"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Indonesia vows more executions this year

Indonesia's attorney-general M Prasetyo
Indonesia's attorney-general M Prasetyo
It would be wise if the government listens to those criticizing the death penalty, says a moral theologian.

A new round of executions will take place this year when a legal row over appeals is resolved, according to Indonesia's attorney-general.

Muhammad Prasetyo said Indonesia is still fully committed to carrying out executions in line with President Joko Widodo's hardline anti-drug policy.

The president says executions of drug traffickers, a policy that has drawn international condemnation, are necessary to combat rampant drug abuse in Indonesia.

Franciscan Father Peter C. Aman, a moral theology lecturer at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta said it would be wise if the government listens to those criticizing the death penalty.

"It presumes the death penalty can reduce the number of crimes particularly related to drugs. That is nonsense," he said.

The last round of executions took place in July last year when 4 people were shot by firing squad in a clearing on the island of Nusa Kambangan.

10 others facing execution were given a last minute reprieve.

Since then, the country's Constitutional Court ruled to lift time restrictions on convicts filing clemency appeals to the president, a move analysts believe has delayed a further round of executions taking place.

Rules had stipulated that convicts had to file a last-ditched appeal to the president within a year of a final court ruling being handed down.

However, in Indonesia, the Constitutional Court holds sway on clemency rules.

Prasetyo said at the weekend that his office has appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, which would remove any legal obstacles preventing more executions taking place.

Rights activists immediately condemned the attorney- general's comments.

Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono, executive director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, accused Prasetyo of trying to run roughshod over the Constitutional Court.

"The Constitutional Court's ruling is clear enough. Why ask the Supreme Court for a decision?

"It seems he is desperately trying to seek a solution to execute death row inmates," Eddyono said.

Yati Andriyani, coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, urged the government not to pursue another round of executions.

"The government must first evaluate the whole process of previous executions. Were death row inmates' rights fulfilled?" Andriyani alleged there were flaws in the legal system and malpractices by investigators.

"In some cases, the convicts' right to have adequate legal assistance was ignored. Also, torture was still used by law enforcement officers in their efforts to get confessions from alleged criminals."

Source: La Croix International, Katharina R. Lestari, March 1, 2017


Amnesty International warns new AFP protocols could see more death sentences handed down



A decision by the Federal Government on information-sharing protocols between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and foreign authorities could allow a repeat of the Bali 9 drug smuggling case, according to Amnesty International.

Last year, a parliamentary committee recommended the AFP "obtain guarantees" from foreign prosecutors that they would not pursue the death penalty before providing information relating to information on crimes such as drug trafficking.

The Government has now released its response, and argued there are difficulties in ensuring such promises are binding.

"An undertaking from a prosecutor not to seek to apply the death penalty may not be reliable where a court can still impose the death penalty," the Government's response stated.

"Generally speaking, the Government does not consider it appropriate to seek, or rely on, an undertaking from a prosecutor.

"In the instances where assurances have been provided to Australia, they have usually occurred at ministerial level."

The Government said fighting serious drug crimes remained a high priority.

"The Government's ability to detect, deter and prevent drug crimes would be impeded if Australia could not cooperate with states in the region that retain the death penalty."

In 2015, the AFP defended its decision to inform Indonesian authorities about the Bali 9 drug syndicate, with Commissioner Andrew Colvin saying officers did not have enough evidence to arrest the Australians before they left for Indonesia.

2 of the smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed in 2015.

Amnesty International raised concern with the Government's decision not to follow the recommendations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of that case.

"This is unfortunate, particularly as Australia has made a number of positive commitments in response to the inquiry," organisation spokesman Guy Ragen said.

"The Government's announcement that Australia is going to have a strategy to guide its advocacy against capital punishment in our region and around the world is strongly welcomed."

The Government did accept a number of recommendations in the report, including that "high risk" cases be directed to the Minister for a decision and that Australia continue its advocacy and opposition to the death penalty around the world.

Source: abc.net.au, March 1, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Philippines Moves Closer to Reinstating Death Penalty

 House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines
The House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines
MANILA — The Philippine House of Representatives approved a proposal on Wednesday to reinstate the death penalty, paving the way for capital punishment to be restored more than a decade after it was abolished.

The bill, which would primarily allow drug-related offenses to be punishable by death, reflects President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign pledge to end crime and corruption.

Since Mr. Duterte took office in June, thousands of people suspected of being drug addicts or pushers have been killed by police officers or vigilantes as part of that campaign.

To become law, the death penalty bill must face a largely symbolic third reading in the House, which is controlled by allies of the president, before going to the Senate, also controlled by people close to Mr. Duterte. The bill would then have to be signed by the president.

