Posts

Showing posts from July, 2011

FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Pentobarbital Manufacturer Says Drug is Not Safe for Lethal Injections

Image
A split Florida supreme court has ordered a hearing on a new drug to be used as part of the lethal injection cocktail for convicted killer Manuel Valle, according to a Palm Beach Post report.
Department of Corrections officials in June replaced the anesthetic sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs used in lethal injections, with pentobarbital sodium. The manufacturer of sodium thiopental stopped making the drug early this year, part of a nationwide drug shortage that is affecting hospitals as well as correctional facilities.
Lundbeck, the Danish manufacturer that produces pentobarbital, announced the drug is untested and unsafe for use in lethal injections. The company has since stopped selling the drug to those who intend to resell it for lethal injections. The drug is not FDA-approved as an anesthetic, thought it has been used in at least 15 executions in other states.

Read thePalm Beach Postreport onlethal injections.
Source: ASCREVIEW, Anesthesia News and Analysis, July 27, 20…

Iran state media: Man spared punishment of blinding by acid

Image
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- A man convicted of blinding a woman in an acid attack was spared an eye-for-an-eye punishment Sunday, minutes before the sentence was to be carried out, Iranian state media reported.
The Fars News Agency reported that the victim had a sudden change of heart and decided to stop the punishment.
A physician was to drop acid -- under legal supervision -- into the eyes of Majid Movahedi on Sunday, according to Fars News Agency, to punish him for throwing acid in the face of Ameneh Bahrami seven years ago. The act disfigured her face and blinded her.
Bahrami had previously insisted on the vengeful punishment after her attacker's conviction in 2008.
"However in the last minute, Ameneh changed her mind and asked the proceeding to be halted," the Islamic republic's Fars state news agency reported.
This week marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic world, and pardons and commuted sentences commonly occur as a show of compassion leading i…

Man hanged in southern Iran

Iran Human Rights, July 30: One prisoner was hanged in the city of Minab, southern Iran, reported the state run Iranian news agency Fars.
According to the report the prisoner who was identified as "H.D." was convicted of trafficking 49,5 kilograms of heroin and was arrested in 2008.
The report didn’t mention age of the prisoner, nor the exact time and place of the execution.
Source: Iran Human Rights, July 30, 2011

Iranian Man’s Retribution Acid Blinding Punishment Set for Sunday, July 31, in Tehran

Image
Iran Human Rights, July 30: According to reports from Iran, the blinding sentence of Majid Movahedi will be implemented in Tehran early Sunday morning. Acid is set to be dripped in both his eyes.
In November 2008, a court in the Iranian capital Tehran sentenced Majid Movahedi to “blindness in both eyes” by ten drops of sulfuric acid for splashing acid on Ameneh Bahrami’s face in 2004. She had allegedly spurned his marriage proposals. Ameneh Bahrami’s face became disfigured and she lost the sight in both eyes as a result of the injury. The sentence was approved by the Iranian Supreme Court in February 2009.
The sentence was scheduled to be implemented on May 14th but was postponed, probably due to the massive international attention the case received.
According to Alarabiya, Iranian authorities have decided to implement the verdict before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on August 1st. The news has also been confirmed on the Ameneh Bahrami Facebook page. It stat…

Capital punishment has drug problem, will eventually die

Image
Harvard Medical School professors, Danish pharmaceutical companies, four members of the Florida Supreme Court and attorneys for condemned cop killer Manuel Valle are poking their collective noses into the state of Florida’s business, namely its — and our — business of death.
As a result, Valle won't be executed Tuesday as scheduled by the death warrant Gov. Rick Scott signed in June.
The Florida Supreme Court stayed Valle’s death sentence last Monday and ordered an evidentiary hearing about the efficacy of pentobarbital to knock him unconscious so he doesn’t feel the effects of the next two drugs his executioners would administer to paralyze him and stop his heart.
Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, Jorge Labarga and James Perry voted to stay Valle’s execution, writing that a report from Dr. David Waisel, a pediatric anesthesiologist and associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School included in Valle’s lawyer’s arguments, merited a further look at pentobarbital, a…

