Posts

FEATURED POST

Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

Image
Update: Robert Pruett was executed by lethal injection on Thursday.
Robert Pruett is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas Thursday. He has never had a chance to live outside a prison as an adult. Taking his life is a senseless wrong that shows how badly the justice system fails juveniles.
Mr. Pruett was 15 years old when he last saw the outside world, after being arrested as an accomplice to a murder committed by his own father. Now 38, having been convicted of a murder while incarcerated, he will be put to death. At a time when the Supreme Court has begun to recognize excessive punishments for juveniles as unjust, Mr. Pruett’s case shows how young lives can be destroyed by a justice system that refuses to give second chances.
Mr. Pruett’s father, Sam Pruett, spent much of Mr. Pruett’s early childhood in prison. Mr. Pruett and his three siblings were raised in various trailer parks by his mother, who he has said used drugs heavily and often struggled to feed the children. Wh…

India: Debate begins on capital punishment alternative methods

Image
Plea in Supreme Court wants execution by hanging to be judged against global opinion and evolving standards of human decency
The last execution carried out by the state was that of Yakub Memon, in 2015. Convicted for his role in the 1993 Bombay blasts case, the charted accountant was hanged at the Nagpur central jail. Relatives weren’t allowed to attend the event. Instead, his death was witnessed only by a magistrate, a doctor, and a few prison officials.
Now, nobody but the people present at the spot know how Memon suffered through his last moments among the living. Did death come instantly, or did he suffer? They aren’t saying.
Over 1,414 convicts have been hanged since Independence, but there is just as little information on how agonising their final moments were. So, why has this issue suddenly become relevant now, after all these years?
At death’s door: An investigation into capital punishment in India
A public interest litigation has once again ignited a moral debate on the quest…

Death penalty abolition 'not easy' in Thailand

Image
It is not easy to abolish the death penalty in Thailand, the director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department says.
Department chief Pitikarn Pitikarn Sithidej told a meeting held on Tuesday to consider the possibility of abolishing the capital punishment. 
Also present was Colin Steinbach, head of the political, press and information office of the EU delegation to Thailand. 
The meeting is held to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty on Oct 10.
Ms Pitikarn said that abolishing the death penalty does not mean offenders will not receive punishment they deserve
But the aim is to end the death penalty, which is seen as a cruel, inhumane, and uneconomical means of punishment, and to reduce the chance of wrongful execution.
The death penalty goes against the human rights principles and most prisoners on death row are the underprivileged who cannot afford to hire capable lawyers, Ms Pitikarn said.
There is no proof that the death penalty can deter crime, she added.

Petition: Free Iranian Youth Sina Dehghan, Sentenced To Death For "Insulting The Prophet"

Image
An Iranian 21-year-old has been sentenced to death after 'insulting the prophet' of Islam on an instant messaging app.
Sina Dehghan was 19 when he was arrested by the Iranian revolutionary guard at a military barracks in Tehran in October 2015 for insulting the national religion on the messaging app LINE.
Human rights activists claim that Dehghan was fooled into siging his own confession under the belief that he would be released without punishment if he did so.
But after signing the confession, prosecutors dropped the agreement and kept Dehghan incarcerated at Arak Prison.
His death penalty was confirmed in January when it was upheld in the country's Supreme Court, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
'During his interrogation, Sina was told that if he signed a confession and repented, he would be pardoned and let go,' a source told CHRI. 'Unfortunately, he made a childish decision and accepted the charges. Then they sentenced him to death.…

Justices Won’t Review Florida Death-Penalty Cases

Image
(CN) – Three liberal justices dissented Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of a challenge to Florida’s death-sentencing procedures, saying the high court should have decided whether jurors being told their verdict was merely advisory diminished their sense of responsibility.
In March 2010, Quentin Marcus Truehill and two cellmates at the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office in Mansura, Louisiana, held the holding-cell officer hostage, according to court records.
Truehill then attacked the booking officer with a shank, and the three men escaped. They stole a truck and committed a series of crimes on their way from Louisiana to Miami, Florida.
The decomposed body of Vincent Binder was found in an open field near St. Augustine, Fla., soon after police learned that Truehill used Binder’s credit card the night he went missing.
Truehill was convicted of murdering and kidnapping Binder, and was sentenced to death.
He appealed, but the Florida Supreme Court affirmed his convictions …

