Texas | A Dangerous Man. At 18, Billy Joe Wardlow took a man’s life. Nearly 30 years later, the state still wants his.

Like any place humans gather, death row has a culture. Billy Wardlow says it's different in many ways from general population. One is in how new inmates are treated. "In [general population], the guys around you would try to find some way to exploit you," Wardlow said. "Death row, with a few exceptions, will often extend a hand of friendship to the 'new boot' so they can get on their feet ... Most of us get together and let each other know what we can send to the new guy."
One of the cherished myths of those who support the death penalty is that it is reserved for the “worst of the worst,” those beyond redemption.
Wardlow typically sends writing materials, food, clothes, and hygiene products. Recently, after receiving some of these items, a new inmate asked Wardlow what he owed him. "I told him to remember how guys helped him when he saw someone else new," Wardlow said. "Pay it forward, as the saying goes."
Sending gifts is one thin…

Pudu Jail and the death penalty in Malaysia

Former malaysian hangman
Many of Malaysia’s most infamous criminals were put to death at Pudu Jail in Kuala Lumpur.

The death penalty can be handed down for 33 offences in Malaysia and it is mandatory for 12, of which drug trafficking offences are the most common and the most controversial.

According to Amnesty International’s report, “Fatally Flawed: Why Malaysia Must Abolish The Death Penalty”, which was issued in October last year, there were 1,281 people on death row as at February last year, of whom 73% had been convicted of drug-related offences.

By gender, 89% were men and 568 of these prisoners were foreign nationals.

The main nationalities were Nigerian (21%), Indonesian (16%), Iranian (15%), Indian (10%), Filipino (8%) and Thai (6%).

Twelve executions have been carried out since 2010, with the four most recent being in 2017, according to Amnesty International.

Having been under pressure for many years to follow the world trend to abolish the death penalty, the government announced in 2018 that it would scrap the mandatory death sentence for 11 offences and a moratorium on executions was implemented in July 2018.

However, many Malaysians remain in favour of retaining the death penalty.

The method of execution is hanging.  

Many of the country’s most infamous criminals were put to death at Pudu Jail, once a well-known landmark in Kuala Lumpur. The building has since been demolished.
Those on death row can languish for up to 11 years before their sentence is carried out.

The retired former chief hangman gave an interview to the press in 2016, in which he revealed that he had conducted over 130 hangings in five Malaysian jails during his career.

RELATED Former Malaysian hangman gives rare insight into death row inmates' final hours

Seventy were performed by him personally and another 60 under his supervision. 

He said executions always take place at dawn when the jail is quiet and the condemned prisoner is rested.

Sometimes it is all over within 10 seconds of the prisoner entering the execution chamber. 

The prisoner is given only 24 hours’ notice before being executed. 

Relatives are allowed to visit on the final day.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com, Malaysia Traveller, June 29, 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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