Showing posts from December, 2018


USA | Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a terrible opportunity for Trump

"Sometimes it felt like she was America’s last hope. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court judge since 1993, achieved celebrity status during Trump’s four years. Affectionately given the nickname “Notorious R.B.G” by a slew of online followers, she was the subject of superhero memes and the inspiration for much light-hearted merchandise (Urban Outfitters stocks T-shirts emblazoned with her face and her famously blunt quotes, and I gifted a friend in Brooklyn a cuddly Ginsburg doll for her newborn last year.)
Beneath the jokes, the quotes and the well-designed tote bags, however, ran an undercurrent of anxiety and fear. The fact that Supreme Court judges have lifetime appointments meant that many were morbidly obsessed with Ginsburg — who battled cancer on numerous occasions, and died of its complications today — staying alive long enough to get to the election. She herself clearly felt the same way, if NPR’s reports about her dying wishes are to be believed: “My most fervent wish is …

Saudi Arabia 2018: About 13 executions a month, with 27 in July - including seven in a single day

The death rate spiked in the Crown Prince's first eight months of power. There were 133 executed compared to 67 in the previous eight months. Half the number of people killed were foreign migrants, many for drugs offences. Last month death sentences for teens involved in the Arab Spring were ratified.
The Saudi leader ‘most likely’ to have ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi oversaw double the number of executions in Saudi Arabia when he came to power, according to new figures.
The rate of people put to death spiked during the first eight months after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman came to power in June 2017.
Human rights charity Reprieve said that between then and March 2018 there were 133 executions, compared to just 67 in the eight months preceding him.
Among them were scores of migrants it claimed are typically forced to smuggle drugs in their stomachs.
The foreign workers, mostly from South Asia, were among nearly 150 executions in the desert kingdom during 2018.

Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for IS links in 2018

Iraq sentenced more than 600 foreigners including many women and dozens of minors in 2018 for belonging to the Islamic State group, the judiciary said on Monday.
Iraq declared "victory" over IS at the end of 2017 after a 3-year war against the jihadists, who once controlled nearly 1/3 of the country as well as swathes of neighbouring Syria.
Around 20,000 people suspected of links to IS have been arrested since 2014.
Judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said Monday that "616 men and women accused of belonging to IS have been put on trial" in 2018 and sentenced under Iraq' s anti-terrorism law.
They comprised 466 women, 42 men and 108 minors, he said.
Bayraqdar did not, however specify the punishments.
Under Iraq's anti-terrorism law courts can issue verdicts, including death sentences, against anyone found guilty of belonging to the jihadist group, including non-combatants.
In April, judicial sources said that more than 300 suspects linked to IS had re…

U.S.: After Decades, a Death Sentence Depends (a Little) Less on Where You Live

This year, for the first time in the modern history of the death penalty, no single county in the United States imposed more than two death sentences.
That stands in stark contrast to many years in which the use of capital punishment was more concentrated in counties like Philadelphia, Harris County (which includes Houston) and Los Angeles.
“The patterns are more striking this year than the numbers themselves,” said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that issued an annual report on executions and death sentences on Friday.
The number of executions and new death sentences remained low by historical standards, the report said, despite a small uptick. For the fourth consecutive year there will have been fewer than 30 executions in the United States; before this recent stretch, executions had been above that level every year since 1991.
And the use of capital punishment still remains largely a matter of geography. Only…

Opinion: Gov. Brown, it’s time to commute Oregon’s death row

On the evening of Nov. 1, as day turned into night outside the Riverbend National Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, Edmund Zagorski spoke his last words. “Let’s rock,” he said, before prison staff covered his head with a black shroud and sent thousands of volts of electricity through his body. At 7:26 p.m. he was pronounced dead.
Zagorski had specifically requested to die by electrocution rather than lethal injection, which has been the standard method for many years. He wanted to avoid the seemingly torturous deaths endured when dying by lethal injection. Others facing their own executions are demanding the firing squad or the gas chamber. Despite the ongoing decline in support among Americans for the death penalty, an ugly national conversation has begun as to how to put an end to the lives of people convicted of heinous crimes.
What does this have to do with Oregon? Our state has had a moratorium on executions in place since 2011. Moreover, we have executed only two pe…

Death sentences drastically decline; report says there was 'a sea change in public opinion'

"Where is the dignity in rendering a human being completely defenseless and taking them out and killing them?" - Sister Helen Prejean
Louisiana's use of the death penalty has reached record lows in recent years amid ongoing debate — both statewide and across the country — about the potential for grave and irreversible errors when allowing state executions. 
The downward trend is reflected nationwide as death sentences peaked in the 1990s and have dropped steadily since then. Some states have abolished capital punishment entirely while others still have the option but use it less often, according to a report released earlier this month from the national nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.
Louisiana is one of 31 states where the practice is permitted. But state leaders have long grappled with questions surrounding its use.
Discussions have grown more heated in recent months since a federal court order was issued prohibiting additional executions in Louisiana until …

