Tag: Death Penalty
Today it was announced ten coffins have arrived on Nusakambangan island, Indonesia's island of death.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refused to budge on the imminent executions of drug offenders, which by all accounts will proceed as soon as possible. He has tuned out requests by leaders of Brazil, Nigeria, France, the Philippines, and especially Australia.
What is fueling his stubborn resistance? He says other countries need to butt out and let Indonesia enforce its laws. He says this is about legal sovereignty and Indonesia's dignity. Shorter version: the politics of pride and nationalism. [More...]
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R.I.P. Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira (Brazil), Ang Kiem Soei (The Netherlands), Daniel Enemuo (Nigeria), Namaona Denis (Malawi), Tran Thi Bich Hanh (Vietnam) and Rani Andriani (Indonesia.) Despite pleas from governmental leaders and world-wide criticism, the four men and two women were executed just after midnight in Indonesia. There are 58 more convicted drug offenders on Indonesia's death row.
It seems not much has changed in Indonesia. The five who were executed on Nusakambangan Island, in Central Java, were taken from their cells in the dead of night and driven to a remote spot several miles away where they were shot in pairs. Media and families were of those killed were not allowed to be present. Reactions from the governments in the home countries of those killed was swift: [More....]
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Indonesia does not deserve your tourist dollars. Many Indonesians support their barbaric laws against drug traffickers. This is how many on Bali reacted to Schapelle Corby's arrest for 4.4 kilos of marijuana. This weekend, six drug traffickers, including five foreigners, will be killed by firing squads in Indonesia. Indonesia's President has rejected requests from leading officials of Brazil, the Netherlands and Australia not to kill their citizens.
Death is neither quick or painless when you are tied to a wooden cross and shot. The same fate awaits Bali Nine Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.(Indonesia claims the executioners now walk right over to those they just shot and shoot them again behind the ear to make sure they are dead.)
There are beautiful beaches all over the world. There is no reason to give your tourist dollars to a country that executes drug traffickers. [More...]
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A new U.N. report on the death penalty in Iraq says it is fueling the violence and a moratorium should be imposed.
The report says executions in Iraq have been increasing at an alarming pace and that is applied unfairly:
Judges often pass death sentences based on evidence from disputed confessions or secret informants, condemning suspects who are unaware of their rights, may have been tortured and have no defense attorney until they arrive in court, the report said.
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These kinds of headlines make me find 3 confirming reports before writing about them, in case there's a language difference as to the use of some words, like "crucifixion. In this case, it means what we think it means.
Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, a reformist cleric, has been sentenced to death by crucifixiton , the country's harshest punishment. He will be beaheaded and his body will be tied to two perpendicular pieces of wood. He'll be strung up and his severed head will be by him. This barbarity will take place in the public square severed head will be place by him. The event takes place in town square, with the public watching.
What was al-Nimr's sin? He preached against the Saudi King, arguing for civil rights. and an end to corruption and discrimination against minorities. [More...]
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Records released in Arizona's botched 2 hour execution show inmate Joseph Wood was injected with 15 times the amount of lethal injection drugs called for by Arizona's death protocol.
“The Arizona execution protocol explicitly states that a prisoner will be executed using 50 milligrams of hydromorphone and 50 milligrams of midazolam,” Dale A. Baich, one of the lawyers who represented Mr. Wood, said in a statement.
...Mr. Wood was injected with 750 milligrams of hydromorphone and 750 milligrams of midazolam in all.
It was expected that Wood would be dead in 10 minutes. It took almost 2 hours. [More...]
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A federal judge in California has ruled California's death penalty system is unconstitutional. He says a death sentence in California is nothing but a penalty of "life with the remote possibility of death." The opinion is here. Since the penalty is so rarely carried out (no one has been executed since 2006), "the death penalty is about as effective a deterrent to capital crime as ther /> possibility of a lightning strike is to going outside in the rain."
This is a problem that has festered in California for years. A major problem, as the judge notes in yesterday's opinion, is California's refusal to adequately fund lawyers. While many media articles briefly mention this, it is a significant part of the judge's decision. [More...]
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A new Pew Report shows support for the death penalty for convicted murderers has dropped to 55%, the lowest level since the 1970's. Among the reasons:
...a steep drop in the incidence of violent crime, and greater attention to wrongful convictions, which has led to more than 1,300 convicts being exonerated through DNA evidence, revelations of faulty forensic work, or other means. (Recent reports of prolonged executions and the difficulties many states have had in procuring drugs for lethal injections also may be factors in shifting public opinion.)
