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…

Indian girls attacked with acid days after landmark death sentence verdict

Women, India
"Most victims are women, injured and disfigured by jilted partners or relatives."
Attack in eastern India happened days after a court handed down a landmark death sentence verdict to a man found guilty of murdering a nurse in an acid attack

NEW DELHI, Sept 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Three girls in eastern India are being treated in hospital after acid was thrown on them, said police on Monday, just days after a court handed down a landmark death sentence verdict to a man found guilty of murdering a nurse in an acid attack.

The teenage girls were attacked late on Sunday in West Bengal's Bankura district as they were returning home from tuition classes and were waiting near a bus stand.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said they were taken by three men in a car where they were attacked and acid thrown on them. The three men have been arrested, he said, adding that the victims were now recovering in hospital.

"A Bolero vehicle and three persons have been arrested -- a driver and two other persons -- and cases have been registered against them," Bhoi told Asian News International (ANI).

Acid attacks - meant to maim, disfigure or blind - occur in many countries. They are most common in Cambodia, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Most victims are women, injured and disfigured by jilted partners or relatives.

Previously classified under grievous harm, acid attacks became a specific offence in India in 2013 after public pressure forced the government to improve laws to protest women following the fatal gang-rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus in 2012.

According to India's home ministry, there were 222 cases reported in 2015 compared to 309 the previous year. Activists say the number is under-reported as many do not report cases for fear the perpetrators will seek revenge.

On Thursday, a man in the city of Mumbai was sentenced to death for a fatal acid attack on a nurse at a busy railway station three years ago in what is seen as a legal landmark.

Preeti Rathi, who was 23 when she was murdered, had just arrived from Delhi to join the Indian navy as a nurse. Her neighbour Ankur Panwar attacked her after she rejected a marriage proposal.

It is the first such sentence for an acid attack in India. While certainty of justice and punishment is crucial, regulating the sale of acid is also essential, say campaigners.

"It is shocking that despite the Supreme Court guidelines, acid is so easily available to people like those who did this to these girls," lawyer and women's rights activist Abha Singh told reporters.

"The Supreme Court has given very clear guidelines that you cannot easily sell acid over the counter and is it the responsibility of local authorities to do surprise checks to see if acid is being sold illegally."

India's top court in 2013 ordered the government to curb the sale of acid to control attacks on women.

It made it mandatory for anyone wishing to buy the chemical, which is cheap and used as an everyday household cleaning product, to be over 18 years of age and have an identity card.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation, Nita Bhalla, Ros Russell, September 12, 2016. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org.

⚑ | 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)

Iran: Execution Of A Sports Coach In Hamadan

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

Warden Describes Life on Texas Death Row in Delacruz Testimony

Alabama executes Walter Moody

California death row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned

Aging death row: Is executing old or infirm inmates cruel?

Oklahoma Officials Endorse Nitrogen Executions As 'Humane,' But Some Medical Experts Aren't Sure

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

A 10-Minute Trial, a Death Sentence: Iraqi Justice for ISIS Suspects

California has over 700 people on death row and executions could begin soon