House leaders had called for a voice vote on Wednesday, and advocates of reinstating the death penalty drowned out those opposing the measure.

“We lost. The next battleground is the Senate,” said Harry Roque, a lawmaker who voted against the measure.

Another opponent of the bill, Antonio Tinio, suggested that little time had been given to debate about the bill. “It is definitely unacceptable to railroad the passage of the death penalty bill because for burning issues such as this, congressional deliberations are not just for its members alone — they are also for the people,” he said.

Under the proposal, so-called heinous crimes would be punishable by death. Those include some forms of rape and murder, as well as drug offenses including the import, sale, manufacture, delivery and distribution of narcotics.

Drug possession would carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Capital punishment would typically be carried out by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection, according to the bill.

Once the measure reaches the Senate, legislators are expected to await a ruling by the Justice Department on whether it contravenes the country’s commitment to international conventions. But the justice secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre II, is a fraternity brother of Mr. Duterte’s, and he is not expected to oppose the act.

Senator Bam Aquino promised that lawmakers in the upper chamber would debate the bill but acknowledged that blocking it would be difficult.

The proposed law, he said, goes against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the country ratified in 1986. The convention prevents parties from carrying out execution as a form of punishment.

“This issue is so serious,” he said. “The debates should not be rushed, so the public can listen to the arguments in the Senate.”

The politically influential Roman Catholic Church, which Mr. Duterte has criticized for opposing his policies, has been at the forefront of the fight against the law.

Bishops said in a letter that was read in all churches last month that they “unequivocally oppose proposals and moves to return the death penalty into the Philippine legal system.”

“We regret that there are strident efforts to restore the death penalty,” the letter said. “Though the crime be heinous, no person is ever beyond redemption, and we have no right ever giving up on any person.”

It continued: “When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process.”

The government is a party to international conventions against the death penalty, the church said, and has a duty to follow international opinions opposing the law.

Human rights experts denounced the decision by the House of Representatives.

“This is a major step backward for the Philippines,” Carlos H. Conde, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who covers the country. He added, “This further erodes the already horrendous human rights situation in the Philippines.”

The International Drug Policy Consortium, a network of nongovernmental organizations that focus on issues related to drug production, trafficking and use, had called on Congress to oppose the measure.

The consortium also called on lawmakers to ensure proportionate sentencing of drug offenses.

The death penalty was abolished in 1987, but President Fidel Ramos reinstated it in 1993, citing “crime control.” President Gloria Arroyo suspended capital punishment in 2006.

Source: The New York Times, Felipe Villamor, March 1, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Thailand Appeals Court upholds death sentences for 2 migrant workers convicted of 2014 double homicide

Wai Phyo, at left, and Zaw Lin are paraded in front of the media on Oct. 3, 2014, shortly after their arrest on Koh Tao.
Wai Phyo, left, and Zaw Lin on Oct. 3, 2014, shortly after their arrest on Koh Tao.
KOH SAMUI — The Appeals Court on Wednesday announced its decision to uphold the death sentences for two migrant workers convicted of a brutal 2014 double homicide on Koh Tao.

In its ruling, made secretly on Feb. 23, the Koh Samui court said evidence presented by the state in the original trial was adequate and reliable, and therefore declined to overturn the December 2015 verdict condemning two Myanmar men to die for the deaths of two British tourists.

The ruling came as a surprise to defense lawyers, who said they had no knowledge the court made a ruling last week, which it apparently relayed to their clients without notification.

“We will definitely petition the Supreme Court,” defense lawyer Nakhon Chompuchart said Wednesday afternoon, adding that he could not comment further because he had not yet seen the decision.

Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, migrant workers on the island, were convicted of the September 2014 murders of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge largely on the basis of DNA traces police said were recovered from the crime scene and Witheridge’s body. 

No other physical evidence or witness testimony directly linked them to the crime.

The defense was never allowed to independently test the evidence on its own, and cast doubt on the integrity of the police investigation. 

The trial came after an investigation widely criticized for unprofessional bungling, and accusations that desperate investigators arrested two men on the margins of society for use as scapegoats.

The two are being held at the Bang Kwang Central Prison in Bangkok and were not in court today.

Unlike the lower court, no witnesses were called during the appeals process; instead, the court simply “reinterpreted” evidence and testimony already entered into the record during trial.

The appeal filed in May by the defense team said the prosecution lacked hard evidence implicating Zaw and Wai, such as documents or photographs. Moreso, it said police collected evidence unlawfully and not in line with international standards.

Police have consistently denied misconduct in their handling of the evidence and rejected accusations that torture was used to extract confessions in the case.

