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1 June 2006
Benin opts to maintain death sentences
afrol News, 1 June - The capital punishment will not be abolished in Benin, at least not for the moment. This was decided by the government of Benín and a large number of parliamentarians this week, holding that it was necessary to stick to this much criticised punishment to avoid that the country becomes a refuge for international criminals. Human rights groups already have denounced the government's decision and demand an abolition of this cruel punishment.
As the Beninese government is in the process of revising the national Penal Code, Justice Minister Abraham Zinzindohoué on Monday had an announcement to make. "Capital punishment must remain a part of the Penal Code, but only with the purpose of scaring off criminals. If not, our justice system would stand without sufficient means," Minister Zinzindohoué stated.
The announcement, the Minister made clear, had not been an easy decision. Mr Zinzindohoué recalled that Benin is a democratic country that should be part of international dynamics towards the abolition of the death penalty. Since Benin gained its independence in 1960, nevertheless, the capital punishment has been applied in only three occasions, the last case going back to 1984.
The anti-death penalty movement has indeed been rather successful in West Africa lately, making the decision in Benin - one of the region's most democratic countries - rather surprising. The last victory was in December 2004, as Senegal decided to abolish the capital punishment. In Senegal, President Abdoulaye Wade had presented a bill to abolish the cruel punishment, which was later adopted unanimously by the government and by an overwhelming majority in the Dakar parliament. Senegal had not carried out executions since 1967.
Before Senegal, only a few West African countries had outlawed death sentences. These are Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Côte d'Ivoire. In the rest of region, the death penalty still is legal, while executions are almost never carried out. Several West African countries however consider following the lead of Senegal. Important steps have been taken by Sierra Leone and Nigeria towards the abolition in the past years.
Also in Benin, the question has been raised at several occasions. The debate around abolishing the capital punishment in the country recently has been the main focus of human rights activists and organisations - who mostly find very favourable conditions in Benin. The Benin offices of Amnesty International, which is a staunch opponent of death sentences worldwide, yesterday filed its disappointment with he Minister's announcement.
Amnesty Benin called on national authorities to put an end to the "cruel and inhumane practice," in a press released signed by its President, Yves Sylvestre Bankolé, in Cotonou. The human rights group nevertheless said it was optimistic, because it had been demonstrated that the debate around the issue had been painful to both government and members of the Beninese parliament.
According to Amnesty Benin, "the capital punishment violates the right to the life, because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises each individual the right to life, and article 4 of the African Declaration of Human and Peoples' Rights stipulates that the human person is inviolable." Every human being has "the right to respect for his life and for the physical and moral integrity of his person," the group recalled.
10 May 2006
bei 79 menschen wurde die todesstrafe durch die präsidentin in lebenslang umgewandelt.
Sentences of 79 death row inmates commuted to life
FOLLOWING her policy of moratorium on death penalty, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has commuted the sentences of 79 death row inmates to life terms, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced on Wednesday.
The convicts have death sentences affirmed with finality by the Supreme Court, Ermita said.
Arroyo signed the commutation last May 4, he added.
In her Easter message last month, Arroyo pledged that for as long as she is president, life imprisonment would be the maximum penalty imposed despite a 1994 law that calls for capital punishment on certain "heinous" crimes.
She also certified as urgent measure the bill abolishing the death penalty law.
Her announcement angered many anti-crime groups which argued that it sent a wrong signal to criminals.
Seven inmates were sent to their deaths between 1999 and 2000 before then president Joseph Estrada imposed a moratorium
on further executions after pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and rights groups.
9 May 2006
amnesty hat die öffentliche hinrichtung eines mannes in mogadishu am 2. mai verurteilt.
nach den berichten war der henker der 16 jährige sohn des opfers, der den an einen pfahl gefesseltenen mann erstach.
Somalia: Child publicly executes father's killer on orders of summary court
Amnesty International today condemned the public execution of Omar Hussein in Mogadishu on 2 May. He was tied to a stake, hooded and stabbed to death by the 16-year-old son of the man whom he admitted stabbing to death in February, an elderly Qur'anic school teacher. Omar Hussein had been sentenced to death hours earlier by an Islamic (Shari'a) court. Shari'a courts in Somalia do not allow the right to legal representation or appeal.
The execution was in violation of numerous international laws and standards relating to capital punishment. Omar Hussein's right to a fair judicial hearing before a competent and independent judicial authority, including his right to judicial review, his right to life and his right to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, have all been violated by the imposition of the death penalty by this court and the swift carrying out of the death sentence in this particularly abhorrent way.
Amnesty International, which campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, has called for the end of the use of the death penalty in the process of reconstruction in the collapsed state of Somalia. Somali human rights defenders have also been campaigning against the death penalty.
A Shari'a law of retribution (qisas, ie "like-for-like") was applied in this capital case, after the victim's family reportedly refused to accept compensation (diya). Such a retribution execution is unprecedented in Somalia and Somali customary law. It is also contrary to Somalia's former Penal Code, which would be the basis for court proceedings in state courts. It was said to be the first death sentence and execution ordered by this Shari'a court in the Bermuda district of Mogadishu.
Of particular concern to Amnesty International is the court's use of a child under the internationally recognized age of adulthood at 18 years to inflict the death sentence. The teenager, as designated by his family, repeatedly stabbed the condemned person in the head and neck. He reportedly expressed happiness at his infliction of the death sentence in this way.
A large crowd gathered to witness the public execution, with several fainting at the sight of blood gushing from the head of Omar Hussein, whose body was left exposed for his family to collect later.
Amnesty International calls on President Abdullahi Yusuf, head of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, to prevent any further executions and take steps to establish a fair judicial system throughout the country as a fundamental part of the reconstruction of Somalia.
The human rights organization also calls on the Islamic courts, of which there are several in Mogadishu, to bring their judicial procedures into conformity with recognized international and African human rights treaties and standards. Amnesty International urges them to allow the right to legal representation, the right of appeal to a higher court, and the right of those condemned to death to petition for clemency.
Somalia has been a collapsed state since 1991. The Transitional Federal Government which was formed in late 2004 after two years of peace and reconciliation talks in Kenya has still not been able to establish control of any part of the country. There is no rule of law or national system of justice. Islamic courts function in some parts of Mogadishu. Several death sentences have been imposed and carried out by Islamic courts and their militias in recent years, although most death sentences have been replaced by compensation negotiated between the clans of the victim and the perpetrator according to Somali customary law.
