FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Execution of mentally ill prisoners ‘inappropriate’, says Pakistan’s Supreme Court

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has indicated that the Government cannot execute mentally ill death-row prisoners such as Imdad Ali, who suffers from schizophrenia.

At a hearing this morning, judges said that if Imdad Ali, who suffers from schizophrenia, can be proven to have been mentally ill at the time of his trial in 2001 then he must not be executed. They added that while Mr Ali remains mentally unfit, it would be “inappropriate” to hang him.

Mr Ali, 50, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Jail medical records presented at the Supreme Court hearing show that Imdad has been treated for mental illness for many years, and that a 2013 medical report concluded that he is “insane.” More recent medical reports, from September and October this year, have confirmed his illness, and a psychiatrist at his prison has deemed him “a treatment-resistant case.”

Sentenced to death in 2002 over a shooting, Mr Ali has spent 14 years on Pakistan’s death row, including 3 years in the jail hospital in solitary confinement. The execution of mentally ill people is illegal under Pakistani and international law. However, despite Mr Ali’s illness, the Pakistani authorities have been seeking to carry out his execution since last month, when a warrant for his hanging was handed down.

At a hearing on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered that a medical board be set up to determine whether Mr Ali is mentally ill.

Pakistan has hanged an estimated 418 people since resuming executions in December 2014, including juveniles, prisoners who were tortured into ‘confessions’, and others who have subsequently been found to have been innocent. The country’s compliance with its international human rights obligations will be reviewed as early as next year by the UN Human Rights Council and UN treaty monitoring bodies.

Commenting, Harriet McCulloch, deputy director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said:

“It’s welcome to hear Pakistan’s Supreme Court affirming that the Government cannot execute mentally ill prisoners. There is already abundant evidence that Imdad Ali is severely mentally ill – his hanging would be a serious breach of Pakistani and international law. The Pakistani authorities must urgently heed these warnings, and commute Imdad’s death sentence before it’s too late.”

- More information about Imdad Ali's case can be seen at the Reprieve website.

Source: Reprieve, November 16, 2016. Reprieve is an international human rights organization.

⚑ | 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: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Gambia: President Barrow Signs Abolition Of Death Penalty Treaty

Texas Child Killer John Battaglia Found Competent for Execution

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

Kenya: Man to hang for stealing toothpaste and toothbrush

Seventeen Hanged in Various Iranian Prisons, One in Public

Judge warns death row inmate to keep Nevada's execution manual secret