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

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…

Malaysia | Committee on alternatives to mandatory death penalty hands over report to govt

Screenshot from "Apprentice" by Boo Junfeng (2016)
PETALING JAYA: The special committee to review alternative sentences to the mandatory death penalty has submitted its official report to the government, says Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the chairman of the committee, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, had on Tuesday (Feb 11) presented the findings of its comprehensive study to him.

"My office is now studying the contents of the official report, as well as the recommendations made by the special committee.

"In the coming weeks, a Cabinet paper on the findings and recommendations will be tabled before the Cabinet for its deliberation.

"All further actions and decisions in respect to the official report and the recommendations therein will be based on a collective Cabinet decision on the matter," Liew said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 12).

The committee concluded their four-month study in January after holding town halls and public consultations across the country with participation from people from all segments of society.

The special committee had held discussions with Government and Enforcement Agencies, Religious Groups, and Civil Society Organisations.

They also spoke to families of prisoners on death row, prisoners on death row, and the families of victims.

Liew said international experts across the globe, including from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom, were also consulted.

He expressed his gratitude to the special committee for their effort, saying that it was no easy task.

"The official report is a significant study bound to alter the landscape of the nation's entire criminal sentencing policy as the government moves to abolish the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia," he said.

In March last year, the government announced plans to abolish mandatory death sentences for 11 offences, nine of which fall under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.

The death penalty is a mandatory sentence for crimes such as murder, armed robbery and offences against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The government had previously pledged to abolish the death penalty altogether, but following public backlash they decided to only abolish the mandatory death sentence.

Source: thestar.com.my, Staff, February 12, 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

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