FEATURED POST

'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

Image
Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to opt-in to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and - if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting - it could potentially end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
"Opt-in would speed up the death penalty treadmill exponentially," said Kathryn Kase, an longtime defense attorney and former executive director of Texas Defender Services.
But a state attorney general spokeswoman framed the request to the Justice Department as a necessary way to avoid "stressful delays" and cut down on the "excessive costs" of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the #TimesUp movement, says sweeping changes to laws in recent years have dissuaded attorneys from taking on har…

Duterte to ‘courteously’ seek mercy for Veloso

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte yesterday said he would plead for mercy on behalf of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso when he meets with Indonesian President Joko Widodo this week.

Veloso, who was sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking, was scheduled to be executed in April last year but got a last-minute reprieve after her recruiters who allegedly planted illegal drugs in her luggage surrendered to Philippine authorities.

Veloso has maintained she is innocent and was only tricked by her recruiter into smuggling cocaine.

“I may just have to ask President Widodo in the most respectful and very, very courteous way… (I would) plead for mercy,” Duterte said yesterday.

“But if my pleading will fall on deaf ear, I am ready to accept it,” he said in a press briefing prior to his departure for Laos to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.

From Laos, the President will proceed to Indonesia on Thursday for a two-day state visit.

Duterte, whose administration is waging a drug war, said he does not doubt the efficiency of Indonesia’s judicial system.

“I’ve been there once upon a time and was able to observe how it works,” he said.

“I might just accept the system and plead for mercy but if President Widodo will deny it, still I would be grateful that she had been treated very well. After all, we have our laws to follow,” he said.

Duterte, who is pushing for the reinstatement of the death penalty in the Philippines, admitted he would not know how to respond if he were in Widodo’s shoes.

“Had it been the other way around – I might also be at the receiving end of so many pleas for mercy – I would never know how to react,” he said.

Source: The Philippine Star, Edith Regalado and Giovanni Nilles, September 6, 2016

Duterte ready to accept Mary Jane's fate


Rodrigo Duterte and Mary Jane Veloso
Rodrigo Duterte and Mary Jane Veloso
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte said he will try to appeal the case of Filipina drug convict Mary Jane Veloso when he meets his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo later this week. 

Duterte, who will fly to Indonesia on Thursday after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit in Laos, said he will discuss Veloso's case with Widodo. 

''I may just have to ask Widodo in a most respectful and very, very courteous way. And if my pleading will fall on deaf ear, I am ready to accept it,'' he said.

Veloso was due to be executed last year by firing squad but she was given a last-minute reprieve by Widodo.

The reprieve was given after Manila told Jakarta that it had in its custody Veloso's recruiter who allegedly planted the illegal drugs in the Filipina's luggage.

Veloso maintains she is innocent and was only tricked by her alleged recruiter into smuggling cocaine.

But Duterte, who is waging a bloody illegal drug crackdown at home, said he does not doubt the efficiency of Indonesia's judicial system.

''I don’t doubt the judicial system of Indonesia. I've been there once upon a time and was able to observe how it works,'' he said.

''I might just accept the system and plead for mercy but if President Widodo will deny it, still I would be grateful that she had been treated very well. After all, we have our laws to follow."

Duterte, who is pushing for the reinstatement of death penalty in the Philippines, admitted he would not know how to respond if he were in Widodo's shoes.

''Had it been the other way around -- I might also be at the receiving end of so many pleas for mercy -- I would never know how to react,'' he said.

Indonesia and the Philippines are two of Asia's main suppliers of migrant workers, with about 8.5 million such workers overseas, official data show.

There are 205 Indonesians and 94 Filipino migrant workers on death row overseas, according to Indonesia's women's commission and Migrante International, citing figures from their respective foreign ministries.

Indonesia imposed a moratorium on executions for five years before resuming them in 2013. It has executed 14 convicts, most of them foreigners, under Widodo.

But amid international outrage last year, scheduled executions were postponed while the government focused on reviving the economy, officials said.

Source: ABS-CBN News, with Reuters, Dharel Placido, Sept. 5, 2016

Philippines scrambles to soothe tensions after insult to Obama


Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
VIENTIANE (Reuters) - The Philippines scrambled to defuse a row with the United States on Tuesday and its new president, Rodrigo Duterte, voiced regret for calling President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch", comments that prompted Washington to call off a bilateral meeting.

The tiff between the two allies overshadowed the opening of a summit of East and Southeast Asian nations in Laos.

Duterte has bristled repeatedly at criticism over his "war on drugs", which has killed about 2,400 people since he took office two months ago, and on Monday said it would be "rude" for Obama to raise the human rights issue when they met.

Such a conversation, Duterte told reporters, would prompt him to curse at Obama, using a Filipino phrase "putang ina" which can mean "son of a bitch" or "son of a whore".

After Washington called off Tuesday's bilateral meeting between Obama and Duterte in response, the Philippines issued two statements expressing regret.

"President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would 'lecture' him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern," the Philippines government said in one statement.

"He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy," it added. "He expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations."

The White House had earlier said Obama would not pull any punches on his concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines, its treaty ally, when meeting Duterte.

It was not immediately known if the bilateral meeting between the two president would be rescheduled.

The unusually open tensions between the United States and the Philippines, its former colony and long-term ally, threaten to overshadow the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summits in Laos from Tuesday to Thursday.

Duterte won the presidency in May as he promised to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers. At least 2,400 people have been killed since he took office on July 1, including 900 in police operations against drug pushers.

The rest are "deaths under investigation", a term human rights activists in the Philippines say is a euphemism for vigilante and extrajudicial killings.

Duterte has poured scorn previously on critics, usually larding it with curses.

He lambasted the United Nations after it criticized the surge in killings and he turned down a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Laos summit.

In May, he called Pope Francis a "son of a whore", although he later apologized, and called U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg a "gay son of a whore."

Source: Reuters, Sept. 6, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, an omission; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; send a submission; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Vengeful Alabama to Kill 83-Year-Old Man

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

Alabama set to execute 83-year-old for pipe bomb murders

Texas: Why This Judge Dreads Execution Day

California death row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned

Iran: Execution Of A Sports Coach In Hamadan

Iran: Juvenile Offender Mohammad Reza Haddadi at Imminent Risk of Execution

Middle East tops death penalty list with 'gruesome tally' of executions

Jeff Sessions: It's OK with feds if Alabama executes judge's killer

Iraq: French female Daesh member escapes death penalty, given life in jail