3 Saudis beheaded for murder

Image
3 Saudis were beheaded on Saturday in the western city of Taef after being convicted of killing fellow citizens in 2 separate incidents, state news agency SPA reported.
Mahfoudh bin Ali al-Kenani was beheaded by the sword for stabbing to death Ali Saeed al-Khazmari because of a feud between them, SPA said.
Meanwhile, 2 brothers, Mohammed and Saud al-Jaeed were also executed for shooting dead fellow citizen Hilal bin Sayel al-Harthi, SPA said in another statement.
Saturday's executions bring to 37 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia this year, according to an AFP tally based on official and human rights group reports.
On June 10, London-based watchdog Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia to stop applying the death penalty, saying there had been a significant rise in the number of executions in the previous 6 weeks.
It said 15 people were executed in May alone.
In 2009, the number of executions reached 67, compared to 102 in 2008.
Rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality, ar…

UK: "We’ll force MP vote on noose"

Image
MPs could vote on whether to bring back the death penalty, it emerged yesterday.
Campaigners plan to use an online petition scheme launched by the Government to press their case.
They want capital punishment - banned in Britain in 1965 - to be restored for those who kill kids or police officers.
And any petition which receives more than 100,000 names must be considered for debate in Westminster.
The bid to bring back hanging is being spearheaded by Right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes and its supporters hope to launch it next week.
Fawkes wrote on his website: "Even if we don't win the vote on the floor of the House, we shall see which MPs put the welfare of child killers above the wider community. Let them be counted." MPs last night said they would welcome a debate on the controversial issue.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: "It's something where once again the public are a long way ahead of the politicians.
"I'd go further and restore it for all murderers."
His f…

Shifting values give Bali Nine duo hope: lawyer

Image
A lawyer for two of the Bali Nine Australians facing the death penalty says a shift in attitudes in Indonesia may offer a glimmer of hope for the men.
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have exhausted all their legal avenues and have about 12 months to plead for presidential clemency.
If Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono does not grant clemency, the pair will face the firing squad.
Lawyer Julian McMahon says the death penalty debate has remained dormant in Indonesia for many years, but now it is on the national agenda.
He says it could be an opportunity for Indonesia to emerge as a leader in the region and get rid of the law.
"Indonesia is a country where there's been tremendous reform since 1998," he said.
"It's a country where there's vital debate, the press is free and vigorous, there's room for people to argue the point on any important issue.
"In that environment there's a great deal of hope, because the time has passed for the deat…

Texas ruling ends inquiry in death penalty case

Image
The Texas attorney general severely limited the state's Forensic Science Commission's ability to investigate past cases Friday, including an arson case that critics say might have ended in the execution of an innocent man.
Attorney General Greg Abbott's ruling, which has the same effect as a supreme court ruling in other states, effectively ends the commission's inquiry into the evidence that convicted Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed for the arson death of his three children. Arson experts hired by the commission determined the evidence used to gain Willingham's conviction does not meet scientific standards and that the fire was most likely accidental.
While the commission cannot overturn a conviction, it can determine whether evidence was collected and analyzed properly, supplying grounds for an appeal if there was misconduct.
Anti-death penalty advocates have argued that Willingham could not have been convicted using present-day forensic standards, and Tex…

Indonesia's top court last hope for death-row inmate Frank Amado

Image
Frank Amado admits to storing and transporting crystal meth for a drug dealer in Indonesia. “I did wrong and I accept responsibility,” he says. “But the death penalty?”
Of the Dunedin High class of '82, it was Richard Kniehase who first learned about his old buddy Frank Amado. They had stayed in touch since high school, resorting to e-mailing every few months when Amado moved to Washington state in 2004 and then on to Thailand and Indonesia a few years later.
Most of Amado's e-mails were about how much he liked the laid-back lifestyle in Southeast Asia. He wrote about tuk-tuks and elephants on the roads. About selling real estate and teaching English and still having time for long lunches of spicy food and evenings out with new friends.
"What I love more than anything about living in Asia," he wrote, "is that whenever you leave your apartment there is always an adventure waiting for you."
When he married, he sent Kniehase photos of his wife. When they opened a …

