a public referendum.

A crime can't be punished retroactively with an amended law, said Vildan Yirmibesoglu, a criminal and human rights lawyer.

"The suspect is tried with the existing law (at the time of the crime.) It is not possible to apply a law that has been enacted retroactively to a crime that has been committed in the past."

Source: Associated Press, July 21, 2016


Erdogan: Europe should respect decision to introduce death penalty

Europe will have to respect the choice of Turkish people, if the death penalty is restored in the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

"We have been knocking on the EU door for the past 53 years. They have made us wait for 53 years. Many countries who came after us are already in. I believe that this decision is up to the people. If the people say this must be done, any country that believes in democracy must respect this decision," Sputnik cited him as saying.

Source: vestnikkavkaza.net, July 21, 2016


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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