In the past two months -- and even in the last few days -- there has been some of the worst faction fighting in Mogadishu in recent years, with dozens of deaths of civilians as well as faction militias.
2 May 2006
die hinrichtung eines mannes in ohio dauerte fast 90 minuten . nachdem die henker 25 minuten brauchten um eine kanüle zu legen, war eine vene geplatzt.
Barbarous Execution Shames Ohio
"It's not working. It's not working."
Ohio, May 2, 2006: Today's execution of Joseph Lewis Clark, age 57, took nearly 90 minutes, making it one of the longest lethal injection executions in U.S history. The execution team struggled for 25 minutes to insert an intravenous line for the lethal injection, only to have Mr. Clark complain, "It's not working. It's not working" when the lethal chemicals began flowing. Prison officials then drew curtains and attempted to re-establish the intravenous line, while Mr. Clark could be heard "moaning and groaning" by witnesses. A new IV was established, the curtains were re-opened, and the drug infusion began again. Mr. Clark raised his head several times and breathed deeply before becoming still.
In response to this grisly execution, Jonathan I. Groner MD, national expert on lethal injection, commented: "The opaque curtain pulled across the execution chamber could not hide the fact that this man was tortured to death. Furthermore, the three drug injection used to extinguish his life is considered so inhumane that veterinarians are forbidden from using it in a similar fashion to euthanize animals.
"Today's execution demonstrates the terrible dilemma of lethal injection as medical charade. On the one hand, this 'medicalized' killing procedure, which uses IV tubing, anesthetic drugs, and other medical equipment, becomes torture in the hands of unqualified individuals. On the other hand, the involvement of medical professionals such as physicians and nurses in executions violates the fundamental ethics of these professions."
"No human, regardless of his or her crime, should be subjected to the torture that Mr. Clark faced. The barbarity of this execution is making news headlines around the world. I urge Ohio's political leaders to call for a moratorium on lethal injection immediately."
Dr. Groner is an associate professor of surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. He has written and spoke extensively on lethal injection and the medicalization of capital punishment.
29 April 2006
die usbekische regierung hat die kritik von amnesty an der todesstrafe und dem geheimhalten der hinrichtungstermine vor den angehörigen zurückgewiesen,allerdings wurde dabei bestätigt, dass es per gesetz nicht erlaubt ist die stelle, an der ein zum tode verurteilter begraben ist, den angehörigen zu nennen. auch die herausgabe des toten ist nicht wird von der regierung nicht gestattet.
Uzbekistan rejects Amnesty International criticism of death penalty
Uzbek prosecutors yesterday rejected an Amnesty International report criticising death penalty practices in the authoritarian Central Asian state known for rights abuses and widespread use of torture.
Last week the London-based rights group said death row prisoners and their relatives are never told about the date of execution, and the location of burial of those executed remains secret.
Amnesty's conclusions are ``groundless,'' the Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement posted on a government Web site. However, it confirmed the Amnesty report by saying that ``the law does not allow to give out the body or inform about the burial site.''
International rights organisations have condemned Uzbekistan for human rights abuses, including routine torture in jails and the secretive application of the death penalty. Uzbekistan does not disclose statistics on executions and death sentences.
27 April 2006
die anhörungen zur giftspritze im supreme court haben begonnen. das urteil wird im juli erwartet. entscheiden werden die richter dabei nur darüber ob die verurteilten ,nachdem sie den rechtsweg ausschöpften, das recht haben mit einer zivilklage in letzter minute gegen die verwendung der giftspritze zu klagen.
bereits jetzt zeigen sich die differenzen zwischen den richtern. während ein richter darauf verweist das die in florida benutzte methode zum einschläfern von tieren verboten ist, sagt ein anderer das es kein recht auf eine schmerzfreie hinrichtung gäbe.
Supreme Court debates the way that states execute killers
WASHINGTON-Supreme Court justices clashed over how states execute killers, with one court member saying current lethal-injection drugs would not be used on cats and dogs and a second arguing that executions do not have to be pain-free.
The court blocked Florida, at the last minute, from executing Clarence Hill in January, as Hill lay on a gurney with IV lines in his arms.
The justices took up his case with a lively and sometimes contentious discussion about the way states carry out capital punishment. The court's ruling will determine whether inmates can file last-minute civil rights challenges claiming their deaths would be cruel and unusual punishment.
"Your procedure would be prohibited if applied to dogs and cats," Justice John Paul Stevens told Florida's assistant deputy attorney general, Carolyn Snurkowski.
On the other side, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Constitution does not require painless deaths. "Hanging was not a quick and easy way to go," he told Hill's lawyer, referring to one of the country's oldest execution methods.
States gradually have stopped using hanging, firing squads, gas chambers and electric chairs. Now the federal government and every capital punishment state but one uses lethal injection because it is considered more humane. Nebraska still has the electric chair, but its use is being challenged in court.
Critics of lethal injection have been bolstered by a 2005 study published in the Lancet medical journal indicating that a painkiller administered at the start of an execution can wear off before a prisoner dies.
Hill's lawyer, D. Todd Doss, said Hill accepts that he can be executed for slaying police officer Stephen Taylor in the coastal town of Pensacola 24 years ago. Hill just does not want to suffer, Doss said.
Florida argues that it is too late for Hill to contest the plans for his death. Snurkowski said the only way Hill could file a challenge to lethal injection is if Hill were to come up with an alternative proposal. That argument angered several court members.
Justice David H. Souter asked: "Why does he have an obligation ... to tell the state how to execute people?"
"Doesn't the state have a minimal obligation on its own" to investigate whether its executions cause gratuitous pain, asked Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
Later, Kennedy reprimanded his colleagues for laughing as several justices joked about the mischief that defense lawyers could cause if forced to propose ways to execute their clients.
"This is a death case," snapped Kennedy, who is expected to be a key vote in the case.
Chief Justice John Roberts said that death row lawyers, if allowed to pursue last-minute challenges, could drag out appeals.
Florida's three-drug combination is similar to that used in other states. The painkiller sodium pentothal is followed by a chemical, pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the inmate. The final drug is potassium chloride, which causes a fatal heart attack.
Florida is one of 30 states that restrict the use of an agent such as pancuronium bromide in euthanizing animals, justices were told in a brief by three veterinarians. The veterinarians said "its only effect is to mask any suffering endured by the patient." They said that the Florida protocol does not meet standards for animals.
Several justices appeared surprised that the state has laws that spell out how animals should be euthanized, but that there are no guidelines for how prison officials should execute people.
