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

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…

Bangladesh: Death penalty for 4 war criminals

Tribunal convicts them of committing genocide in Moulvibazar in 1971

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday found four Moulvibazar men guilty of committing genocide during the Liberation War and handed down death penalty on all of them.

The 4, who were members of notorious Razakar force, have also been given jail until death for another charge -- committing crimes against humanity. However, the jail term would naturally be merged into the death sentence, the tribunal said.

"In the case in hand, it stands proved that the accused persons were conscious and a culpable part of the common design and criminal enterprise," the 3-member tribunal observed.

"Their [the convicts'] culpable acts and conduct as have been found proved formed a part of attacks which was intended to wipe out the Hindu civilians, freedom fighters and pro-liberation civilians," it added.

Among the convicts, Akmal Ali Talukder, 76, is now in jail and was hauled before the tribunal yesterday. Other convicts Abdun Nur Talukder alias Lal Miah, 62, Anis Miah, 76, and Abdul Musabbir Miah, 64, are on the run. All of them are from Rajnagar upazila of the district.

The tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam directed the home secretary and the inspector general of police to take necessary steps to arrest the fugitives.

The other 2 members of the tribunal are Justice Amir Hossain and Justice Md Abu Ahmed Jamadar.

During the Liberation War in 1971, Akmal was a member of local peace committee, an anti-liberation organisation, who later joined Razakar Bahini like the 3 other convicts to commit genocide and crimes against humanity, according to the prosecution.

"Despite being Bengali civilians [they] opted to collaborate with the Pakistani occupation army, in exercise of their membership in Razakar Bahini, a paramilitary force in accomplishing the grotesque mayhem," the tribunal said.

Later, the 3 others except Akmal got involved with Jamaat-e-Islami, a political party that vehemently opposed the Liberation War, the prosecution said.

Syed Haider Ali, conducting prosecutor of the case, expressed satisfaction over the verdict saying, "We have got justice."

Abul Hasan, state-appointed defence counsel for the fugitives, however, said he was aggrieved by the verdict and expressed the hope that if the fugitives surrendered and challenged the verdict with the Supreme Court, they would get justice.

According to the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, a war crimes convict can file an appeal with the SC within 30 days from the date of verdict's pronouncement.

With the latest verdict, the war crimes tribunals have so far delivered 33 judgements against 73 people. 47 of them have been sentenced to death.


The tribunal handed down death penalty on the 4 convicts for an act of genocide where 59 Hindu men of Panchgaon village under Rajnagar upazila were killed, Hindu women were raped and at least 132 houses were looted and torched between May 7 and 8, 1971.

"... we are of the view that the perpetrators intended to effect destruction of the civilians belonging to the Hindu religious group by causing indiscriminate killing on a massive scale, sexual abuse, wanton looting and burning down houses," the tribunal observed.

They were given "imprisonment for life till biological death" for an offence of crimes against humanity where 2 Hindu men of Pashchimbagh in Rajnagar were abducted, confined, tortured and killed and their houses were looted and torched between November 24 and 25.

Not only the actual perpetrators (Pakistani army) but also all the four accused "who remained consciously concerned with such shocking and horrendous crimes committed against humanity would be known as the enemies of the mankind," the tribunal observed.

Source: The Daily Star, July 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)

PHOTOS: California's Death Chamber Dismantled!

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

Donald Trump's fury as California stops executing prisoners

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

China: Ethiopian woman awaits capital punishment, draws international attention

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?