FEATURED POST

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

Image
For the past 3 months, Christopher Anthony Young has awoken in his 10-by-6 foot concrete cell on death row and had to remind himself: He's scheduled to die soon.
As the day crept closer, the thought became more constant for Young, who's sentenced to die for killing Hasmukh "Hash" Patel in 2004.
"What will it feel like to lay on the gurney?" he asks himself. "To feel the needle pierce my vein?"
Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when Young murdered his father, has anxiously anticipated those moments, as well. He wonders how he will feel when he files into the room adjacent to the death chamber and sees Young just feet away through a glass wall.
For years, Patel felt a deep hatred for Young. He wanted to see him die. Patel knew it wouldn't bring his father back. But it was part of the process that started 14 years ago when Young, then 21, gunned down Hash Patel during a robbery at Patel's convenience store on the Southeast Side of San Antonio.
3 mont…

Philippines Moves Closer to Reinstating Death Penalty

 House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines
The House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines
MANILA — The Philippine House of Representatives approved a proposal on Wednesday to reinstate the death penalty, paving the way for capital punishment to be restored more than a decade after it was abolished.

The bill, which would primarily allow drug-related offenses to be punishable by death, reflects President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign pledge to end crime and corruption.

Since Mr. Duterte took office in June, thousands of people suspected of being drug addicts or pushers have been killed by police officers or vigilantes as part of that campaign.

To become law, the death penalty bill must face a largely symbolic third reading in the House, which is controlled by allies of the president, before going to the Senate, also controlled by people close to Mr. Duterte. The bill would then have to be signed by the president.

House leaders had called for a voice vote on Wednesday, and advocates of reinstating the death penalty drowned out those opposing the measure.

“We lost. The next battleground is the Senate,” said Harry Roque, a lawmaker who voted against the measure.

Another opponent of the bill, Antonio Tinio, suggested that little time had been given to debate about the bill. “It is definitely unacceptable to railroad the passage of the death penalty bill because for burning issues such as this, congressional deliberations are not just for its members alone — they are also for the people,” he said.

Under the proposal, so-called heinous crimes would be punishable by death. Those include some forms of rape and murder, as well as drug offenses including the import, sale, manufacture, delivery and distribution of narcotics.

Drug possession would carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Capital punishment would typically be carried out by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection, according to the bill.

Once the measure reaches the Senate, legislators are expected to await a ruling by the Justice Department on whether it contravenes the country’s commitment to international conventions. But the justice secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre II, is a fraternity brother of Mr. Duterte’s, and he is not expected to oppose the act.

Senator Bam Aquino promised that lawmakers in the upper chamber would debate the bill but acknowledged that blocking it would be difficult.

The proposed law, he said, goes against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the country ratified in 1986. The convention prevents parties from carrying out execution as a form of punishment.

“This issue is so serious,” he said. “The debates should not be rushed, so the public can listen to the arguments in the Senate.”

The politically influential Roman Catholic Church, which Mr. Duterte has criticized for opposing his policies, has been at the forefront of the fight against the law.

Bishops said in a letter that was read in all churches last month that they “unequivocally oppose proposals and moves to return the death penalty into the Philippine legal system.”

“We regret that there are strident efforts to restore the death penalty,” the letter said. “Though the crime be heinous, no person is ever beyond redemption, and we have no right ever giving up on any person.”

It continued: “When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process.”

The government is a party to international conventions against the death penalty, the church said, and has a duty to follow international opinions opposing the law.

Human rights experts denounced the decision by the House of Representatives.

“This is a major step backward for the Philippines,” Carlos H. Conde, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who covers the country. He added, “This further erodes the already horrendous human rights situation in the Philippines.”

The International Drug Policy Consortium, a network of nongovernmental organizations that focus on issues related to drug production, trafficking and use, had called on Congress to oppose the measure.

The consortium also called on lawmakers to ensure proportionate sentencing of drug offenses.

The death penalty was abolished in 1987, but President Fidel Ramos reinstated it in 1993, citing “crime control.” President Gloria Arroyo suspended capital punishment in 2006.

Source: The New York Times, Felipe Villamor, March 1, 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

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

Scott Dozier case: Hours before execution, judge in pharma company suit halts use of drug

Alabama: 8 death row inmates request execution by nitrogen gas

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

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

Utah to seek death penalty for parents charged with killing daughter, covering her in makeup

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Sale of guillotine divides France