Virginia: Prosecutors to pursue death penalty against man accused of killing Nabra Hassanen

Image
Fairfax County prosecutors will pursue the death penalty against the man accused in the high-profile killing of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, who was abducted as she walked to her mosque over the summer, authorities said.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh (D) made the announcement Monday after a Fairfax County grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres for capital murder, rape and other charges in connection with the slaying of Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Va.
“You conform the charges to what the evidence will show,” Morrogh said. “It is my intention to seek the death penalty.”
Morrogh declined to discuss the evidence that led to the indictments since the case is pending, but it was the first time that authorities indicated that they believed Nabra was sexually assaulted in the June 18 attack.
In addition to the rape charge, Torres is accused of abducting Nabra with intent to defile and object sexual penetration.
Fairfax…

Execution stayed for Alabama man convicted of killing cop

Image
A federal court granted a stay of execution for Alabama death row inmate Torrey Twane McNabb, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday.
The order was issued on Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division.
The state has appealed the stay.
The execution was scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hollman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
McNabb has spent the last 18 years on death row, after being convicted of fatally shooting Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon in September 1997. 
McNabb was convicted on two capital murder counts-- one for killing Gordon while he was on duty, and one for killing him as Gordon sat in his patrol car. 
McNabb also was found guilty of two additional counts of attempted murder.
McNabb's attorney John Anthony Palombi, an assistant federal defender, filed an emergency motion for stay of execution on Oct. 11. 
The defense claims the "challenged method of execution presents…

16 October 1793, The Day Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, Was Guillotined

Image
On 21 September 1792, the fall of the monarchy was officially declared and the National Convention became the governing body of the French Republic. The royal family name was downgraded to the non-royal "Capets". 
Preparations began for the trial of the king in a court of law.
Charged with undermining the First French Republic, Louis XVI was separated from his family and tried in December. He was found guilty by the Convention, led by the Jacobins who rejected the idea of keeping him as a hostage. 
On 15 January 1793, by a majority of one vote, that of Philippe Égalité, he was condemned to death by guillotine and executed on 21 January 1793.
Marie-Antoinette in the Temple
The queen, now called "Widow Capet", plunged into deep mourning. She still hoped her son Louis XVII, whom the exiled comte de Provence, Louis XVI's brother, had recognised as Louis XVI's successor, would one day rule France. 
The royalists and the refractory clergy, including those prepar…

Malaysia: Scrap death penalty on drugs to start ball rolling, Amnesty tells Putrajaya

Image
PETALING JAYA, Oct 11 — Malaysia should abolish the mandatory death penalty for drug cases at the next Parliament sitting as a pledge to improve human rights here, Amnesty International (AI) said today after the government announced its plans to allow judges a choice in sentencing.
AI Malaysia acting executive director Gwen Lee said many drug cases involve people from lower income groups and that it would be unfair if they had to pay with their lives for such crimes. She added that it would be a good first step towards abolishing the draconian punishment.
She cited the case of one Hoo Yew Wah, a poor Johorean currently on death row for drug possession charges in 2005, as an example of such cases.
“The situation is no different in Malaysia, where it is often those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds who end up paying the price of the death penalty.
“The mandatory death penalty on drug is very important to be reviewed,” Lee said in a press conference today.
She also urged Datuk Ser…

Zimbabwe: Renewed efforts to abolish death penalty

Image
Human rights groups have re-launched their bid to have the death penalty abolished in Zimbabwe.
The country is 1 of 3 southern African nations still upholding the harsh penalty.
As Zimbabwe commemorated the World Day Against the Death Penalty last week, Veritas, Amnesty International and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum canvassed for signatures to petition President Robert Mugabe to direct government to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty.
This comes as Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has openly declared that he is against capital punishment, having escaped the guillotine himself during the liberation struggle.
Earlier this year, Mnangagwa blocked recruitment of the country's hangman, although at least five people had applied for the post, which fell vacant more than a decade ago.
According to official figures as at December 2016, there were 97 inmates on death roll, with Zimbabwe's last execution having been in 2005.
The rights groups argued that &qu…