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Showing posts from September, 2021

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USA | Lethal Injections Are Crueler Than Most People Imagine. I’ve Seen the Evidence Firsthand.

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Alabama is pausing the use of the execution method after two botched attempts, but physicians need to refuse to ever participate in making them possible. Lethal injection is not a medical act, but it impersonates one. The method of judicial execution works by shuttling medicines, repurposed as poison, directly into a vein via an intravenous catheter. Intravenous use is a ubiquitous method for drug and fluid delivery that most anyone might recognize, either by direct experience when sick or by observation in others when others are sick. According to the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, punishment cannot be cruel, and when lethal injection causes death, the outward result can be extraordinarily mild and bloodless. I speak from experience. As a physician, I was invited by Georgia prisoner Marcus Wellons to watch his execution on June 17, 2014. Lethal injection is a highly curated event; even my medical trained eye could detect very little. Wellons died quietly and quickly. I’ve

Iran | Authorities Hang More Prisoners Despite Public Outcry

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At dawn on Wednesday, September 29, authorities in Iran hanged Abbasgholi Salehi, 42, in Isfahan Central Prison. According to human rights activists, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a death sentence for drug-related charges. Mr. Salehi had been detained 17 years ago and spent all these years behind the bars without furlough. On Tuesday, the authorities had transferred him to solitary confinement and called his family to visit their loved one for the last time. The call prompted Mr. Salehi’s relatives and friends to rally in front of the prison, protesting the unjust execution. Around 200 people spent the night outside the prison; however, authorities hanged Mr. Salehi despite the people’s protest. The Iranian government continues executing inmates for drug-related accusations despite the Parliament (Majlis) bill, which rejected the death penalty for drug-related charges. This is flagrant hypocrisy within the Islamic Republic regime in Iran and shows that the state uses death

Council of Europe Continues to Urge Belarus to Suspend Death Penalty

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The Council of Europe continues to call on Minsk to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition, a spokesperson for the organization told Sputnik, commenting on the consent of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to put the issue to a referendum. On Tuesday, Lukashenko said that the majority of Belarusians, in his opinion, are in favor of preserving capital punishment, but agreed to submit the issue of its abolition to a separate referendum in the future. “The position of the Council of Europe on death penalty is well known: death is not justice, and capital punishment does not deter crime. As a first step towards abolition of the death penalty, the Council of Europe has repeatedly called on Belarusian authorities to impose a moratorium on its use,” the spokesperson said. RELATED | Proposal to hold referendum on death penalty in Belarus On Tuesday, after Lukashenko announced that Belarus will hold a referendum on a new constitution in February

Moroccan Cultural Actors Are Mobilizing to Oppose Death Penalty

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The campaign aims to mobilize intellectuals and artists in support of the movement for the abolition of capital punishment. Rabat- A World Day Against the Death Penalty exhibition entitled "The right to live" will appear on October 9 at the Museum of Art and Culture of Marrakech (MACMA) on the occasion of the worldwide campaign against capital punishment.  The campaign, which advocates for the abolition of the death penalty,  has been organized around the world since 2003, each year on October 10. The “right to live” initiative reproduces the original texts of 37 Moroccan intellectuals and writers, in addition to the reproductions of works from the exhibition in defense of the abolition of what campaigners have described as an inhuman punishment. Spearheading the initiative are Driss El Yazami, former president of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH); Younes Ajarrai, artistic director of Marrakech 2020; and Mahi Binebine, a writer and artist who believes the death pen

Iran | Two Secretly Executed in Shiraz

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 29, 2021: Sohrab Naji and Vahab Samadi were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. Sobhrab was sentenced to death on drug-related charges and Vahab on murder charges. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Shiraz Central Prison on September 25. Their identities have been established as Sohrab Naji who was sentenced to death on drug-related charges and 44-year-old Vahab Samadi, who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. Speaking to IHR, an informed source said: “Sohrab Naji was arrested and sentenced to death for 130 kilograms of narcotics in 2018. Vahab Samadi had killed his employer with a stone after he fired him.” At the time of writing, neither of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2020. However, at least 78 people hav

Death row prisoners in Bangladesh

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Once a person is sentenced with capital punishment, he has to be locked in solitary confinement for years and even decades. This procrastination imposes double punishment on death-sentenced prisoners, which is neither mandated by the law nor in any way dictated by the judge The penal laws of Bangladesh have capital punishment for 33 offences. Once an accused is found guilty of those offences by the competent court, it can sentence him/her with a death penalty as the maximum punishment. In our judicial procedure, curiously there are not sentencing guidelines, and hence, the pronouncement of capital punishment is largely predicated on the individual philosophy and intuition of the judges. Nevertheless, the accused has to be incarcerated in a dungeon until he is discharged by a competent court or the punishment is carried out. In Bangladesh, the lower court's verdict of the death sentence marginalises an accused as death-row prisoners though this verdict is reviewed more than three ti

