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Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

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The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…

India: Man gets death penalty for murdering four of family

Convict Khushwinder Singh in custody. tribune photo
Mohali, August 28 - The CBI court here on Tuesday awarded death penalty to Khushwinder Singh (45), who had murdered four members of a Fatehgarh Sahib family 14 years ago.

Khushwinder, a resident of Suhavi village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, had pushed Kulwant Singh (45), latter’s wife Harjit Kaur (40), daughter Ramandeep Kaur (17) and son Arvinder Singh (14) into the Sirhind canal on June 4, 2004. Only the bodies of Kulwant and Ramandeep were found.

The judge handed out the death sentence under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict. The court also awarded life imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 5,000, under Section 364 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder) of the IPC and four-year rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence).

Khushwinder had also murdered six members of another Fatehgarh Sahib family, who were close relatives of his wife Manjit Kaur, in the same manner in 2012. He is already on death row in that case. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had confirmed the death penalty. His appeal is pending in the Supreme Court.

The CBI’s public prosecutor, Kumar Rajat, said Khushwinder’s elder brother Kulwinder Singh worked as an accountant for Kulwant Singh, who owned a rice mill.

“Khushwinder came to know that Kulwant had sold his land and received around Rs 21 lakh. He convinced Kulwant and his family that he could solve their problems by performing religious ceremonies with a godman’s help. Later, he pushed them into the canal,” the CBI public prosecutor said.

The case was handed over to the CBI in 2007 by the High Court following a petition filed by Kulwant’s relative Kultar Singh.

Khushwinder, who worked as a typist and ran a photostat shop in Fatehgarh Sahib, was nabbed after the 2012 murders came to light. 

In this case, the victims were his wife’s uncle and retired cop Gurmail Singh (70), Gurmail’s wife Paramjit Kaur (60), son Gurinder Singh (30), son-in-law Rupinder Singh, grandson Jaskirat Singh and granddaughter Prabhsimran Singh. 

One member of the family, Jasmine, had survived. Her testimony helped the police solve the 2004 and 2012 murder cases.

Source: tribuneindia.com, August 29, 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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