Snurkowski said the protocol was devised by prison officials six years ago after the state stopped using its electric chair, nicknamed "Old Sparky," unless an inmate specifically requests death by electrocution.
Breyer said it "doesn't seem too difficult" to alter the drugs because of concerns and that the state should not "have any interest in causing pain."
The court's ruling, which will be announced before July, will deal with a limited part of the subject: whether inmates can file special last-minute civil rights challenges to the chemicals used in lethal injection even if inmates have exhausted all their regular appeals.
The justices' decision to hear the case renewed legal efforts around the country on behalf of death row prisoners; executions have been blocked in California, Maryland and Missouri.
26 April 2006
Congolese Minors Sit on Death Row
BANDAKA, Western DRC; Apr 26 (IPS) - In a dank dormitory lit only by shafts of sunlight from holes in the roof, a hundred Congolese prisoners lie silently on straw mats and soiled blankets, some of them waiting to die.
The prison in Mbandaka, a western provincial capital, is typical of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Half its prisoners were gravely ill when an IPS reporter visited in March, but there were no doctors or medicines. Forty prisoners told a reporter they suffered from diarrhea. The inmates defecated into an open metal bucket sitting in the corner. The stench permeated their crowded space.
Among the inmates languishing in prisons throughout Congo are at least ten children, some as young as 15 years old, condemned to death and waiting to be executed, according to a September 2005 letter from the United Nations to the Congolese government.
IPS was not allowed to visit them, but one prisoner documented by the U.N. is 15-year-old Mbeko Banza. A child soldier working with government troops, he was one of 33,000 children recruited and armed during Congo's 1998-2002 war. In May 2005, a military court sentenced Banza to be executed for homicide, the U.N. letter said.
Minors like Banza sit on death row in DRC often because they cannot prove their age. More often, U.N. workers say, these children lack the funds to pay for adequate legal counsel.
Court-appointed lawyers frequently are too over-worked and under-paid to provide more than superficial service and Congolese judges preside over trials that may not provide a high level of justice, U.N. officials added.
"The trials are usually expeditious without respect for fair trial guarantees for the rights of the accused or victims. Some children condemned did not even have lawyers," Daniela Baro, a U.N. lawyer investigating juvenile criminals on death row told IPS in an interview.
"Last year, someone was condemned to death in just one day."
So far U.N. officials say they have gotten no concrete response from the government.
Congo's new constitution, approved during the country's first democratic vote in 40 years, in December 2005, enshrines human life as sacred, but it makes no mention of the death penalty.
Still, while Congo's penal code allows for it under certain circumstances, it is illegal to condemn a person to death for crimes committed when they were younger than 18 years old.
But Congo's crippled judiciary lacks qualified magistrates, funds and the infrastructure to carry out proper trials and protect witnesses in sensitive cases, such as those dealing with minors, U.N. workers said.
A corrupt 32-year dictatorship under Joseph Mobutu and Congo's five-year war left the country's infrastructure, including its judiciary, in shambles. Judges are now paid as little as 10 dollars a month and largely live off underhand payments in lucrative cases such as property disputes, many believe. Few magistrates bother to properly deal with cases involving impoverished minors, the U.N.officials added, because they are unlikely to be paid a tip for their services.
Still, it has been at least five years since anyone was executed in Congo, partly because of a moratorium on the death penalty imposed in 2003 and subsequently lifted in 2004. For minors sentenced to death, this means endless waits in Congo's decrepit prisons - a de facto life imprisonment.
Though executions have not been carried out, people continue to be sentenced to death, mostly at Congo's military tribunals. Judges at military courts, where most of Congo's death penalties are handed out, rarely follow the penal code's guidelines, observers said.
"Military justice is often unacceptably expeditious, even in condemning people to death," Luc Henkinbrandt, a senior U.N. human rights official in Kinshasa told IPS.
Moreover, military courts are not even supposed to try minors because the law does not allow children to fight in the army. Still, in most cases magistrates rule that the defendants, especially those who are now adults, do not have adequate proof of age to show they were minors at the time they allegedly committed their offences.
Congolese, including children, rarely possess identity cards or proofs of age. For most citizens, a voter registration campaign in 2005 allowed them to obtain official identification for the first time in their lives.
"Some lawyers are not able to prove the child's age by lack of resources to obtain alternative proofs of age and the judge then considers them as adults. This means they can impose the death penalty legally," Baro, the U.N. official, said.
Children who served with armed groups during the war often have been separated from their families for years. Lawyers could travel to the native villages of the children to find evidence of their age, but that would often mean journeying hundreds of kilometres from court proceedings - something few are prepared to do.
The main problem abolitionists of the death penalty face in Congo, explains Henkinbrandt, is that war-weary Congolese public are eager to see their country's criminals face justice. They believe the orchestrators of Congo's gruesome massacres deserve poor trials, and that by and large they should die for it.
"Even if the death penalty is not carried out, the population is for expeditious justice and the death penalty sometimes. Abolition of the death penalty is not very popular among people," Henkinbrandt said.
"Though abolitionist politicians have managed to stop executions, they don't have the courage to go against clear public opinion and eliminate the death penalty," he added.
Congo's war killed nearly four million people, mostly from hunger and disease but also during numerous battles and politically-motivated massacres. Peace deals ended the war in 2002. A new a transitional government was formed that comprises former rebels and warlords, some of whom are said to have participated in the war's worst killings. Dozens of militia leaders were not involved in the 2002 peace deals however, and they continue to rape, kill and recruit children even after the war ended.
Amnesty International said in a report this month that alarming numbers of children still were being enlisted by militia leaders in Congo's restive east. Hiding in Congo's forests beyond the reach of military, these warlords fear harsh reprisals for crimes such as killing civilians, torture, and enslaving children as concubines, porters or soldiers.
Efforts by the 17,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo, the world's largest, and ill-trained government troops, have managed to rope in some lawless militants like Thomas Lubanga, a former eastern warlord in Congo's conflicted Ituri territory.
Lubanga is now in The Hague as the International Criminal Court's (ICC) first case, to be tried for charges including the recruitment of children as soldiers. The maximum sentence allowed at the world's criminal court is life imprisonment.
Lubanga, therefore, will not face the death penalty if he is found guilty. Most of Lubanga's wartime accomplices however, including children recruited to fight alongside him, remain in Congo. Tragically, they could face execution.
Some Congolese believe Lubanga has escaped true justice.
"Lubanga is one of Congo's worst criminals, he is one of the most dangerous people, but because he went to The Hague he will not face the death penalty. That is a shame," said Ken Ilunga, a 28-year-old computer technician in Congo's capital, Kinshasa. "But children should not face the death penalty. After all, they were young and only obeyed orders." (END/2006)
20 April 2006
TODESSTRAFE WELTWEIT / STATISTIK 2005
PRESSEMITTEILUNG AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Mehr als 20.000 Menschen warten weltweit auf ihre Hinrichtung
amnesty international veröffentlicht Zahlen für 2005 / Mindestens
2.148 Hinrichtungen und 5.186 Todesurteile weltweit / Mexiko und
Liberia haben 2005 die Todesstrafe abgeschafft / Trend zur
Abschaffung hält an
Berlin, 20. April 2006 - Mehr als 20.000 Menschen sitzen weltweit in
Todeszellen und warten darauf, hingerichtet zu werden. Dieses
Schicksal erlitten im Jahr 2005 weltweit mindestens 2.148 Menschen
(2004: 3.797) in 22 (25) Ländern, mindestens 5.186 (7.395) Menschen
in 53 (64) Ländern wurden zum Tode verurteilt. "Wie schon in
vergangenen Jahren sind vier Länder für die meisten Hinrichtungen
verantwortlich. In China, dem Iran, Saudi-Arabien und den USA starben
94 Prozent aller weltweit Hingerichteten", sagte Oliver Hendrich,
Todesstrafenexperte bei amnesty international (ai). "Wir rufen alle
betroffenen Staaten auf, die Todesstrafe abzuschaffen und bis dahin
zumindest ihre Anwendung einzuschränken oder auszusetzen."
"Weltmeister" 2005 bleibt China mit mindestens 1.770 (3.400)
Hinrichtungen, wobei einem chinesischen Rechtsexperten zufolge die
tatsächliche Zahl bei etwa 8.000 gelegen habe. China verhängt für 68
Delikte die Todesstrafe, darunter gewaltlose Delikte wie
Steuerhinterziehung, Unterschlagung oder Drogenvergehen. Im Iran
starben mindestens 94 (159) Menschen auf staatliche Anordnung.
Saudi-Arabien richtete mindestens 86 (33) Menschen hin. Einige
wussten bis zur Hinrichtung nicht, dass sie zum Tode verurteilt
worden waren. In den USA wurden 60 (59) Menschen exekutiert. "Wir
müssen davon ausgehen, dass die tatsächliche Zahl der Hinrichtungen
sowie die der Todesurteile wesentlich höher ist; da wie China viele
Länder die Zahlen über die Anwendung der Todesstrafe als
Staatsgeheimnis behandeln", sagte Hendrich.
Erfreulich ist nach Ansicht von ai, dass sich der Trend zur
Abschaffung der Todesstrafe fortsetzt. 2005 haben Mexiko und Liberia
die Todesstrafe abgeschafft. Die Zahl der Staaten, die die
Todesstrafe noch anwenden, hat sich in den letzten 20 Jahren
halbiert. "Insgesamt halten noch 73 Länder an der Todesstrafe fest,
123 haben sie im Gesetz oder in der Praxis abgeschafft. Erfreulich
ist auch, dass die USA 2005 die Todesstrafe für minderjährige Täter
abgeschafft haben", sagte Hendrich. Damit war Iran ai-Informationen
zufolge das einzige Land, das 2005 zur Tatzeit Minderjährige
hingerichtet hat; von diesen mindestens acht Hingerichteten waren
zwei auch noch bei der Hinrichtung jünger als 18 Jahre.
Die ausführlichen Statistiken und Länderaufstellungen zu Todesstrafe
und Hinrichtungen 2005 senden wir Ihnen gerne per E-Mail zu.
[ Auf finden Sie amnesty-todesstrafe.de
verschiedene Weltkarten zur Todesstrafe, die Sie unter Angabe der
Quelle herunterladen und reproduzieren können.
[ Fact and Figures on the death penalty
[ Death Sentences and Executions in 2005
Langes Warten in den Todeszellen
Statistik. Im Jahr 2005 wurden weltweit 2 148 Menschen hingerichtet. Viele Länder halten ihre Zahlen unter Verschluss.
Der Todeskandidat wirkte gefasst, als ihm die Kanüle angelegt wurde. Dann strömte das Gift in den Körper von Stanley Williams. Wenig später war der 51-Jährige tot. Demonstranten vor dem Gefängnis von San Quentin (US-Staat Kalifornien) nahmen die Nachricht an jenem 13. Dezember 2005 mit Bestürzung auf. Bis zuletzt hatten sie um das Leben des Häftlings gekämpft. Gnadengesuche blieben vergeblich. Stanley Williams war 1981 wegen vierfachen Raubmordes zum Tode verurteilt worden - Taten, die der einstige Anführer einer schwarzen Jugendgang bestritten hatte. In den 24 Jahren in der Todeszelle verfasste er Bücher, in denen er Jugendliche eindringlich vor dem Einstieg in eine kriminelle Karriere warnte.
Während der Fall Williams Schlagzeilen machte, herrschte um die meisten anderen Delinquenten tödliche Stille. Weltweit warten mehr als 20 000 Menschen in den Todeszellen auf die Hinrichtung - manche schon jahrelang. Im vergangenen Jahr wurden 2 148 Menschen exekutiert. Das geht aus dem Jahresbericht der Menschenrechtsorganisation „amnesty international“ zur Todesstrafe hervor. Bei der Zahl der Hinrichtungen handelt es sich um nachgewiesene Fälle. Nach Angaben des „amnesty“-Experten Oliver Hendrich führen etliche Länder keine exakte Statistik, sondern behandeln das Thema wie ein Staatsgeheimnis. Dazu gehören der Iran, Vietnam oder China. Im Reich der Mitte gab es 2005 offiziellen Angaben zufolge 1 770 Exekutionen. Experten vermuten aber, dass die tatsächliche Zahl weitaus höher liegt. Schätzungen schwanken um etwa 8 000 Hinrichtungen.
Ungeachtet der internationalen Kritik will China an dieser Praxis weiter festhalten. Auf der jüngsten Tagung des Nationalen Volkskongresses im März in Peking verwies ein Sprecher des Obersten Gerichts auf die öffentliche Meinung, die auf der Höchststrafe nach wie vor bestehe - ein Argument, das die Verteidiger der Todesstrafe auch anderswo ins Feld führen. In den USA stellen die Anhänger eine klare Mehrheit. Dort befürworten rund 70 Prozent der Bevölkerung die Todesstrafe; in Deutschland sind es laut Umfragen nur etwa 30 Prozent.
Dass immer mehr Staaten auf die Todesstrafe verzichten, hält „amnesty“ für einen erfreulichen Trend. Dahinter steckt nach Auffassung Hendrichs auch die Erkenntnis, dass Hinrichtungen nicht den Effekt der Abschreckung besitzen, auf den sich die Verfechter berufen. Im vergangenen Jahr beschlossen die Regierungen Mexikos und Liberias, die Todesstrafe aus den Gesetzbüchern zu streichen. Die Zahl der Staaten, die sie noch anwenden, hat sich in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten auf nur noch 73 halbiert.
Für ermutigend hält es der „amnesty“-Experte, dass die USA inzwischen auf die Todesstrafe für minderjährige Täter verzichten. Diese Entscheidung von 2005 führt Hendrich auch auf die Kampagnen zurück, mit denen „amnesty“ auf diese juristische Praxis aufmerksam gemacht hatte.
Amnesty International's New Worldwide Death Penalty Report Finds United States Still Among Top Executing Countries
Nation Out of Step With Global Trend Toward Abolition
(Washington, DC) -- During 2005, at least 2,148 people were executed in 22 countries and at least 5,186 people were sentenced to death in 53 countries, Amnesty International disclosed today in its annual report on the death penalty worldwide. Across the world 20,000 people are scheduled to be killed by their own governments.
With 60 executions carried out in 2005, the United States remains one of the top executing countries, along with China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Together the four nations accounted for 94 percent of all executions worldwide.
Despite these shocking figures, the global trend toward abolition of the death penalty continues to grow: the number of countries carrying out executions halved in the last 20 years and has dropped for the fourth consecutive year in a row. In 2005, Mexico and Liberia became the two most recent examples of countries that have abolished the death penalty.
"Around the world, public officials are realizing that government-sponsored punitive killing is unjust and ineffective at its very core: it is a cruel and unusual form of retribution that has no deterrent effect," said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). "Meanwhile, as one of the four most active death penalty countries, the United States remains a glaring exception to this growing global consensus. AIUSA members are doing all they can to help put the United States back on the right side of history."
The Amnesty International report uncovers chilling facts about the other three top executing countries. In China, a person can be put to death for as many as 68 crimes, including non-violent infringements like tax fraud, embezzlement, and drug offenses. Lucrative deals are made in selling organs extracted from those who have been executed. China also accounts for almost 80 percent of all executions, with data available to Amnesty International indicating some 1,770 individuals put to death last year. Undoubtedly the real figure is much higher, with one Chinese legal expert recently estimating the true figure at around 8,000.
Iran executed at least 94 people last year and was the only country known to have executed juvenile offenders during that period. It put to death at least eight individuals for crimes committed while they were children, including two who were still under age 18 at the time of their execution.
In Saudi Arabia, people have been taken from their prison cells and executed without knowing that a death sentence had been passed against them. Others have been tried and sentenced to death in a language they neither spoke nor read. Saudi Arabia executed at least 86 people in 2005.
In the United States, two men were released from death row in 2005 after evidence of their innocence emerged. In February, an Ohio judge fully acquitted Derrick Jamison in the murder for which he had received a death sentence two decades earlier. In November, a Pennsylvania jury dismissed all charges against Harold Wilson, who had been convicted in a triple murder in 1989. Jamison and Wilson became respectively the 120th and 121st death row inmates to be found innocent since 1973.
In March of last year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the execution of juvenile offenders was unconstitutional, outlawing the practice. The United States had previously been a world leader in juvenile executions.
"Though it remains a national shame that the United States was the last country to formally reject executing juvenile offenders, we applaud the Supreme Court's ruling and hope it proves to be a harbinger of things to come in this country," said Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, AIUSA's Director of the Program to Abolish the Death Penalty. "And while AIUSA celebrated last year's acquittals of Derrick Jamison and Harold Wilson, their cases serve as grim reminders of the fundamentally arbitrary and capricious nature of capital punishment."
The 60 prisoners executed in the United States in 2005 brought to 1,004 the total number executed since the use of the death penalty resumed in 1977; 12 more executions have been carried out thus far in 2006. The State of North Carolina plans to execute Willie Brown in the early hours of April 21. Approximately 3,400 prisoners were on death rows across the United States as of January 1, 2006. The death penalty is on the books in 38 states and is retained under military and federal law.
[ For a copy of Amnesty International's Death Penalty Statistics 2005, please see:
[ Facts and Figures
[ Death Sentences and Executions
[ more on AIUSA's Program to Abolish the Death Penalty
19 April 2006
4 in missouri zum tod verurteilte männer klagen gegen die zur hinrichtung benutzen giftspritze weil diese methode verfassungswidrig ist da sie unverhältnismäßig grausam ist.
eine ähnliche klage wurde im august letzten jahres abgelehnt, der mann am 31. august hingerichtet.
Missouri inmates' suit claims lethal injection is cruel
Four death row inmates filed a lawsuit in St. Louis on Wednesday claiming the drug injections Missouri is expected to use to execute them are unconstitutionally cruel.
The four convicted murderers filed a claim similar to one filed by convicted murderer Timothy Johnson, who argued last year that Missouri's method of execution created the possibility of a "painful and protracted death."
A federal judge dismissed Johnson's claim. Johnson, convicted of beating and kicking his wife to death in St. Louis in 1989, was executed Aug. 31.
Still, legal challenges to the lethal injections abound. The U.S. Supreme Court in January blocked the execution of a Florida inmate and agreed to consider his claims that his execution by injection could cause him excruciating pain.
On Tuesday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis heard arguments in the case of a convicted murderer from the Kansas City area who has challenged the state's injection as unconstitutional.
John Fougere, a spokesman for the Missouri attorney general's office, said that four of the five men executed in the state last year filed similar challenges, and the state won all four cases.
"We have successfully argued in the past, and will continue to do so, that Missouri's method of execution through lethal injection is constitutional," he said.
The four inmates bringing the new claim in U.S. District Court in St. Louis include Reginald Clemons, who was convicted of being an accomplice in the 1991 murder of two young women on the old Chain of Rocks Bridge.
Also bringing the case is Jeffrey Ferguson, sentenced to death for the murder of Kelli Hall. Hall was abducted in 1989 from a St. Charles service station where she worked. Her body was found 13 days later.
The third plaintiff is Roderick Nunley, convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in the Kansas City area. The fourth inmate is Richard D. Clay, who was convicted of the 1994 murder of a businessman in New Madrid.
The men say inmates put to death in Missouri could experience "the horrifying terror of slowly being smothered to death" if one injection does not render them sufficiently unconscious before a second drug is administered.
16 April 2006
die präsidentin hat in ihrer osteransprache angekündigt die todesurteile von 1.200 menschen in lebenslange haftstrafen umzuwandeln.
der justizminister kündigte an auch alle zukünftigen todesurteile umzuwandeln.
ob die todesstrafe ganz abgeschafft wird, wurde nicht angekündigt.
Philippines President Commutes Death Sentences of 1,200 Convicts in Easter Announcement
The president of the Philippines said in an Easter announcement that she would commute the death sentences of some 1,200 convicts, including about a dozen al-Qaida-linked militants.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the death sentence would be commuted to life in prison for everyone on death row. Her justice minister said the government would commute all future death sentences as well.
At least 11 Islamic militant members of Abu Sayyaf, a small al-Qaida-linked group blamed for deadly bombings and kidnappings, are on death row.
It was unclear how many inmates actually would be affected by the new policy, which appeared intended to mollify Roman Catholic leaders critical of Arroyo's administration.
Under the constitution, the president can only commute death sentences that have been upheld by the Supreme Court. The court has only upheld about 100 death sentences and the rest remain under legal review, said Maria Socorro Diokno, secretary general of the Free Legal Assistance Group, which provides legal counsel to poor inmates.
The death penalty has not been carried out in the Philippines since 2000.
Diokno called for Arroyo to push for a congressional abolition of the death penalty.
Arroyo did not say whether she would do so.
Diokno said her clients on death row were rejoicing. Crime victims expressed dismay at the new policy.
"It's a bad news to be awakened to," Teresita Ang-See, a leader of the anti-crime Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order, told ABS-CBN television on Sunday.
"They're not only dismayed, they're also shocked by that announcement. It's the height of insensitivity and callousness," she said.
Capital punishment is opposed by the conservative church in predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines.
Arroyo, who has been grappling for months with vote-rigging and corruption allegations, has tried to woo influential bishops critical of many aspects of her leadership.
7 April 2006
in der presseerklärung der gruppe botswana centre for human rights zur hinrichtung eines mannes am 1. april 06 wird erneut die abschaffung der todesstrafe gefordert und die geheimen hinrichtungen kritisiert.
am tag vor der hinrichtung von modisane ping wollte seine mutter ihn besuchen. obwohl die wärter wußten das der hinrichtungstermin für den nächsten tag festgelegt ist, wurde ihr gesagt daß sie doch am 3. april kommen soll, da wegen interner angelegenheiten keine besuche möglich seien.
von der hinrichtung erfuhr die familie aus dem radio, und ein besuch des grabes wird ihnen nicht erlaubt.
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE RECENT EXECUTION IN BOTSWANA
THE HANGING OF MR MODISANE PING
DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the execution of Mr Modisane Ping on Saturday 1 April 2006 . There was no notification of the impending execution. The actual execution was conducted in secrecy. Mr. Ping's family did not have any access to him immediately prior to the execution. Mr. Ping's family did not have access to his body and the family members were not afforded an opportunity to ensure that Mr. Ping received a decent burial. Further, the family does not have the opportunity to visit Mr. Ping's grave. The result of executing people in secret in Botswana is to punish their relatives, who were not responsible for the crime. We believe that a lack of transparency of procedures is a serious threat to democracy and good governance.
Mr. Ping's mother was not officially informed of his execution. Instead, the family learnt of the execution from the radio after it had occurred. Mrs. Ping had tried to visit her son on Friday 31 March 2006 , but was advised to return on Monday as the Prison was engaged in internal matters. This was despite the fact that the Prison officials were aware that Mr. Ping was due to be hanged on Saturday morning 1 April 2006 . Similar untruths have been told in other cases, for example, that of Mr Lehlohonolo Kobedi. The prison authorities behave in an unnecessarily cruel manner towards family members when carrying out death sentences.
DITSHWANELO remains concerned that the State has again blatantly disregarded appeals for a moratorium or abolition of the death penalty in Botswana . DITSHWANELO calls upon the Government of Botswana to abolish the death penalty in accordance with internationally agreed human rights standards that prohibit all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The rationale for using the death penalty is that it will act as a deterrent, however, in spite of the many executions that have taken place in Botswana , there is no indication of a decline in the crime of murder. If anything, according to media reports the number of reported murders is increasing. Serious attention should be paid to the underlying causes of crime and solutions found.
DITSHWANELO will continue with its campaign to abolish the death penalty in Botswana .
6 April 2006
der supreme court hat es abgelehnt das gnadengesuch von drei zum tod verurteilten menschen trotz neuer beweise erneut zu verhandeln.
die männer wurden als initatoren der kommunalen auseinandersetzungen in poso, central sulawesi 2000 zum tod verurteilt. ein erstes gnadengesuch wurde vom präsidenten im november letzten jahres abgelehnt.
die jetzt neu eingeführten beweise deuten auf eine beteiligung von armee und polizei in dem konflikt hin.
auch wenn noch kein datum für die hinrichtung bekannt gegeben wurde, sind die särge bereits angefertigt und die erschießungsteams zusammengestellt.
34 menschen sind in indonesien zum tod verurteilt. zwischen januar und märz 2006 wurden 5 weitere menschen verurteilt.
INDONESIA: Right to life; death penalty; fair trial
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you of the imminent execution of Fabianus Tibo (60), Dominggus Da Silva (42) and Don Marinus Riwu (48), who were charged with inciting communal conflict in Poso, Central Sulawesi in 2000. Their appeal for clemency was rejected by President Yudhoyono on 10 November 2005. Today, the Supreme Court rejected a second review for clemency, which was made after new evidence had been uncovered. This evidence apparently indicates the involvement of police and army officers in the conflict, which explains the pressure to expedite their executions.
According to the Supreme Court, the second review was in violation of the law, according to which the President's decision to grant or reject clemency the first time around is final.
Although no dates have been given for the execution of the three men, the AHRC has learnt that the coffins have been prepared, as have the separate teams for the shooting of the men. The teams have undergone psychological and spiritual counselling. It seems that the police are merely awaiting the order from authorities in Central Sulawesi to execute the men.
The AHRC is aware that there are 34 persons on death row in Indonesia. Between January and March 2006, 13 people were prosecuted under the death penalty, with five of them sentenced to death and awaiting execution. It must therefore be questioned why there is an urgency to execute these three men. There are concerns that the police and military wish to have the case closed through their execution.
There are also concerns that the execution of these men, all of whom are Catholic, may cause further sectarian violence in the area, which is already prone to tension and conflict. This is particularly relevant if the men are in fact innocent, as they have consistently claimed. Indonesia's human rights commission, Komnas HAM, as well as religious leaders, interfaith bodies and other concerned groups and individuals have called upon the president to stay the execution and abolish the death penalty.
The AHRC urges you to add your voice to theirs, demanding clemency for the three men, as well as calling for all new evidence to be thoroughly investigated. Please see our earlier appeal for more information regarding the men's trial (UA-205-2005). We also urge you to pressure President Yudhoyono to take steps to abolish the death penalty, particularly in view of Indonesia's commitment to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Please amend the suggested letter from the previous appeal accordingly.
3 April 2006
die geschworenen in dem prozeß gegen den angebl. 20. attentäter der anschläge vom 11.september 2001 urteilten daß "die lügen die moussaoui den fbi agenten erzählt hatte , den weg zu dem tödlichsten anschlag in der u.s. geschichte ebneten" und er deshalb zum tod verurteilt werden kann.
jetzt wird in der zweiten phase des prozesses entschieden ob er zum tod verurteilt wird oder zu lebenslänglich ohne aussicht auf bewährung
Jury Finds Moussaoui Eligible to Die
A federal jury today found Zacarias Moussaoui eligible to die for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, concluding that Moussaoui's lies to federal agents paved the way for the deadliest terrorist strike in U.S. history.
The unanimous verdict in U.S. District Court in Alexandria means that Moussaoui's death penalty trial will now move to a second phase, in which prosecutors will try to persuade jurors to vote for execution while defense lawyers seek to spare his life.
Reading the verdict outside the courthouse, court spokesman Edward Adams said, "By this verdict, the jury has found that death is a possible sentence in this case."
As he was being led from the courtroom, Moussaoui, wearing his habitual white knit cap and green prison jumpsuit, yelled, "You'll never get my blood! God curse you all!"
The jury agreed with the prosecution that Moussaoui was subject to capital punishment on three counts against him that carry the death penalty. Moussaoui, 37, an al-Qaeda operative, pleaded guilty last year to a total of six conspiracy counts related to the
Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The 12-member jury found that prosecutors had proven that Moussaoui intentionally lied to the FBI about his knowledge of the pending al-Qaeda plot when he was arrested in August 2001. According to a verdict form signed by the jury foreperson, jurors further concluded that Moussaoui "contemplated that the life of a person would be taken" because of his lies and that at least one victim died on Sept. 11 "as a direct result.''
In reading the verdict outside the courthouse, Adams said the jurors found that the government also established that Moussaoui engaged in conspiracy to destroy aircraft and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. In their only question to the judge after they began deliberating last week, the jurors asked for a definition of "weapon of mass destruction" and were told the term applied to an airplane used as a missile.
Today's vote only means that Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty under federal law. In the trial's second phase, Sept. 11 family members are expected to testify for prosecutors about their loss, while defense lawyers present evidence of Moussaoui's troubled childhood and questionable mental state. Jurors will then vote on whether he should be executed.
The day's developments began when the jury of nine men and three women sent a note to U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema saying they had reached a verdict on their fourth day of deliberations.
The case went to the jury Wednesday afternoon, and deliberations continued Thursday and Friday before breaking for the weekend.
The verdict takes the government an important step closer to securing what the prosecutors called legal justice for the assaults on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Moussaoui is the only person convicted in an American courtroom on charges stemming from those attacks.
His eligibility for death culminates a three-week hearing that proved as unpredictable as the behavior of Moussaoui himself.
The French citizen of Moroccan descent had long been known for courtroom outbursts, and he often screamed curses at America and blessings for Osama bin Laden when jurors and the judge were out of the courtroom.
But when Moussaoui took the stand, over the strong objections of his attorneys, his demeanor was calm and his words were chilling. Staring straight at his questioners, he said he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11 and fly it into the White House with a crew that included British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.
Although he did not know the exact date of the attack, he said it was supposed to come just after August and that the World Trade Center was among the other targets. He said he wanted to kill every American and matter-of-factly explained how he was prepared to cut the throat of a passenger or flight attendant on the plane he would have hijacked.
And in a series of admissions, Moussaoui acknowledged he had lied to agents when he was arrested in Minnesota in August 2001 so as to allow the plot to go forward. According to testimony at the trial, Moussaoui told agents he was taking flying lessons purely for enjoyment. He was training on a 747 simulator when he was arrested on immigration charges.
The fallout from Moussaoui's testimony dominated the final days of the hearing, with prosecutors trying to convince jurors that he was telling the truth while his own lawyers portrayed him as a liar who was trying to aggrandize his role to seek a place in history.
Defense lawyers also pounded home one of their key arguments: that the government knew far more about al-Qaeda's intentions than Moussaoui ever did, yet still failed to stop the Sept. 11 plot. Moussaoui's information, therefore, would have made little difference, they argued.
The defense unearthed government documents that showed FBI headquarters ignored repeated warnings from the bureau's own agents in August 2001 that Moussaoui was a terrorist who wanted to hijack an airplane. One FBI agent who testified for the government, Harry Samit, admitted on cross-examination that he had issued more than 70 such warnings to his superiors but was obstructed through what he labeled "criminal negligence.''
Prosecutors sought to convince jurors that the government could have stopped Sept. 11 had Moussaoui told the truth. Their argument was hamstrung initially because of the misconduct of Carla J. Martin, an attorney with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who was not on the prosecution team but was liaison with the witnesses. She violated a court order when she shared testimony with upcoming witnesses and tried to coach them.
Judge Brinkema responded by striking all witnesses and evidence concerning aviation security. That severely damaged the prosecution's case, which hinged on the argument that if Moussaoui had confessed to the plot when he was arrested, the government would have ratcheted up security at the nation's airports.
After prosecutors urged her to reconsider, Brinkema agreed to allow aviation witnesses untainted by contact with Martin. Prosecutors then recovered substantial ground, as a TSA official testified that Moussaoui's information could have triggered intensified screening of passengers and luggage before Sept. 11.
