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Showing posts from October, 2020

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Why Tom Daley saying he’s a proud gay Olympian is ‘necessary’: 10 nations taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics prescribe the death penalty for homosexuals

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An author has expertly explained why Tom Daley saying he’s proud to be gay at the Olympics is necessary, actually. Following Tom Daley’s groundbreaking victory in the men’s synchronised 10m platform dive during the Tokyo Olympics, the Team GB athlete said: “I am proud to say I am a gay man and an Olympic champion.” While many celebrated Daley’s win and his pride in being a part of the LBGT+ community, others were critical and argued that “mentioning his sexuality” wasn’t necessary. One particular troll tweeted: “His sexual preference bears no relation to his skills.” Author of The Complete David Bowie Nicholas Pegg expertly replied to the thread, explaining that it was in fact “necessary” for Daley to mention his sexuality at the Olympics because many countries competing oppose LGBT+ rights. He wrote: “There are 10 nations taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics which prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality. “They would literally execute Tom Daley.” The list includes Afghanista

A day of infamy at Florida’s Death Court | Editorial

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"The armor of capital punishment is rotting away, revealing a ghoulish presence that has nothing to do with preventing crime. It is bloodlust, nothing more." Thursday was a day of infamy at the Florida Supreme Court. Over one anguished dissent, five arch-conservative justices discarded a nearly 50-year-old precedent in order to approve more executions, not caring whether the prisoners actually deserve to die. The justices renounced their duty to review death sentences for proportionality — that is, whether execution would be too severe in comparison to other cases. The court adopted that policy in 1973 as its basis for upholding Florida’s new death penalty law, which had been enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 decision that capital punishment throughout the United States was arbitrary and capricious. What Florida’s death court did Thursday belies the old promise to ensure consistency between who lives and who dies for similar crimes under similar circumstances. It se

Florida | Woman accused of killing autistic son faces death penalty

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A grand jury has indicted a Florida woman for first-degree murder in the drowning death of her autistic 9-year-old son MIAMI -- A grand jury has indicted a Florida woman for first-degree murder in the drowning death of her autistic 9-year-old son, and prosecutors said they will pursue the death penalty. Patricia Ripley is accused of the May 21 death of Alejandro Ripley, and a host of other crimes.  She remains in jail while awaiting trial, the Miami Herald reported. Her son suffered from severe autism and could not speak. His mother initially called 911 and said two Black men took her son after running her off a road south of Miami and took the boy, police said.  An Amber Alert was issued for the boy. The child's body was found the next day in a canal a few miles from the area she said the abduction took place. Investigators were initially suspicious of Ripley’s changing accounts of what happened.  They learned that earlier in the evening, Ripley was caught on surveillance cameras

Ohio | Judges find Peter Romans not guilty on all charges for the 2008 fire that killed his family

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LONDON — Peter Romans dropped his chin to his chest and sobbed Thursday morning as a judge's words echoed through the Madison County courtroom: Not guilty.  A three-judge panel had deliberated about four hours before rendering not guilty verdicts on each of 11 charges Romans faced that accused him of starting the fatal fire that killed his wife and two children in 2008. The charges against him included aggravated murder that could have carried the death penalty. Killed in the blaze that happened just after midnight on April 6, 2008 were Romans' wife, Billi; 12-year-old son Caleb; and daughter Ami, 16. Romans' current wife, two grown stepsons and the sisters of his late wife — who were there to support Romans — all wept uncontrollably in the courtroom as the verdicts were read. "God had this," one sister said as she embraced his wife, Robin Fritz Romans, who was so overcome with emotion that her cries were nearly wails. Romans, 60, had been in jail since his arrest

Iran | 19-year-old Prisoner Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); October 29, 2020: Iranian media have reported the execution of a prisoner sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, without providing the exact date and identity of the prisoner. According to semi-official news website Javan Online, a prisoner sentenced to qisas for murder was executed in recent days.  The report only identifies the executed prisoner as 19-year-old Peyman, but does not specify the date of the execution. According to the report, in 2018, he had killed a man during an alcohol fuelled fight in a park near Kan, in Tehran. Informed sources have told IHR that Peyman may have been taken to the gallows from the juvenile ward.  It should be noted that on Tuesday, October 13, four male prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison. The details of Peyman’s case do not match those of the four prisoners executed on October 13, which was previously reported by IHR.  According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at

