2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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…

New Zealand will intervene if MP Nikki Kaye's brother sentenced to death - Winston Peters

California's death row
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says he'll personally contact the Governor of California if MP Nikki Kaye's step-brother is sentenced to death.

Clinton Thinn has been convicted of first-degree murder for killing a fellow inmate in a Californian jail, and he's facing the death penalty.

"This is a really tough situation, and obviously I'm in touch with my family," Ms Kaye told Newshub.

The Auckland Central MP says she's conscious of separating her political role from her role as a step-sister.

"There could be legal considerations, and anything that I say could affect that."

California has the highest number of death row inmates in the United States, although no one's been executed since 2006.

If Thinn is sentenced to death, the New Zealand Government would rally, and the Acting Prime Minister says he'd personally contact the state's Governor.

"As a Foreign Minister I'd do that, yes, and with the full support of the total Cabinet," he told Newshub.

Thinn was in jail for an attempted bank robbery when he strangled a fellow prisoner with a shirt.

In 2014 Kiwi Peter Gardner was jailed in China, facing the death penalty for smuggling methamphetamine. In 1982 Lorraine and Aaron Cohen were sentenced to death in Malaysia for heroin smuggling.

"Regardless of which country it was and regardless of whether it's the United States, we always made it very clear that we're opposed to the death penalty," says Mr Peters.

Thinn may avoid the death penalty based on special guidelines particular to California.

A murderer can only be sentenced to death in special circumstances, such as murdering a police officer, a witness or a judge, or murdering because of race or religion, or if the murder involved torture or poisoning.

Annaliese Johnston from Amnesty International says it condemns the possibility of Thinn's execution.

"We believe it's the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment."

New Zealand only abolished the death penalty in 1989, when it was still in place for treason. Since then we've joined a global community of countries opposing capital punishment.

Source: Newshub, July 3, 2018

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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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