Trump's last days in office marred by disregard for human life. Death penalty just another example.

Trump reinstated federal executions after nearly 20 years, with two slated for this week. When will the U.S. drop the practice and join other Western nations? If there's one thing that has defined the final days of the Trump administration, it's the lack of regard for human life. We saw that play out Wednesday after President Donald Trump incited rioters to bust through the U.S. Capitol and hunt down members of Congress.  Inciting a violent assault on the Capitol also displayed a disregard for democracy and the rule of law. This was the tragic finale of four years of failed federal leadership, and far from the only instance where the president’s disdain for human life has been demonstrated. His abject failure to provide the leadership necessary to deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic is beyond dispute, with the consequence being that the daily death count from COVID-19 has now surpassed that of 9/11. In the face of these unfolding tragedies, and at a time when the Trump

Gaza | Death Sentence Issued Despite Palestine’s 2018 Accession to ICCPR Second Optional Protocol

On Monday, 04 January 2020, the Northern Gaza Court of First Instance issued a death sentence by hanging against F. N. (32), from Jabalia refugee camp, who was convicted of premeditated murder of his aunt, Ne’ma Fares al-Nemnem, on 12 December 2015.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses its full solidarity with the victims of murder crimes in Palestine and supports their rights to access justice and to an effective remedy. In the meantime, PCHR insists on its position that the death penalty is not the only mean to achieve justice or deter those who may attempt to commit such crimes; rather, it is an inhumane way that contradicts with Palestine’s international legal obligations under the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. Hence, PCHR reiterates its principle position in opposition to the death penalty.

This is the 1st sentence of its kind in 2021 in the Gaza Strip. It should be noted that 2020 witnessed an increase in the number of death sentences in the Gaza Strip, as 22 sentences were issued: 17 were issued by the Court of First Instance and 5 by the Court of Appeal upholding previous sentences. Thus, the total number of death sentences issued in Palestinian territory since 1994 reached 237: 30 in the West Bank and 207 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 149 sentences were issued after the 2007 Palestinian political division.

Since the establishment of the PA, 41 death sentences were executed: 39 in the Gaza Strip, and 2 in the West Bank. Of those executed in the Gaza Strip, 28 were carried out after 2007 without the ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of Palestinian law. In this context, PCHR commends the Palestinian President’s position not to ratify any death sentence since 2005 and stresses the need to refrain from ratifying death sentences in a prelude to abolishing this punishment from the Palestinian legislations.

PCHR reminds the authorities in Gaza of Palestine’s international legal obligations under the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obliges Palestine to suspend use of the death penalty as a prelude to its abolishment from Palestinian legislations. Therefore, PCHR calls on the authorities in the Gaza Strip not to use the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence with hard labor.

PCHR also calls upon the Palestinian President to issue a law by decree to suspend the use of legal articles that permit the death penalty in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, until an elected legislative authority assumes the legislative power and abolishes it from Palestinian legislations.

Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Staff, January 7, 2021

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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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