Since 1973, the U.S. has executed 1,373 people. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 1,339 people have been exonerated since 1989, 106 of whom were sentenced to death. Only 1/3 of the exonerations involved DNA evidence.
All but two of the executions were at the state level. The highest number of executions: Texas, with 512. After that: Virginia and Oklahoma (110 each), and then Florida, Missouri and Alabama.
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Washington Governor Jay Inslee today suspended the use of the death penalty in the state for the duration of his term.
"There have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today," Inslee said at a news conference. "There is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system."
The decision is part of a growing trend.
Last year, Maryland abolished the death penalty, the 18th state to do so and the sixth in the last six years.
More from Inslee: [More...]
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Billy Slagle has been on death row since his murder conviction in 1988. He was 18 at the time of the crime. His execution date was set for Tuesday. This morning, he was found hanged in his cell. He was in solitary confinement.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors joined Slagle's family in asking for a reprieve, urging [Gov. John]Kasich to commute his sentence to life in prison without parole -- a sentence the prosecutor's office said had not been available at the time.
Gov. Kasich denied the request on July 24.
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(Note: Links added and blockquoting fixed.)
A federal jury in Brooklyn has sentenced Ronell Wilson to death for killing two undercover cops a decade ago. Wilson was previously convicted and sentenced to death, but the Second Circuit reversed the death sentence due to prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.
That sentence was overturned in 2010, when an appeals court ruled that prosecutors had unfairly tried to influence the jury in the case.
The court specifically faulted prosecutors for arguing that Wilson's claims of remorse should be discredited because he declined to plead guilty and refused to testify in his trial.
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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today granted a reprieve from the death penalty to Nathan Dunlap, who is scheduled to be executed in August for killings 15 years ago at a Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlor.
The reprieve is not clemency. A future governor could lift it. But it means Dunlap's execution date is canceled and Hickenlooper says he is unlikely to revisit the decision.
"It is a legitimate question whether we as a state should be taking lives," the order says. "Because the question is about the use of the death penalty itself, and not about Offender No. 89148, I have opted to grant a reprieve and not clemency in this case."
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Maryland has become the 18th state to ban the death penalty since 1976.
What happens to the five inmates on Maryland's death row?? The Guardian explains it's an unknown as yet.
Other states repealing the death penalty in the recent years: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.
Colorado legislators will be debating a bill to repeal the death penalty very soon. [More...]
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This is how Indonesia carries out its death penalty:
The death penalty is carried out in Indonesia by firing squad, normally in the middle of the night in a remote place, illuminated by flood lights. The public are not allowed to witness executions.
Members of the police force’s elite Brimob paramilitary brigade make up firing squads. They consist of 12 armed soldiers however only three of them actually have live rounds in their weapons – the rest have blanks. Nobody knows who has the live rounds and who has the blanks. This is to ease the conscience of the firing squad and so that no-one knows who fired the killer shot.
The condemned person is tied to a wooden cross or post and the spot of their heart is illuminated on a vest they wear to guide the firing squad. The prisoner can elect to wear a hood or not and can have a religious person present until the last moments.
113 people were sentenced to death in Indonesia in 2012. (This study says 114 are on death row.)At least 8 will be executed in 2013. 40 of those on death row are foreigners. 5 foreigners have been executed for drugs.). Some inmates have taken 7 minutes to die after being shot. They lay there screaming in pain, according to witnesses. [More..]
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Al Jazeera has an article today about the "debate" over Singapore's change two weeks ago in its mandatory death penalty law for drugs and murder. The South China Post reports on Asia's shift against the death penalty.
First, Singapore's change in drug cases is de minimus. It applies only to couriers who agree to become snitches and those who with mental abnormalities.
Couriers who rat out bigger fish can apply for a "certificate of cooperation" from the prosecution. Since most couriers don't know anything about the larger organization, this is just a license to make things up. If the authorities suspect person X of being a big trafficker, and ask a courier to confirm their suspicion, what courier is going to admit "I don't know" when that answer means the gallows.
The mental exemption applies only to those "suffering from such an abnormality of mind that it substantially impaired his mental responsibility for committing the offence".
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