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…

Thailand carries out first execution since 2009

Inside the chamber at Bang Kwang prison, Thailand.
Thailand has carried out its first execution since 2009, the Department of Corrections said, killing a 26-year-old convicted murderer in a move condemned by Amnesty International as "deplorable".

Theerasak Longji was executed by lethal injection on Monday, six years after his conviction.

His death came as Thailand's coup leader-turned-premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha prepares to travel to the United Kingdom and France on a highly-publicised official visit.

But the trip will now likely see the former army chief face awkward questions over the use of the death penalty as well as Thailand's wider human rights record since he seized power in a 2014 coup.

"We still have the death sentence, we have not cancelled it yet," Tawatchai Thaikaew, deputy permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, told AFP, adding that the execution on Monday was carried out "according to the law".

Thailand's Department of Corrections, which oversees one of the world's largest prison populations, said 325 convicts have been executed since 1935, the majority by firing squad.

That practice ended on December 11, 2003. Between then and 2009 a further six inmates were executed by lethal injection.

Monday's execution serves as a "lesson to deter those who wanted to commit serious crime or violate the law to consider this punishment," the department added in a statement.

But rights groups hit out at the sudden resumption of the death penalty, which remains mandatory for a number of offences, including aggravated murder.

"This is a deplorable violation of the right to life," Amnesty International said, accusing the kingdom of "reneging" on commitments to move towards abolition of the death penalty.

The country is "also putting itself out of step with the current global shift away from capital punishment."

Theerasak stabbed his victim 24 times before stealing their mobile phone and wallet, the department said.

Figures provided to Amnesty International by the Ministry of Justice show 510 people, including 94 women, were on death row at the end of last year. Nearly 200 had exhausted all final appeals -- like Theerasak.

More than half are believed to have been sentenced for drug-related offences.

The death penalty is still in practice in several countries in Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia and China, which remains the world's top executioner.

The International Federation of Human Rights also condemned the move, calling it a "betrayal".

It said that Thailand would have achieved the status of "de facto abolitionist" had it not carried out any executions before August 24 2019, 10 years after the last death penalties were carried out.

Source: Agence France-Presse, June 19, 2018


⚑ | 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)

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

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day

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

Ohio Governor commutes one sentence, delays another

Iran: Man executed in Mashhad; billionaire to hang over embezzlement charges

Ex-Aum member Yoshihiro Inoue’s last words: ‘I didn’t expect things to turn out this way’

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

Oklahoma: Death row inmate’s legal team hopes DNA testing on key piece of evidence will exonerate him before execution