"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty

The following text is excerpted from  Death Row Diary , by William Van Poyck. William Van Poyck -- who maintained his innocence -- was executed by the state of Florida on June 12, 2013.  The 58-year-old, convicted of the 1987 murder of Glades Correctional Institution guard Fred Griffis outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office, offered his views on everything from prison food to movies to the blood lust of politicians who support the death penalty via letters he posted online with the help of his sister.  After his conviction, Van Poyck, with a reform school education, authored three books, one of which won first-place honors in the memoir category in Writer’s Digest 2004 Self-Published Book Awards.  Locked up with what the courts have deemed the worst of the worst, Van Poyck opened the doors to a secret world few can imagine... The following piece is excerpted from William Van Poyck’s dispatches written during the last two years prior to his own execution. "Robert Waterhouse was

Singapore hangings spur recent calls by rights teams

Screenshot from "Apprentice" by Boo Junfeng (2016)
Singapore on Friday hanged a Malaysian convicted of drug trafficking, the latest in what rights groups said was a series of executions prompting them to renew calls for the wealthy city-state to abolish the death penalty.

Singapore has some of the world’s toughest anti-drugs laws, and airport customs forms warn arriving travelers of “death for drug traffickers” in no uncertain terms.

Human rights group Amnesty International and the U.N. Human Rights Office have urged Singapore to halt executions and follow the example of neighbouring Malaysia, where a newly elected government has vowed to end capital punishment by year-end.

“The execution was an unlawful and brutal act, carried out in breach of due process and in defiance of the appeals made by Malaysia,” N. Surendran, the lawyer for the executed man, said in a statement.

Prabu N Pathmanathan, the Malaysian citizen, was hanged at dawn in the city state’s Changi prison, he added. 

Malaysian Law Minister Liew Vui Keong had said this week that he planned to urge Singapore to exercise clemency.

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs did not immediately have comment.

Authorities in Singapore routinely do not comment on executions and only release data on executions in annual reports.

A regional representative of the United Nations Human Rights Office urged Singapore to immediately ban the death penalty as a step towards its complete abolition.

“We are deeply dismayed that there has been a sharp increase in executions in Singapore in recent years,” said Cynthia Veliko, the U.N. official.

“We understand that there have … been a number of executions to date in 2018, including a reported four this week alone.”

Amnesty International said the execution of another man, whose name had not been released, was imminent, citing reports of another man executed this week and 3 on Oct. 5, all for drug-related offences.

That compares with 8 executions for drug-related offences in Singapore for all of 2017.

Although 15 countries prescribed the death penalty for drug-related offences in 2017, Amnesty recorded executions in only 4 – China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, it said in a statement.

Pathmanathan was convicted of smuggling drugs from Malaysia into Singapore in 2014, court documents show.

“Yes, he broke the rules, but that doesn’t mean you have to kill him,” Magentrau Somalu, one of his close friends, told Reuters. “He deserved a 2nd chance.”

Source: infosurhoy.com, December 2, 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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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty