FEATURED POST

Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

Image
ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Halt imminent plans to resume executions in Maldives after 6 decades: AI

The Maldives authorities must immediately halt plans to resume executions and instead impose a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition. 

Amnesty International has received reports that the resumption of executions could be imminent.

The Maldives Supreme Court has to date upheld the death sentences of 3 prisoners, meaning that their domestic legal appeals are exhausted and that they are at immediate risk of execution:

-- Hussain Humaam Ahmed (Humaam) was convicted of and sentenced to death for murder in 2012, and the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 24 June 2016. Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have raised serious concerns about the fairness of Humaam's trial. The Human Rights Committee in July 2016 issued an order to stay his execution pending its consideration of the case.

-- Ahmed Murrath was convicted of and sentenced to death for murder in 2012 along with his girlfriend Hanaa Fathmath. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 9 July 2016, but has yet to carry out its final review of Hanaa's death sentence.

-- Mohamed Nabeel was convicted of and sentenced to death for murder in 2009. The Supreme Court upheld his death sentence on 27 July 2016.

In 2014, the Maldives government under President Abdulla Yameen announced Maldives would resume executions, which had not been carried out for almost 60 years. Since then, authorities have taken steps to resume executions, including by amending national legislation. Recent regulations have removed the power from the executive to grant pardons or commutations in murder cases, depriving those facing the death penalty of the right to apply for these as guaranteed under international law. In 2016, the government changed the method of execution from lethal injection to hanging, while government officials pledged that executions should happen within 30 days of confirmation of guilty verdicts by the Supreme Court.

A resumption of executions after more than 60 years would be a massive step back for human rights in the country. The Maldives government should instead urgently impose a moratorium on executions, with a view to the full abolition of the death penalty. It is also concerning that Maldives government officials have justified the need to use the death penalty on public safety grounds. There is no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent to crime than life imprisonment.

According to statistics from the Maldives Correction Services and media reports, there are at least 18 prisoners currently under sentence of death in the country. Of these, at least 5 were convicted and sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were below 18 years of age. International customary law and 2 international treaties to which Maldives is a state party prohibit the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders. The prisoners or their representatives have raised concerns about the violation of the right to a fair trial and use of coerced, self-incriminating statements in several cases.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime. The world is moving away from the death penalty. At this time, 141 countries are abolitionist in law or practice, and a majority of the world's countries (104) have now abolished the death penalty fully from their legal books.

Amnesty International urges the Maldives authorities to immediately:

-- Halt any plans to resume executions and establish an official moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty;

-- Immediately commute the death sentence against all prisoners under sentence of death, including those imposed for crimes committed when the prisoners were below 18 years of age; and

-- Amend national legislation to remove provisions that are not in line with international law and standards and abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

Source: Amnesty International, Feb. 2, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; 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)

New Study: Death Penalty Costing Nebraska Taxpayers $14.6 Million Each Year

The Brits on death row around the world hoping to escape execution

Nebraska executes Carey Dean Moore

Should 'Late Adolescence' Protect Young People from Execution?

Paralysis, eye gouging, amputation, crucifixion: The Medieval punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

USA: State of Nebraska set to carry out first execution in 21 years

Fentanyl Used to Execute Nebraska Inmate, in a First for U.S.

75 Catholic priests and scholars ask Francis to backtrack on death penalty

URGENT APPEAL for Anthony Haynes to be executed in Texas on 18 October

How Carey Dean Moore's execution, Nebraska's 1st lethal injection, will be carried out