Showing posts from January, 2020


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 …

Shariah | Mauritania arrests 10 gay men after purported gay wedding

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — Authorities in Mauritania have arrested 10 men after a video appeared on social media of a gay couple appearing to take part in a traditional wedding ceremony, human rights groups said.
Police later determined the gathering was a birthday party but the men remain in custody with no trial date set yet.
Mauritania practices strict Islamic law known as Shariah and homosexuality is criminalized. If convicted, the men could face the death penalty though executions have not been carried out in more than a decade, according to Amnesty International.
“It is a serious attack on the individual and collective freedom of these young people who have the right to display their difference and intimate preferences,” said Brahim Bilal, the president of a human rights organization in Mauritania.
Video of the festive ceremony prompted an outcry to what was suspected of being the first gay marriage in Mauritania.
The Nouakchott public prosecutor’s office then opened an inve…

Death Sentences For Brothers In Belarus Also 'A Punishment For Their Families'

Two brothers who killed their next-door neighbor in the town of Cherykau were sentenced to death this month by a Belarusian court.

The country is the last in Europe to impose the death penalty.

In interviews with Current Time, the convicts' mother and sister expressed their grief, saying that the sentence also inflicts a harsh punishment on the family.

RELATED Belarus: Two brothers sentenced to death for murdering former teacher, Staff, January 30, 2020

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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

India | SC admits govt. plea seeking ‘victim and society centric’ guidelines

The application comes in the aftermath of the four Nirbhaya convicts separately and repeatedly approaching the courts for one relief or the other
The Supreme Court on Friday admitted the government’s plea to issue some “victim and society centric” guidelines to prevent delay in execution of condemned people in death penalty cases, but added the rider that it would not consider any plea to alter past judgments or existing rights of death row prisoners.
The government’s application delves on the point that the legal process leading finally to the actual execution of the condemned man is labyrinthine and susceptible to be misused by the convict to prolong the day of execution. Delay is a ground for commutation of death penalty. The long-winded process and consequent delay renders stale the expectation of the victim’s family and society for justice.
Shatrughan Chauhan case
The government claimed that the reason for this delay is a series of guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in its…

Malaysia | Company chairman among 8 charged with drug trafficking

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Eight men, including a chairman of two public-listed companies, have been charged at the Magistrate’s Court here with trafficking almost 5kg of methamphetamine.
Ooi Chieng Sim, 51, and Jackson Boh Khim Hean, 33, together with five Myanmar men and a China national were charged with trafficking 4,980 grams of the drugs at a warehouse at ATTA Global Group Bhd at the Perai Industrial Estate, Perai, on Jan 16.
Ooi is the chairman of two public listed companies, Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd (Heng Huat) and ATTA Global Group Bhd (ATTA). Ooi is also the fourth-largest shareholder of PBA Holdings Bhd, reports said. PBA is Penang’s water supply company.
The five Myanmar men are Aung Soe Thu, Soe Min Aung, Aung Kyaw Thu, Than Zaw Oo and Tun Ye, while the Chinese national was identified as Wang Yong.
They were charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for trafficking a dangerous drug, which carries a mandatory death penalty if convicted.
The charges were re…

India | SC rejects Nirbhaya convict's plea on stay on death penalty

NEW DELHI:With just two days remaining for the execution of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the curative petition of Akshay, one of the convicts in the case, seeking a stay on the death sentence.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, considered Akshay's petition in-chambers.
"The application for oral hearing is rejected. The application for stay on the execution of death sentence is also rejected," said the top court.
Earlier, the apex court had dismissed the curative petitions of the other convicts Mukesh and Vinay.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had dismissed convict Mukesh Singh's plea seeking judicial review of the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.
With this decision by the top court, Mukesh has exhausted the last legal remedy available to him against the death sentence.
A bench comprising Ju…