Ugandan Parliament to Fast Track “Kill the Gays Bill” Restart

Image
It appears Uganda’s Kill the Gays Bill is about to be resurrected and put on a fast track in the Ugandan Parliament.
The bill, which calls for the death penalty for the “crime” of being gay or HIV-​positive, and prison sentences for friends, family, and acquaintances who believe someone is gay but does not immediately report them to authorities, may be voted on “by the end of August.”
According to human rights expert Warren Throckmorton:
"I spoke yesterday with Ugandan MP Hon. Otto Odonga who told me that the Parliament will bring back the Anti-Homosexuality Bill soon, perhaps “by the end of August.” Although the re-introduction of the antigay bill had been expected, Odonga said the bill is “back from the perspective of the new parliament starting from where the last parliament ended.”
Since the end of the Eighth Parliament, observers have speculated that the Ninth Parliament might not require re-introduction of bills deliberated upon but not passed. Two weeks ago, the Speaker of Par…

Canada marks 35 years since abolition of the death penalty

Image
On July 14, 1976, the House of Commons voted to strike capital punishment from the Canadian Criminal Code. The road to abolition had been a long one. The first time an MP had introduced an anti-capital punishment bill was 1914, and several more such bills would be shot down over the following decades. After 120 years, and 710 executions, Canada’s capital punishment laws were pretty well-ingrained into judicial society.
It wasn’t until 1956 that Parliament even considered removing the death penalty as a punishment for youth offenders. But by the end of that decade, politicians and the public alike had begun to question the humanity of capital punishment and its effectiveness as a deterrent. Anti-death penalty protesters had started picketing executions, serving as foils to the rabid crowds who had once gleefully swarmed public hangings.
As resistance to capital punishment grew, the death penalty was removed from several crimes, including rape and some murder charges. By 196…

Mubarak trial to open next week, Egypt says

Image
Cairo (CNN) -- Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak's trial on charges of corruption and ordering police to kill anti-government protesters will open Wednesday at a Cairo convention hall, Egypt's justice minister announced Thursday.
The 83-year-old former president and his interior minister, Habib El Adly, face possible death sentences if convicted of unleashing police on the demonstrations that drove them from office in February. Six of El Adly's assistants face trial on the same charges, Justice Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz Al Guindy announced Thursday.
Mubarak has denied the charges.
The human rights group Amnesty International has estimated that at least 840 people were killed and more than 6,000 wounded during the three-week uprising that toppled Mubarak. A police officer accused of indiscriminately shooting protesters has already been sentenced to death in absentia.
In addition, Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, and a business associate face trial on corruption charges. T…

Japanese Justice Minister May Halt Executions

Image
July 29, 2011: Japanese Justice Minister Satsuki Eda indicated his intention not to authorize the execution of death row inmates for the time being in an exclusive interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, one year after the last death sentences were carried out on July 28, 2010.
Considering the Justice Ministry has been discussing the future of the death penalty system, "It's very unlikely [that I will] enforce it," Eda said.
According to the ministry, 107 inmates remained on death row following the last execution. Since then, the number of death row inmates has risen to 120.
The ministry launched an internal study group in August to discuss the death penalty, including the possibility of abolishing it. The group is still reviewing points of the argument.
"Human beings are rational creatures. I think it's wrongheaded to claim that taking the life of a person is the expression of a rational nature," Eda told The Yomiuri Shimbun.
"I'm considering how to exerci…

Delaware executes Robert Jackson III

Image
SMYRNA, Del. (AP) — Delaware carried out its first execution since 2005 early Friday, putting to death a man who was convicted of killing a woman with an ax during a burglary nearly two decades ago.
Robert Jackson III was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m. after being given a lethal injection at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
Jackson, 38, lifted his head when asked for his last words shortly after midnight. Searching the window between the execution chamber and witnesses, he asked if the two children of the victim, Elizabeth Girardi, were watching.
"Are the Girardis in there? Christopher and Claudia, if you are in there, I've never faulted you for your anger. I would have been mad myself," he said, going on to deny he killed their mother.
He suggested that his accomplice in the burglary, Anthony Lachette, was the killer.
"Tony's laughing his ass off right now because you're about to watch an innocent man die. This isn't justice," he said b…