Source: khaosodenglish.com, Sasiwan Mokkhasen, March 1, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Bali Nine execution saga could recur: Amnesty

Bali's Kerobokan Prison
Bali's Kerobokan Prison
A Bali Nine death penalty saga could be repeated, Amnesty International warns after the government rejected recommendations to change federal police rules.

Amnesty International fears there could be another Bali Nine-type death penalty saga after the federal government rejected recommendations to tighten federal police information sharing protocols for drug crimes.

The federal government's response to a parliamentary committee's death penalty report was tabled in the lower house on Wednesday.

The committee recommended federal police obtain guarantees from foreign prosecutors that death penalties won't be sought for drug crimes. If guarantees can't be obtained, information should be withheld.

The federal government did not accept the committee's recommendation.

"The government notes that foreign law enforcement partners cannot themselves provide binding assurances that the death penalty will not be applied if information is provided," the response said.

The government argued that combating serious drug crimes was a high priority and preventing crime in Australia would be impeded if authorities here could not co-operate with death penalty countries.

At the moment federal police guidelines require ministerial approval for co-operation with foreign police agencies in possible death penalty cases once arrests have been made.

In the Bali Nine case, no one had been arrested when the federal police tipped off Indonesian police about a group of Australian drug traffickers.

Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in 2015.

Amnesty International Australia is unimpressed.

"It is extremely disappointing that the government did not take this opportunity to ensure a Bali Nine-type situation never happens again," spokesman Guy Ragen said.

Source: AAP, March 1, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Bangladesh: 5 Islamist militants sentenced to death for killing Japanese researcher

5 Bangladesh militants sentenced to death for killing Japanese
5 Bangladesh militants sentenced to death for killing Japanese
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Five members of a banned militant group were sentenced to death by a Bangladesh court Tuesday for involvement in the slaying of a Japanese agricultural researcher two years ago.

Judge Noresh Chandra Sarker acquitted a sixth defendant belonging to the militant group, Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, in the northern Bangladeshi district of Rangpur.

Four of the defendants are in custody and a fifth man was tried in absentia.

Three masked men riding on a motorbike shot and killed Kunio Hoshi while he was riding in a rickshaw to his grass farm in Rangpur, a northern Bangladesh city, in October 2015. The area is 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Dhaka, the capital.

The Islamic State group issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi postings online.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

Bangladesh has experienced a renewed level of Islamic militancy in recent years.

Dozens of atheists, liberal writers, bloggers and publishers and members of minority communities and foreigners have been targeted and killed.

Source: Japan Today, The Associated Press, March 1, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Death Penalty in India, Annual Statistics 2016

This report has been compiled by the Centre on the Death Penalty, National Law University Delhi, for information purposes only.

Accessing accurate and updated statistics on the use of the death penalty in India is an enormous challenge. It is almost impossible to state with any kind of certainty the number of death sentences handed out in any given year or even know the exact number of prisoners under the sentence of death at any given point. 

Lack of updated records, ineffective data reporting and management practices, barriers to accessing official data that should be in the public domain are some of the reasons that have contributed to this situation.

Given that it is the harshest punishment in our criminal justice system, the absence of such basic figures speaks volumes about the level of our engagement with concerns surrounding the administration of this punishment. 

Additionally, the fact that there exists no reliable data even on the number of executions carried out in independent India speaks to the opacity that surrounds the death penalty.

This Annual Statistics Report attempts to address these concerns by collating basic data on the use of
the death penalty in India. We have relied on a variety of sources to put together this information - monitoring judgments, official data provided by some prison departments in state capitals, information received from some High Courts, RTI applications, and newspaper reports. 

The processes adopted in the course of preparing this Report revealed the limitations of each of these sources, and therefore preclude any claim that this data is exhaustive. Despite this, the Report is the most comprehensive source on the status of death penalty cases in India.

We are committed to ensuring that reliable and exhaustive data on the use of the death penalty in India is consistently in the public domain, and subsequent editions of the Annual Statistics Report will take important strides towards that goal.


Statistics in 2016


The numbers below account for death sentences awarded by sessions courts, and acquittals and commutations by appellate courts. Each number in this Report represents a person and not a case, unless otherwise specified. Statistics for the Supreme Court pertain to criminal appeals only. 

A more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court's engagement with the death penalty in 2016 is reflected later in this Report.