Georgia executes Donnie Lance

A Georgia man convicted of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend more than 2 decades ago was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the state's first inmate to be executed this year.
Donnie Cleveland Lance, 66, received a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson. His time of death was 9:05 p.m., Warden Benjamin Ford told witnesses.
Lance said nothing when he was given a chance to make a final statement and declined to have a chaplain say a prayer. Strapped to a gurney, he lay mostly still but wiggled his feet.
The warden left the execution chamber at 8:54 p.m. Records from previous executions show that the lethal drug generally begins flowing within a minute or 2 of the warden's exit. Lance took about a dozen deep breaths and then became completely still about 3 minutes after the warden left.
Lance was sentenced to death for the killings of Sabrina “Joy” Lance and Dwight “Butch” Wood Jr. The 2 were slain on Nov. 8, 1997, at Wood's home in Jackson County, about 60…

India | Death Penalty For Sexual Offences Up 53% In 2018, But Most Rape Cases Stuck At Trial

On February 1, 2020, India may witness its first death penalty in 5 years as the 4 men convicted for the December 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, or ‘Nirbhaya’, are hanged as per a warrant issued by a Delhi sessions court. President Ram Nath Kovind had earlier rejected a mercy petition filed by 1 of the convicts.
India has carried out only 4 executions since 2004, the last having been in 2015. 3 of the accused were convicted of terrorism while 1 was convicted for raping a minor, as IndiaSpend reported in August 2018.
The upcoming February 1 executions in a case that had outraged India may not reduce crime against women and may, in fact, create a spectacle that distracts the government from implementing real reforms that can improve prosecution of rape cases, experts say.
53% more death sentences
In 2018, 186 convicts were awarded the death penalty, a 53% rise from 121 in 2017, according to Prison Statistics India 2018, the latest available, of the National Crime Records Bureau (…

Bangladesh | Rape, Murder of Laxmipur Girl in 2012: HC confirms death for 8

The High Court yesterday confirmed the death sentence of 8 robbers out of 10 and commuted the death penalty of two to life imprisonment in a case filed for raping and killing a schoolgirl in Laxmipur in 2012.
A gang of robbers swooped on the house of Krishna Lal Devnath at Dhutia village under Laxmipur Sadar upazila on July 18, 2012.
At one stage, the gang took the girl, a 7th-grader, hostage at gunpoint and raped her before fleeing the spot with the loot, including gold and cash.
Relatives rushed the critically injured girl to the Sadar hospital where doctors declared her dead.
Her father filed a case against unnamed robbers the next day. Police pressed charges against 25 people on May 15, 2013, according to the case statement. A Laxmipur court on September 16, 2014 sentenced 10 robbers to death in this regard.
Yesterday, the HC bench of Justice Bhabani Prasad Singha and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah delivered the verdict after hearing the death reference of the case and the appe…

Iran | Elderly man, 81, hanged in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari; 10 Scheduled to Be Executed at Rajai-Shahr Prison

Elderly man, 81, hanged in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari with another inmate
2 murder convicts including an 81-year-old man were hanged in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari Province at dawn on Monday, January 27. 
The state-run ROKNA news agency reported the executions but it did not specify in which prison the executions took place.
ROKNA cited Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province as saying, “One of the prisoners with Kh. Gh. initials, 81, resident of Boroujen, had been sentenced to death in 2017.”
The other prisoners, with initials of A. Gh., 31, resident of Khan-Mirza, had been sentenced to death in 2013, the public prosecutor Abdulreza Ali-Mohammadi said.
Iran’s deliberate use of capital punishment has been a constant source of international outrage and condemnation. 
According to several independent international bodies, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran and Amnesty International, Iran is the leading state in executions per capita, 2nd o…

New Jersey becomes ninth US state to ban ‘gay and trans panic’ defence

New Jersey has banned the use of ‘gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ defence in the state.
The controversial legal strategy, which is mostly used in assault or murder cases, allows people to defend themselves by claiming they were driven to violence after discovering their victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
On Tuesday (21 January), Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that outlaws the use of the archaic defence in New Jersey, arguing that both ‘gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ defences are “abhorrent” excuses for violence.
“We will always stand with our LGBTQ+ community and promote full equality for all our residents,” he said in a statement.
“Gay and trans panic defences are rooted in homophobia and abhorrent excuses that should never be used to justify violence against vulnerable populations.
“With this new law, we are enacting critical measures to protect our friends and neighbors in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director for Garden State Equalit…