Arkansas | Judge Wendell Griffen won't give up case despite order from court

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Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said he will not -- and cannot -- give up jurisdiction of a potential death-penalty case despite a state Supreme Court order barring him from presiding over matters involving capital punishment. Neither the prosecution nor defense has questioned Griffen's ability to fairly administer the law. "There are no allegations or facts in this case which indicate that the [judge] has allowed his personal moral and religious objections to capital punishment to hinder his ability to follow the law. Neither [side] allege that the undersigned [judge] is disqualified from hearing this case," Griffen wrote in his eight-page order. "The Court holds that [the defendants'] right to a fair trial would be violated by disqualifying the undersigned or any other judge based on whether he or she holds moral or religious concerns about capital punishment." Griffen indicated he was bound by judicial ethics to stay with the case. He noted t

Iran | Four Prisoners Executed in Urmia, Fifth Prisoner Commits Suicide Prior to Execution

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); October 29, 2020: Four prisoners sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, have been executed in Urmia Central Prison.  Another prisoner who was due to be executed with them, committed suicide using a sharp object. According to Iran Human Rights, four prisoners were executed in Urmia Central Prison early this morning.  The four prisoners had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. The identities of the four prisoners have been established as Mousa Rahmani, Morteza Heidari, Yassin PourMohammadi and Iraj (or Zeinal, surname unknown). Another prisoner, Ali Maleki (Nicknamed Bodyguard), who had been sentenced to qisas for murder, was also transferred to solitary confinement with the other four prisoners but committed suicide with a sharp object hours prior to his execution. At the time of publication, the execution of these prisoners have not been announced by the domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ annu

Pakistan | Christian Family Flees for Their Lives After Husband Sentenced to Death for 'Blasphemy'

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A Pakistani Christian's wife and family have gone into hiding after he was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam.  The Independent Catholic News (ICN) reports Asif Pervaiz, 37, was sentenced to die last month after finally receiving his trial after his arrest seven years ago. He was falsely accused of sending blasphemous text messages. Pervaiz's wife Marilyn Asif and her four young children have had to flee for their lives since his conviction and sentencing.  "She is in hiding because she feels threatened," Release International, an organization that supports persecuted Christians, told ICN. "She is trying to keep her three sons and daughter safe." As CBN News reported in September, Pervaiz was charged with blasphemy after his former supervisor at his job in a garment factory accused him of sending sacrilegious text messages from his cell phone. "This case should have been thrown out by the judge," Pervaiz's attor

Mali | Two jihadists convicted, sentenced to death for 2015 attacks targeting Westerners

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BAMAKO - Two jihadists were found guilty and sentenced to death by a Malian court on Wednesday for the killing of over two dozen people in attacks targeting Westerners in 2015. The shocking attacks were among the first to explicitly target bars and restaurants popular with foreigners in Mali, which has been gripped by a brutal jihadist insurgency since 2012. Fawaz Ould Ahmed, a Mauritanian Islamist also known as "Ibrahim 10", and his Malian co-defendant, Sadou Chaka, were handed the death sentences immediately after the verdict was read out at the end of two days of hearings. A third defendant, Abdoulbaki Abdramane Maiga, also a Malian national, was sentenced to death in absentia. Ould Ahmed had earlier told the trial that he had attacked a nightclub in the capital Bamako, killing five people, in revenge for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by France's Charlie Hebdo magazine. A Frenchman, a Belgian and three Malians were killed in the March 2015 attack, when gunmen spraye

Taiwan Supreme Court ruling sets stage for murderer to once again face death penalty

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In 2nd trial, Taiwan High Court had reduced punishment for perpetrator from death to life imprisonment The Taiwan Supreme Court on Monday (Oct. 26) decided to revoke the sentence of life imprisonment for Chen Po-chien, the defendant in the Taipei Huashan murder case. The ruling sends it back to the Taiwan High Court for a retrial, setting the stage for the perpetrator to once again face the prospect of being sentenced to death, according to a CNA report. Chen was indicted in August 2018 on charges of sexual assault and murder in addition to abandonment and destruction of a corpse. The victim, surnamed Kao, was a female member of an archery class Chen organized and taught on the lawn of Taipei's Huashan 1914 Creative Park. On May 31, 2018, Chen and Kao spent time together and consumed alcohol. Chen admitted that he tried to rape Kao while she was sleeping; he explained that her resistance upon waking stirred him to further violence. Chen strangled Kao, dismembered her body, and scat

Iran | Inmates executed in Ardabil, Aligudarz

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); October 28, 2020: According to Iran Human Rights, early this morning, October 28, a male prisoner was executed at Ardabil Central Prison.  The identity of the prisoner who had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, has been established as Hadi Hosseini, who was around 25 years old and an Ardabil native. He had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution from Ward 6 of the prison, but before turning 25, he spent time in the juvenile ward of the prison. A source familiar with Hadi Hossein’s case told IHR: “In early 2017, he stabbed an individual with a knife during a mass fight in the street who later died.” At the time of publication, the execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder." As there are no legal distinctions mad