  • PRISONERS ON DEATH ROW AS ON 31ST DECEMBER 2016  ⟹  397
  • PERSONS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY SESSIONS COURTS  ⟹  136
  • HIGH COURT ACQUITTALS ⟹ 014
  • HIGH COURT COMMUTATIONS  ⟹  044
  • HIGH COURT CONFIRMATIONS  ⟹  015
  • SUPREME COURT ACQUITTALS*  ⟹   003
  • SUPREME COURT COMMUTATIONS**   ⟹  007
  • SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATIONS**   ⟹  000


*This refers to persons acquitted of charges attracting the death penalty. However, two of these appellants were convicted on other charges.
**These pertain to criminal appeals only. While the Supreme Court did not confirm any death sentence at the criminal appeal stage, there was one confirmation (BA Umesh vs. State of Karnataka) at the review petition stage.

⏩ Click here to read/download the full report (pdf)

Source: Center on the Death Penalty, National Law University Delhi, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Proposed legislation aims to expedite death row cases in Tennessee

Tennessee's death chamber
Tennessee's death chamber
The Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court visited in Kingsport Tuesday, and we asked him about Tennessee's death penalty.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivins is a Kingsport native and an East Tennessee State University graduate.

We wanted to find out about death penalty cases, because they are notorious for lingering in Tennessee.

News 5's Jessica Griffith got to talk to Chief Justice Bivins...

There is proposed legislation that would take death penalty appeals directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the court of appeals.

I wanted to find out if Chief Justice Jeff Bivins thinks this would expedite cases of death row inmates.

Right now, the Tennessee Department of Corrections lists more than 60 inmates on death row in the state.

16 of those were convicted in East Tennessee.

The last execution was in 2009.

Chief Justice Bivins says an average death row inmate has been there for more than 20 years.

A spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Corrections says it costs nearly $110 a day to keep an offender on death row.

"It is a very high cost. But it's something that the people of Tennessee decided that through the members of the legislation that they do want to maintain the death penalty," Bivins said.

The long length of these cases is a reason new legislation is proposed to have direct death row appeals go straight to the Supreme Court.

It would not involve post conviction appeals.

Bivins tells us there are pros and cons to this legislation.

"It would probably speed up the process by 6 months or so. But it also is helpful to have the court of criminal appeals review it because they are able to narrow down the issues and it's another set of eyes on that," he said.

He also says the supreme court has only had 5 of those cases over the last 5 years.

"It's not that big of a case load for us," he said.

While the court's goal is to be efficient, Bivins says they can't work too fast, that they overlook something.

"It's an incredibly important decision. It's a critical decision. It's a life or death decision, literally."

Chief Justice Bivins tells us a case pending in court now might help free up some death row cases so they can be set for execution.

It's a challenge to the lethal injection protocol.

Right now, Tennessee uses a single drug protocol, as a way to be more efficient and humane.

Bivins says a decision will come down in about a month.

If the decision upholds the protocol, he says it would free up a number of cases so they can be set for execution.

Source: WCYB, Jessica Griffith, Feb 28, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Justices to Consider Scope of Habeas Review in Death Penalty Appeals

SCOTUS
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to weigh into the issue of which prior state court rulings a federal court should evaluate when deciding the merits of a condemned inmate's appeal.

The case involves Marion Wilson Jr., a Georgia inmate, who, along with co-defendant Robert Earl Butts, was sentenced to death for the 1996 killing of state prison guard Donovan Parks.

The 2 men had approached Parks in a Milledgeville, Ga. Wal-Mart parking lot and asked him for a ride. Parks invited them into his car, but a short time later, they ordered him to pull over to the side of a residential street, where they killed him with a sawed-off shotgun blast to the head.

After a jury trial, Wilson was convicted of malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The jury later came back and sentenced him to death for the murder, finding as a statutory aggravating circumstance that Wilson killed Parks while engaged in the commission of an armed robbery.

The sentence was later affirmed by a Georgia superior court judge and the state Supreme Court.

Wilson appealed his sentence to the federal court in Atlanta, and after failing to have it overturned there, asked the 11th Circuit to intervene.

But that's where things got complicated.

The appeals court had to decide which of 2 lower court rulings it would consider when deciding the merits of Wilson's appeal: the short, summary opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court, or the far more detailed ruling handed down by the superior court judge.

Lawyers for Wilson and the state attorney general's office both argued the panel they should give the most weight to the superior court ruling, which they said grew out of hearings and after the judge had reviewed the evidence and heard testimony in the case.

Rather than simply cede the point in the face of a unified defense and prosecution, the 11th Circuit took the unusual step of appointing Adam Mortara, a Chicago attorney who had not previously been involved in the case, to argue in favor of relying on the Supreme Court summary.

In Aug. 2016, a sharply divided 11th Circuit voted 6-5 in Mortara's favor.

Writing for the majority, U.S. Circuit William Pryor Jr., who is also a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, said that to contend the Supreme Court's denial of Wilson's appeal was not "an adjudication on the merits is to suggest that the elaborate procedures of the Georgia courts are a sham."

"We refuse to endorse that suggestion," Pryor said.

Wilson's attorneys filed their petition for a writ of certiorari 3 months later.

As is its custom, the U.S. Supreme Court did not explain its rationale for taking up the case. However, the outcome of their decision could make it more difficult for death-row inmates to persuade federal appeals courts to overturn their capital sentences.

The justices also invited Mortara to brief and argue, as amicus curiae, in support of the 11th Circuit's decision.

Source: Courthouse News, February 28, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Malaysia won't interfere in Singapore death row case, envoy says

S. Prabagaran
S Prabagaran
Malaysia will not interfere in other country's internal affairs, which includes a court case involving a Malaysian death row inmate in Singapore.

"We are aware that there is an effort to put pressure to bring a particular court case here to a higher profile," Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Ilango Karuppannan told Bernama here.

It was reported that a Malaysian death row inmate S. Prabagaran, aged 30, was making a judicial review application to direct the government to start proceedings against Singapore in the International Court of Justice over his conviction for drug trafficking.

The Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian government were named as respondents in the application which was filed at the Malaysian High Court registry in January this year.

The inmate was sentenced to death in September 2014 and had reportedly exhausted all appeals in the republic.

Asked on how many Malaysians are on death row in Singapore, Ilango declined to reveal the numbers.

In another case on death row related to Malaysians, the Singapore apex court yesterday (Monday) had dismissed an appeal for the 2010 Kallang slashing case involving Michael Garing.

Following a trial, Michael, who was part of a gang of 4 from Sarawak that carried out 4 violent robberies 7 years ago, was sentenced to death.

A 4th suspect who was arrested in Malaysia last month, Donny Meluda, has been charged with murder with his case still before the court, and if convicted, he will also face the death penalty.

Source: themalaymailonline.com, February 28, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Portugal calls for “total abolition” of death penalty around the globe

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal on Monday at the United Nations called on countries that still have the death penalty to call a “de facto” moratorium as a first step towards “total abolition” of the death penalty.

According to the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, speaking at the opening session of the 34th meeting of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva, Portugal rejects all the reasons and arguments that attempt to justify the application of the death penalty and that the country calls on all countries that still have the penalty to establish a ‘de facto’ moratorium as a first step towards the total abolition of the death penalty.

He noted the importance that Portugal gives to the “evolution of the death penalty” noting that Portugal was a pioneer in abolishing it “precisely 150 years ago.”

Portugal has called for the death penalty to be abolished in Equatorial Guinea, a country which joined the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), in 2014, based on a commitment to abolish it.

Background


Portugal was a pioneer in the process of abolishment of the capital punishment. No executions have been carried out since 1846, with the formal abolishment of capital punishment for civil crimes occurring in 1867.

The method of capital punishment used in Portugal was by hanging.

Portugal was the first country in the world to begin the process to abolish the death penalty,abolishing it in stages - for political crimes in 1852, for all crimes except the military in 1867, and for all crimes in 1911.

In 1916 Portugal entered in World War I and it was re-established only for military crimes in war time with a foreign country and only in the theater of war.

With the new Constitution in 1976, it was again abolished for all crimes.

The last execution in Portugal took place in Lagos in 1846. A possible execution of a soldier of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps carried out in France during World War One remains poorly documented.

In the 2008 European Values Study (EVS), 51.6% of respondents in Portugal said the death penalty can never be justified, while only 1.5% said it can be always justified.

Sources: theportugalnews.com, Wikipedia, February 28, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Ismael Arciniegas, el primer colombiano ejecutado en China

Ismael Enrique Arciniegas Valencia
Ismael Enrique Arciniegas Valencia
Antes de ser ejecutado, Ismael Enrique Arciniegas pudo hablar unos minutos con su hijo. “No es mucho lo que puedo decir por motivos de seguridad de mi familia, pero sí puedo decir que el flagelo del narcotráfico destruye familias”, dijo Juan José, hijo del Ismael, a través de su cuenta de Facebook.

Tras permanecer siete años preso en la ciudad de Guangzhou, China, el Tribunal Popular Superior condenó a Arciniegas a pena de muerte con inyección letal. Su crimen: introducir 4 kilos de droga al país asiático. Murió a los 72 años. Hace seis años su hermano, Luis Germán Arciniegas, murió en China por un derrame cerebral. Los dos estuvieron bajo custodia de las autoridades chinas por narcotráfico.

China inspira temor en los traficantes de droga. De acuerdo con datos de la Cancillería, 8.526 colombianos están presos por narcotráfico en el exterior. Mientras que en la mayoría de los casos reciben penas severas como la cadena perpetua, en China se ha consolidado la pena de muerte como sanción.

A la fecha, según la Cancillería, van 15 personas condenadas a pena de muerte en China, tres ya fueron ratificadas, dos están en espera de apelación y en 10 las autoridades otorgaron la suspensión de la sanción por dos años.

El mismo viceministro de Asuntos Multilaterales, Francisco Echeverri, admitió que el sistema penal en China es radical. “Hemos logrado algunos éxitos en la repatriación de connacionales pero eso se ha logrado por razones de salud”.

En el caso de Ismael Enrique Arciniegas, el viceministro aclaró que existía un agravante por los 4 kilos de droga que ingresó al país asiático. “El delito de narcotráfico se considera una falta gravísima por la cantidad de droga que encontraron. Esto nos ha dificultado las gestiones un poco más”.

La Cancillería agotó todos los recursos diplomáticos para evitar que Arciniegas fuera ejecutado. Envió notas diplomáticas, gestionó diálogos con el embajador de Colombia en China y con el embajador chino en Colombia y entregó “reiteradas peticiones de clemencia”.

El panorama en el mundo tampoco es favorable para la Cancillería. Según Amnistía Internacional, “en 2015 hubo un aumento increíble del número de personas ejecutadas —al menos 1.634—, el más elevado que habíamos registrado desde 1989”.

China es autónoma


Un punto en el que insistió el viceministro Echeverri es en que, pese a que Colombia esté en desacuerdo con la pena de muerte, China es autónoma en su legislación. “Es uno de los 34 países donde el narcotráfico es considerado un delito grave. Tenemos que desde 2010 se han ejecutado en ese país nacionales de Corea del Sur, Reino Unido, Canadá y Filipinas”.

Para Mauricio Reyes, experto en Derecho internacional de la Universidad Nacional, no sorprende la decisión del Gobierno chino: “Este país ha considerado los derechos humanos como una intromisión occidental. La mayoría de naciones consideran la pena de muerte como una violación de los derechos humanos porque no se resocializa, está sujeta a errores procesales y deja al estado como victimario”.

Desde una orilla distinta opina Enrique Posada, director del Instituto Confucio de la Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano: “La cantidad de droga y la forma cómo se trafica la droga son determinantes claves para un tribunal chino. La pena de muerte por tráfico de drogas también existe en países como Japón y Tailandia. Es una pena que inhibe por temor a los traficantes”.

Fuente: El Colombiano, 28 De Febrero 2017


Ismael Arciniegas, el primer colombiano ejecutado en China por narcotráfico


Otros 130 nacionales se encuentran en China detenidos, en su mayoría, por narcotráfico. De ellos, cuatro fueron condenados a pena de muerte. Colombia y China ultiman detalles para un tratado que podría evitar su muerte.

Juan José, hijo de Ismael, se aferra a una familiar minutos después de que la Cancillería confirmara que sus esfuerzos diplomáticos para intentar salvarlo fueron infructuosos.AFP.
Ismael Enrique Arciniegas Valencia se convirtió en el primer colombiano en ser ejecutado en China por el delito de narcotráfico. Tres kilos de cocaína sellaron su suerte. Otra colombiana, Sara Galeano, fue devuelta a Colombia hace una semana. A ella se le encontró un kilo de esta sustancia. A Arciniegas se le hallaron tres kilos y eso fue suficiente para que la justicia china decidiera imponerle la pena capital pese a los reclamos del gobierno colombiano. Dos destinos distintos: Galeano está viva para contar su historia; Arciniegas está muerto.

Este vallecaucano de 72 años de edad fue detenido en 2010 en el aeropuerto de Guangzhou. Llevaba la droga, por la que le iban a pagar $15 millones, adherida a su cuerpo. Puntualmente: a sus tirantas. Al verse descubierto confesó, pero no fue suficiente. En 2012 fue condenado. Y, en 2013, su sentencia fue confirmada: pena de muerte.

Ese mismo 2013, un hermano suyo también detenido por narcotráfico, Luis Germán Arciniegas, murió en una cárcel de Macao, donde se encontraba detenido por cuenta de una condena a 12 años de prisión. Ismael Enrique fue ejecutado en horas de la mañana (horas de la noche del lunes, en Colombia), así se lo informó el embajador chino, Li Nianping, a un grupo de periodistas. Luego la Cancillería lo confirmó.

“El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, en nombre del Gobierno de Colombia, lamenta profundamente la decisión tomada por las autoridades judiciales de la República Popular China, de ejecutar a Ismael Enrique Arciniegas Valencia, detenido en ese país, a pesar de las reiteradas peticiones de clemencia y las varias solicitudes presentadas al gobierno chino para que su sentencia de muerte fuera conmutada”.

