FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

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)

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Nebraska seeks July 10 date for state's 1st execution since 1997

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’