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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Pakistan: HC halts execution of petitioner who claims hanging "un-Islamic, painful and against human values"

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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday suspended execution of death sentence awarded to a prisoner till July 26 and issued notice to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general in the prisoner’s writ petition seeking directives from the court to the government to introduce a less painful mode of execution instead of hanging to death.

The bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Abdul Shakoor ordered that till next date of hearing, July 26, the death sentence awarded to the prisoner, Jan Bahadur, shall not be implemented.

The bench ordered that the advocate general should appear and argue on the points raised by the petitioner, Jan Bahadur.

The petitioner, imprisoned at Haripur Central Prison, has requested the high court to declare the mode of hanging to death as un-Islamic and unconstitutional as it was painful and against human values.

The petitioner states that section 368 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provides: “When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead.”

He has requested the court to issue directives for ending the execution of death row prisoners through hanging as it is cruel, painful, un-Islamic and inhuman.

He added that the court may issue directive that such mode of execution should be adopted which is not painful.

The petitioner was arrested in connection with a murder case registered at Takhtbhai police station, Mardan, on Oct 22, 1993. He was sentenced to death by an additional district and sessions judge on Apr 7, 2000, at Takhtbhai.

The said judgment was upheld by the high court on Mar 12, 2002, and subsequently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also upheld the verdict. His review petition and clemency petition were also rejected.

The respondents in the petition are: provincial home secretary, superintendent of Haripur Central Prison, provincial law secretary, secretary to Council of Islamic Ideology, and district and sessions judge, Mardan.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mohammad Khursheed Khan, stated that there are nine modes of carrying out death penalties, which includes: death by hanging; through firing squad; shooting in the head; through lethal injection; beheading; stoning to death; gas chamber; through electric chair; and pushing from height.

He stated that in past in all the states of USA the mode of execution was through hanging. Subsequently, he states, the use of electric chair was devised, which was considered less painful. However, he added that in 1921 the State of Nevada introduced gas chamber for carrying out death penalty.

He contended that in over 30 states in the USA, the mode of execution was now through lethal injection, which is considered more humane and less painful. He stated that through that mode three injections were administered to a death row prisoner- the first injection turns a prisoner unconscious; the second makes his body paralysed and the third one stops his heart function.

He claims that in 28 countries prisoners are executed through firing squad, whereas in 22 countries prisoners are killed by shooting in the head.

He stated that the colonial rulers had introduced death by hanging through the CrPC in 1898 and after creation of Pakistan the same mode was adopted.

Source: Dawn, July 21, 2017


Man hanged to death in Attock jail


ATTOCK:- A death row convict was executed in Central Jail Attock in the early hours of Thursday morning. M Lateef had stabbed to death his relative Abdul Waheed over monetary dispute on March 25, 2004. 

Police have registered a case against the accused over the complaint of the deceased’s uncle Faizur Rehman. 

The court found the accused guilty and had sentenced him death penalty on July 1st, 2004.

Later, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench and the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower court, and his mercy appeals were also rejected.

Source: The Nation, July 21, 2017

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