Se realizaron 28 visitas para comprobar su estado de salud y se enviaron siete notas, en las que el Gobierno colombiano reiteró su rechazo a la pena de muerte, y pidió que a Arciniegas se le conmutara la pena. Pero China no dio su brazo a torcer. Aunque en otros casos, como el de Galeano, ha decidido de forma distinta.

“Estaba por fuera de Colombia por bruta, porque cometí el error de irme con droga para China”, expresó Galeano a su llegada a Colombia, el pasado 23 de febrero. Y les hizo un llamado a quienes piensan llevar droga a China: “Por favor no arriesguen lo más hermoso que tienen, la libertad, el amor de la familia, el ver crecer a sus hijos, estar con ellos y no perder el amor, porque el amor de la familia es lo que más vale”.

En ese país hay otros 163 colombianos detenidos, 147 por narcotráfico. De ellos, cinco fueron condenados a pena de muerte; a tres de ellos ya les confirmaron la pena. Mejor dicho: ya no tienen margen de maniobra.

A los otros dos les queda apelar su sentencia y esperar a que la justicia china reconsidere su decisión. Otros 10 se encuentran con pena de muerte con suspensión por dos años y otros 15 fueron condenados a cadena perpetua.

Su suerte depende, entre otras, de que Colombia y China lleguen a un tratado para el traslado de condenados, que se viene discutiendo desde hace un par de años y, de acuerdo con el embajador Nianping, se encuentra en su recta final.

La Cancillería señaló, al respecto, que “el Gobierno de Colombia seguirá haciendo todas las gestiones que estén a su alcance para proteger los derechos de sus ciudadanos, pero no puede garantizar ni la repatriación en todos los casos, ni la no aplicación de la pena de muerte en aquellos países que tienen establecido este castigo”. Colombia ha logrado la repatriación efectiva de 172 connacionales, presos en prisiones alrededor del mundo. Seis de ellos fueron repatriados por razones humanitarias.

En el caso de China, ha habido dos repatriaciones: la de Sara Galeano y la de Hárold Carrillo Sánchez. Carrillo fue repatriado el 26 de noviembre de 2015. Había sido condenado en China a cadena perpetua.

Un tratado entre los ministerios de Justicia de China y Colombia que facilite las repatriaciones puede ser la diferencia entre la vida y la muerte. Porque la ley china no va a dejar de ser severa: se trata, para China, de una cuestión histórica.

Este es uno de los 34 países donde el narcotráfico es considerado un delito grave y es castigado hasta con cadena perpetua o pena de muerte. La ley china establece que el contrabando de más de 50 gramos de cocaína puede ser castigado con penas que van desde 15 años de cárcel hasta la pena capital.

La ley no distingue nacionalidades. No hay registros oficiales, pero se sabe que en ese país se ha ejecutado a ciudadanos de Corea del Sur, Reino Unido, Japón, Canadá, Filipinas, entre otros países. Hasta el hijo del actor Jackie Chan, Jaycee Chan, estuvo detenido unos meses por “proporcionar un espacio para el consumo de droga”. Una muestra de la severidad china en lo que a los estupefacientes se refiere. Una severidad, de nuevo, que tiene una razón histórica.

Todo se remonta a mediados del siglo XIX. El entonces Imperio Británico tenía inundada de opio a China. Ese país, al ver que el consumo de opio se había convertido en un problema de salud pública, tomó cartas en el asunto y prohibió su tráfico. El funcionario chino Lin Hse Tsu le escribió a la reina Victoria pidiéndole ayuda en ese sentido:

“Existe una categoría de extranjeros malhechores que fabrican opio y lo traen a nuestro país para venderlo, incitando a los necios a destruirse a sí mismos, simplemente con el fin de sacar provecho. Ahora el vicio se ha extendido por todas partes y el veneno va penetrando cada vez más profundamente. Por este motivo, hemos decidido castigar con penas muy severas a los mercaderes y a los fumadores de opio, con el fin de poner término definitivamente a la propagación de este vicio. Todo opio que se descubre en China se echa en aceite hirviendo y se destruye. En lo sucesivo, todo barco extranjero que llegue con opio a bordo será incendiado”.

Estas fueron las palabras de Lin Hse Tsu. ¿Cuál fue la respuesta del Imperio Británico? Dos Guerras del Opio. La primera, entre 1838 y 1842. La segunda, entre 1856 y 1860. China fue derrotada en ambas ocasiones y, por ello, se le obligó a liberalizar el tráfico de opio. Mejor dicho: a que los británicos siguieran drogando a su población.

Y, aprovechando el momento, el Imperio Británico se quedó con un puerto que fue considerado, durante años, la joya de la corona: Hong Kong. Lo devolvió sólo hasta 1997. Hoy, Hong Kong es una región autónoma en constante pelea con Pekín, por una autonomía mayor.

