FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Mass trial for ‘sorcery’ killings in PNG

Ninety-seven of the 122 people charged pleaded not guilty to wilful murder

SYDNEY: A “berserk” crowd used bows and arrows, knives and axes to hack to death seven people including two small children accused of sorcery, a trial in Papua New Guinea has heard.

Ninety-seven of the 122 people charged pleaded not guilty to wilful murder, with the rest, who were released on bail, failing to show up to the court in the Pacific nation’s Madang province, local media reported.

The frenzied killings happened in April 2014 after men from six villages met to plot the assault on Sakiko village where those suspected of sorcery had sought refuge, according to the PNG Post Courier.

“Two children, aged three and five, were wrenched from their mothers’ arms and chopped to pieces,” it added. Five adults were also killed.

The newspaper called the trial the “biggest sorcery-related court case in the country”.

State prosecutor Francis Popeu described the gruesome murders as “planned with all aiding and abetting each other with the common intent to kill”.

PNG’s The National newspaper, in a report earlier this month, said the killings were “a kind done in certain cult practices as the people killed were slashed from their legs up and their heads were cut off and taken away”.

“Black magic” and cannibalism sometimes occur in PNG, a sprawling and poor nation where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death.

Rights campaigners have long pushed for justice for sorcery-related attacks, spurred by the horrific murder of a young woman accused of witchcraft in 2013.

In that case, Kepari Leniata, 20, was stripped naked, tied up, doused in petrol and burnt alive in front of a crowd by relatives of a boy who died following an illness in the Mount Hagen area.

Following Leniata’s murder, in 2013 PNG repealed the 1971 Sorcery Act which had provided for a reduced sentence for anyone who committed assault or murder if they believed their victim had been committing acts of “sorcery”.

It also revived the death penalty to reduce rampant crime.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 23, 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)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

Texas executes Christopher Young

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

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