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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

U.S.: Ex-police Officer Michael Slager sentenced to 20 years for shooting Walter Scott

Walter Scott, left, Michael Slager, right
A former South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed African-American motorist.

Michael Slager committed second-degree murder when he shot Walter Scott, 50, in the back as he fled arrest after a traffic stop, a judge ruled.

"I forgive you," relatives of Scott told Slager, 36, in court, as they spoke about the death's impact on them.

A bystander recorded mobile phone video of the April 2015 shooting.

Experts say that without a video of the shooting, the former officer probably would not have been fired from the force nor have faced murder charges.

Judge David Norton told the court that Slager, who is white, had "lived a spotless life" before the shooting.

"Regardless, this is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened," he added.

Lawyers for Slager had argued in court that he opened fire on Scott because he thought he had taken his police-issued stun gun during their scuffle.

The case ended in a mistrial in 2016, and rather than face another jury, the former North Charleston officer pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of violating the victim's civil rights.

In Thursday's sentencing, the judge ruled that Slager had acted with malice and "willful intent to provide false testimony".

The judge also had the option of sentencing him for a lesser crime of voluntary manslaughter, which would have carried a sentence of 12 to 15 years.

The dead man's mother, Judy Scott, told Slager in court on Thursday that she forgave him.

She said she hoped he would repent and allow Jesus into his heart.




Scott's brother, Anthony, said it had taken him a long time to overcome his depression and forgive Slager.

"I'm not angry at you, Michael," he told Slager. "I pray for you."

Members of the family thanked onlooker Feidin Santana for filming the encounter.

The City of North Charleston paid a $6.5m (£4.8m) settlement to the Scotts.

Slager told the court on Thursday: "I wish this never would have happened.

"I wish I could go back and change events, but I can't and I am very sorry for that."

Slager chased Scott after pulling him over for a broken brake light.

Scott, who was wanted for unpaid child support, fled the vehicle, police dashcam footage shows.

A bystander's video captured Scott breaking free from Slager's grasp and running directly away from him, with his back to the officer.

Slager draws his pistol and fires from about 15ft (4.5m) away, hitting Scott five times.

The death took place amid US media scrutiny of police treatment of African Americans, and provoked protests by the Black Lives Matter movement.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement: "Officers who violate anyone's rights also violate their oaths of honour.

"And they tarnish the names of the vast majority of officers, who do incredible work."

Source: BBC News, December 7, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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