Pese a la severidad de la ley china, decenas de colombianos siguen viajando a ese país con droga. En 2006 había, apenas, tres colombianos en cárceles chinas. Ahora hay 163 detenidos. Es una cifra menor si se tiene en cuenta que en el mundo hay 15.034 colombianos detenidos, el 56 % de ellos por delitos vinculados con estupefacientes.

La diferencia es que en China hay pena de muerte. Y la justicia de ese país no duda a la hora de imponerla. Si antes los narcotraficantes decían que era preferible “una tumba en Colombia que una cárcel en Estados Unidos”, ahora parece preferible una cárcel en Colombia que una tumba en China. O, mejor, nunca irse de “mula” a ese país.

Fuente: El Espectador, Martes 28 De Febrero 2017


Colombian Executed in China for drug trafficking


TODAY COLOMBIA – Ismael Arciniegas is the first Colombian to be executed in China for drug trafficking.The execution took place on 27 February 2017.

Colombia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday protested to China in a last-minute diplomatic effort to stop the death penalty from being applied against one of its nationals.

“He is very happy that he is going to heaven,” said Juan Herrera, Arciniegas’ son, who told the media he was able to talk to his father by phone.

“We already spoke with him, we had a half-hour conversation where we were able to say good-bye to him, we were very calm, very happy, because he said he was going to meet his relatives who had died,” said Herrera.

Arciniegas, 72 years of age, from Cali, Valle del Cauca was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to a death penalty in 2013 after he admitting that he was carrying almost four kilos of cocaine, in Guangzhou, China, enough to be sentenced to death, despite his confession.

Arciniegas was found carrying the illegal drugs strapped to his body.

This is the second time the Arciniegas Valencia lives tragedy at the hands of drug trafficking. Two years and five months ago, Ismael’s brother, Luis Germán Arciniegas, died in Hong Kong of a stroke while he was in detention the penitentiary centre in Macao province.

Luis Germán Arciniegas had been arrested on June 23, 2011 in with drugs and sentenced to 12 years and 3 months in prison. The ashes of Luis Germán were repatriated to Colombia and the Chancellery gave them to his daughter.

Currently, there 163 Colombians in jail in China, 147 for drug trafficking. Four other Colombians sentenced to death: Three, whose sentences have been ratified, one under appeal.

Some 15,000 Colombians are imprisoned around the world, the majority for drug trafficking. Of those, 15 in China have been sentenced to death and an equal number to life imprisonment.

Since November, China has repatriated two convicted Colombian drug traffickers for humanitarian reasons so they could complete their sentences at home.

Source: Q Costa Rica, February 28, 2017


Colombia pushes to stop China from executing drug smuggler


BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia's government on Monday protested to China over the impending execution of a convicted drug trafficker in a last-minute diplomatic effort to stop the death penalty from being applied against one of its nationals.

Ismael Arciniegas was arrested in 2010 for trying to smuggle four kilograms of cocaine into China in exchange for $5,000. 

He was later sentenced to death and Colombia's Foreign Ministry said it had learned the native of Cali would be executed in the coming hours.

Some 15,000 Colombians are imprisoned around the world, the majority for drug trafficking. Of those, 15 in China have been sentenced to death and an equal number to life imprisonment.

Since November, China has repatriated two convicted Colombian drug traffickers for humanitarian reasons so they could complete their sentences at home.

Source: Star Tribune, February 27, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Indonesian man faints while being publicly caned by religious officer

Indonesia: A man collapsed as he was getting caned by a religious officer.
AN INDONESIAN man collapsed while being publicly caned Monday for having sex outside of marriage.

Herizal bin Yunus, 27, fainted after being caned eight times in front of a crowd in Aceh, the only province of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law.

Officials carried him off stage after he collapsed during the punishment outside a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, which was carried out by a religious official dressed in an all-encompassing, hooded cloak.

But once he came to, a doctor examined him and said he was in good health, and he was taken back up on stage to be flogged another 14 times. 

A local religious court had sentenced him to be caned a total of 22 times.

The man had broken Islamic laws that forbid people in Aceh from spending time in close proximity with members of the opposite sex who are not their husband or wife.

He was one of eight people publicly caned on Monday for breaking the province’s Islamic regulations.

Public canings take place regularly in Aceh, and people can be punished for offences ranging from gambling, to drinking alcohol, to gay sex. However it is rare for someone to collapse.

Aceh, on the island of Sumatra, began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005.

Photos of the public caning:

Medieval and barbaric punishments.




Source: news.com.au, Agence France-Presse, February 28, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!