FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Iraqi court sentences Frenchwoman to life for IS links

Mélina Boughedir in court with her daughter
Frenchwoman Mélina Boughedir has been sentenced to life in prison by a Baghdad court for membership of the Islamic State (IS) armed group. 

Her lawyers have accused a French minister of interfering in her trial.

"I am innocent," The 27-year-old mother of four told the judge in French.

"My husband duped me and then threatened to leave with the children" unless she followed him to Iraq, where he planned on joining IS, she said.

Three of her children have been sent back to France.

Boughedir was captured in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the capital of IS's self-declared "caliphate", when it fell to government forces in 2017.

She was sentenced last February to seven months in prison for illegal entry into the country and was set to be deported back to France, but another court ordered her retrial under Iraq's anti-terrorist law on charges that could have meant a death sentence.

Minister accused


On Saturday her French lawyers, who travelled to Baghdad for the trial, accused French Interior Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of "unacceptable interference" in her case after he told the LCI TV station that she was a "terrorist".

"When you got to Mosul in 2016 it's to fight and she is being judged at the scene of these crimes," he said. "That's normal logic."

But he confirmed France's opposition to the death penalty.

"Nobody can doubt that in these circumstances if a stiff sentence is passed tomorrow it would be immediately related to the unacceptable interference that you have been responsible for," William Bourdon, Martin Pradel and Vincent Brengarth said in a letter.

Boughedir's Iraqi lawyer had not been able to consult the documentation on her case or visit her in prison, they said.

They accused Le Drian of wanting to prevent her being sent back to France, despite the fact that she is wanted for alleged terrorist plotting here.

Fast-track trials


Faced with dozens of foreign women who went to IS-held territory, the Baghdad court has sentenced many of them after hearings that have been as short as 10 minutes.

Another Frenchwoman, 29-year-old Djamila Boutoutaou, was also given a life sentence in April, despite her claim that she had been tricked by her husband.



⚑ | 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!



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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

California: Convicted killer changes gender while on death row

Alabama: Tuscaloosa County jury recommends death penalty in capital murder case

Bill to abolish Louisiana death penalty coming; California governor halts executions

Eyewitness to execution: The Sacramento Bee’s coverage of 1992 gas chamber execution

PHOTOS: California's Death Chamber Dismantled!

Singapore: Harvesting organs from death row "donors"

Lawyer calls on Singapore to halt Malaysian's Friday execution

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

China: Ethiopian woman awaits capital punishment, draws international attention

D.C. sniper killer to have his sentence reviewed by Supreme Court