Jordan | Man sentenced to death by hanging for murdering mother

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A Jordanian man was sentenced to death by hanging for killing his mother with the help of his brother. A Jordanian man was sentenced to death by hanging for murdering his mother, according to local media. The Grand Criminal Court said the man used an AK-47 to shoot dead his mother and injured his two sisters. The convicted man's brother was also sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder. Their father, third sister, and their younger brother managed to escape the shooting spree. The two men are both in their 20s and drug addicts, according to the court report.  RELATED | Kuwait sentences man to death for murder of mother of two The murder happened when the brothers rowed with their father, who threatened to inform the police about their drug addiction.  After a fight broke out, the two men attempted to shoot their father but the mother intervened and the parents managed to confiscate the weapon. They gave the rifle to the youngest son who ran out of the house until one

U.S. death row chaplain receives ‘Guardian of Life’ award from papal academy

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VATICAN CITY — Death row inmates in Florida’s prisons refer to their 6-foot-by-9-foot cell as their “house,” with some having lived in their “house” for 40 years — longer than one Catholic lay chaplain said he has lived in his family home in Tallahassee. So when Dale Recinella, the lay minister, goes from cell to cell to offer pastoral care, religious education and spiritual accompaniment, “we go house to house, cell to cell, and that’s where we meet them.” These are men and women who cannot come out, “they can’t even come to the chapel,” so the church must go to them. Recinella has been serving as a Catholic correctional chaplain for inmates on death row and in solitary confinement on behalf of the Catholic bishops of Florida for decades. With just a few more months until his 70th birthday, Recinella was at the Vatican to be honored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and receive its first ever Guardian of Life Award during a special evening event Sept. 28. The academy was holding its

Manny Pacquiao retires from boxing to chase Philippine presidential bid

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Pacquiao was among the staunchest allies of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, backing the leader's bid to reintroduce the death penalty. Boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who is planning to run for president in the 2022 Philippine elections, said on Wednesday he was retiring from boxing to focus on the biggest fight in his political career. Pacquiao, a Philippine senator who has been dividing his time between politics and fighting, made the announcement in a 14-minute video posted on his official Facebook page. "I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over," said an emotional Pacquiao, the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions. "I never thought this day would come as a I hang up my boxing gloves," said Pacquiao, as he thanked his fans all over the world. Known for his fast footwork and blistering speed of punches, Pacquiao was widely regarded as one of the top offensive fighters in the sport's history. Veteran promoter Bob Arum in 2010 sai

Texas executes Rick Rhoades

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Rick Rhoades was convicted of killing 2 brothers 30 years ago, the day after he'd been released from prison on parole. His attorneys argued that racial bias in jury selection denied him a fair trial. Texas carried out its 3rd execution of the year Tuesday night, lethally injecting Rick Rhoades for killing 2 men in their Houston-area home 30 years ago. In an unsuccessful last-ditch effort, his attorneys had hoped to delay the execution to explore whether racial bias during jury selection tainted his trial. Rhoades, 57, was convicted of killing brothers Charles and Bradley Allen in September 1991, a day after his release on parole from a 5-year sentence for car theft and home burglary, according to prison records. When Rhoades was arrested weeks later for allegedly burglarizing a school, he confessed to the murders, court records state. Less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Rhoades' final appeal Tuesday afternoon, he was taken into Texas' death chamber in Hunt

Thailand | Brit on death row escaped world's toughest jail using hacksaw, porn mag, and umbrella

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David McMillan was given the death penalty before he escaped from Klong Prem Central Prison by using a homemade ladder, hacksaw, umbrella and a porn mag in his escape A British man who became the 1st westerner to escape a notorious Thailand jail has described how he made his bid for freedom using just a hacksaw, umbrella and a porn magazine. David McMillan was facing the death penalty when he made his daring escape out of Klong Prem Central Prison, also known as the "Bangkok Hilton". Now 65 years old, David was convicted on 2 narcotics charges for heroin in 1993 and faced certain death unless he pulled off an escape. The maximum-security jail features electrified concrete walls and a 16-metre moat. Speaking to The Sun, McMillan said: "I could see the dawn just as I went over the outer wall and just got past the electricity with a few tingles and just dropped down. "I was going to swim the moat – that was an original plan – but I realised I would be swimming right in