Iran hangs woman on murder charges

Iran Human Rights (IHR); December 30, 2018: Iranian authorities have executed a woman on murder charges, according to reports by several Iranian media outlets. 
No information regarding time and place of the execution was revealed in the reports.
On December 26, the state-run news website Young Journalists Club reported that Noushin, a 25 years old woman, has been executed on the charge of murdering her husband. 
However, Rokna website had published a similar story on December 22, and the format of the news implies that the execution took place on the same day, that is, December 22.
According to the reports, Noushin who was interviewed just before the implementation of the death sentence, said: “I was seeing Soheil. He seemed a nice guy to me and I believed that his claimed-wish to marry me is real. I started a relationship with him. However, he was not the person I thought I knew. After a while, he asked me to have sexual relations with his friends and threatened that he will publis…

Jordan: Court of Cassation reduces death sentence to 20 years in "honor killing" case

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation upheld a March Criminal Court ruling, sentencing a 27-year-old man to 20 years in prison after convicting him of murdering his younger sister for reasons related to family honour in Mafraq in July of 2016.
The court declared the defendant guilty of the premeditated murder of his 24-year-old sister by stabbing her multiple times on July 23 and handed him the death penalty.
However, the court decided to reduce the sentence to 20 years because the victim’s father and mother dropped charges against their son. 
Court documents said the victim “was constantly leaving her family’s home to unknown destinations and that the last time she left she was away for almost three years”.
On the day of the murder, the court maintained, the victim decided to return home.
“The defendant decided to kill his sister for reasons related to family honour and took her to the balcony of her house where he stabbed her 10 times in different areas of her body with a switchblade,” th…

Missouri man shot girlfriend, her kids, mother; could face death penalty

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Louis-area man shot his girlfriend, her two young children and her mother in the home they all shared, authorities said Saturday. He exchanged gunfire with officers as he fled and was captured several hours later in a convenience store, covered in blood and wounded.
Prosecutors filed 15 charges against Richard Darren Emery of St. Charles, Missouri, including first-degree murder, assault and attempted robbery. Authorities said Emery, 46, abandoned his own pickup and tried unsuccessfully to steal a woman’s car while on the run, attacking her as well.
Emery remained in a local hospital with two gunshot wounds that authorities said did not appear self-inflicted and most likely came from the shootout with officers. St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said investigators did not know the motive for the shootings as of Saturday evening.
“We may never know,” Lohmar said during a news conference. “This one in particular was the worst example of a domesti…

Indonesia: Corruption Eradication Commission to Study Possible Death Penalty for Drinking Water System Corruption Convicts

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is studying possible implementation of death penalty for the convicts of the bribery case of Drinking Water System (SPAM) projects at Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR).
"We will study it first to see whether the case is related to Article 2 on corruption regarding natural disaster (assistance) that caused miseries to the public at large," KPK Deputy Chairman Saut Situmorang told a press conference on Sunday.
He said that based on the elucidation of Article 2, convicts can be sentenced to death if they committed corruption in the handling of a natural disaster which caused the suffering of many people.
Article 2 of Law Number 20 Year of 2001 on the amendment of Law No. 31 Year of 1999 on the Elimination of Corruption Crimes mentioned that (1) anyone who unlawfully commits an act of enriching him or herself or another person or a corporation that can harm the state`s finance or the country`s econ…

Ohio man gets death penalty for killing woman and her 2 daughters

George Brinkman, Jr. is separately charged in Stark County for two more killings
CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio man has received a death sentence for killing a woman and her two adult daughters at their home outside Cleveland.
Forty-six-year-old George Brinkman Jr. didn't address the panel of judges as he was formally sentenced Friday in Cuyahoga County.
His lawyer, Fernando Mack, unsuccessfully argued they should spare Brinkman. 
Mack indicated Brinkman doesn't plan to appeal the sentence.
Brinkman had pleaded guilty to aggravated murder charges in the June 2017 slayings of 42-year-old Suzanne Taylor, 21-year-old Taylor Pifer and 18-year-old Kylie Pifer in North Royalton. 
Authorities say Brinkman was a family friend, and the motive remains unclear.
Brinkman is separately charged in Stark County for two more slayings that month. 
A couple were found shot at their Lake Township home where he was house-sitting.
Source: The Associated Press, December 29, 2018

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