Former FBI agent Aaron Zebley, meanwhile, walked jurors through a methodical presentation that showed how a single cellphone number on a Western Union wire transfer to Moussaoui could have led to phone, bank and other records -- which would have enabled investigators to track down at least 11 of the 19 hijackers.
Martin, a TSA lawyer who is on paid leave while the agency probes her conduct, is also under investigation by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia for possible criminal violations.
[ 3. april 2006
U.S. V. ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI
A federal jury rules that, following his 2005 guilty plea to al Qaeda terrorism charges, Zacarias Moussaoui is eligible to be sentenced to death for his role in the events of Sept. 11th.
The Jury Verdict Form
[ Case History
[ Jury Finds Moussaoui Eligible for Execution
[ Jury finds would-be hijacker Moussaoui eligible for death penalty
27 March 2006
139 menschen wurden 2005 zum tod verurteilt.
davon waren 14 urteile die zuvor durch berufungsverfahren aufgehoben wurden und jetzt bei neuen prozessen erneut verhängt wurden.63 der zum tod verurteilten menschen waren ? weiß ? nicht ?lateinamerikanisch? , 37 afroamerikaner15 lateinamerikaner,, 2 asiaten und 2 american indian.5 frauen wurden zum tod verurteilt.
die meisten todesurteile gab es in kalifornien. dort wurden 19 menschen verurteilt, in florida 16, texas 14 , alabama 11, pennsylvania 8 arizona und oklahoma 7, north carolina und ohio 6, georgia und south carolina 5, akansas 3.in connecticut, idaho, illinois,indiana, louisiana, missouri, mississippi, nevada und tennessee wurden jeweils 4 menschen zum tod verurteilt.in kansas, kentucky, oregon und virginia wurde 1 mensch verurteilt.dazu kommen noch 6 todesurteile durch bundesgerichte und zwei durch militärgerichte.
National Jury Center Reports 139 Death Sentences in 2005
The Capital Case Data Project of the American Judicature Society announced today that 139 people were sentenced to death in the United States in 2005. Of these, 125 were first-time death sentences, and 14 were imposed through new sentencing proceedings after appellate reversals. The largest ethnic representation was White?non-Hispanic (63), followed by Black (57), Hispanic (15), Asian (2) and American Indian (2). Only five of the death sentences were imposed on women, the same as in 2004. Almost half of those sentenced to death were multiple murderers (66 of 139), based on the fact that they were either convicted for multiple murders, or were otherwise proven to have committed multiple other murders closely connected with those for which they were convicted: one defendant killed nine people, one killed six victims, seven killed five, eight killed four, 17 killed three, and 32 committed double murders.
The largest number of death sentences was imposed in California (19). Also in double-digits were Florida (16), Texas (14 - down significantly from 24 in 2004), and Alabama (11). Jurisdictions with from five and nine death sentences were Pennsylvania (8), Arizona and Oklahoma (7), North Carolina, Ohio, and the federal government (6), and Georgia and South Carolina (5). Arkansas had three death sentences. Several jurisdictions had two : Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and the United States military. The four remaining jurisdictions had only one death sentence apiece: Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, and Virginia. In 11 states with the death penalty, no death sentences were imposed in 2005: Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. (There are 13 states do not have capital punishment: Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York (statute declared unconstitutional and not amended to cure), North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.)
Drake University Law professor David McCord, director of the National Jury Center's Capital Case Data Project, said the figures were obtained by painstakingly comparing consecutive quarterly "Death Row USA" reports compiled by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (each listing the approximately 3,500 death-row inmates) name-by-name to find the new additions. Then news articles or personal contacts were found to verify that the sentence had, in fact, been imposed in 2005. Summaries of the facts of all 139 cases are available online at the
[ American Judicature Society Web site
In reporting the figures, McCord noted the remarkable similarity between 2004 (figures for which the Capital Case Data Project had earlier made available at the same Web address), with the 2005 figures: "The figures are almost exact duplicates: 140 death sentences, including 14 re-sentences in 2004; 139 death sentences including 14 re-sentences in 2005." McCord added, "The official government tally -? the annual 'Capital Punishment Report' of the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2005 -? will be made public much later this year. Unlike our report, however, it does not list death- sentenced inmates by name, does not include summaries of their cases, and does not include re-sentences in its total."
11 March 2006
an dem beispiel von zwei männern, die wegen mordes an einer studentin 1981 verurteilt wurden, werden die kosten der todesstrafe gegen die kosten einer lebenslangen haftstrafe ohne aussicht auf bewährung aufgerechnet. ( warum es die unterschiedlichen strafen gab steht nicht in dem bericht)
während die kosten für die lebenslange strafe seit dem urteil 1983 etwa $ 800.000 betragen, hätte die bisher nicht ausgeführte hinrichtung des zweiten mannes bisher die steuerzahlerinnen etwa $ 250 millionen gekostet.
"der ausgedehnte und oft komplizierte widerspruchsverfahren in todesstrafenprozessen macht ein todesurteil teurer als die verwahrung der mörder hinter gittern bis sie sterben."
1% der mordfälle in kalifornien werden als todesstrafenprozesse geführt.
laut dem cdcr ( kalifornische knastbehörde) wurden in kalifornien zwischen 1978 und 2006 13 der 814 zum tod verurteilten menschen hingerichtet, 50 starben auf andere weise, einschließlich 33 natürlicher todesfälle.
Price of death penalty has many questioning the punishment
Convicted murderers Michael Morales and Ricky Ortega have both spent more than two decades behind bars. But the cost of delivering justice to the two men responsible for the brutal death of Tokay High School student Terri Winchell in 1981 likely differs by millions of dollars.
Sentenced to life in prison without parole, Ortega has cost California taxpayers some $800,000 in prison costs alone since 1983.
State and federal taxpayers have paid some $250 million to unsuccessfully carry out the death sentence handed down to Morales over two decades ago, based on the average costs of 11 executions over 27 years, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Moral arguments aside, the increasingly high cost of capital punishment in California has many questioning the worth of having the state carry out death sentences.
However, some say the burden death sentences put on taxpayers is simply part of a fractured justice system, which is hemorrhaging money.
Hard time, heavy costs
Housing an inmate in California's corrections system costs an average of $34,150 per year, though the figure is higher for death row and life-without-parole inmates, who require additional security, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The prolonged and often complicated appeals process in capital cases makes a death sentence far more costly than keeping murderers behind bars until they die.
Stakes are higher in capital cases, which account for only 1 percent of homicide cases, and with that comes a higher, albeit costlier degree of review, said Floyd Feeney, a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Law.
Investigation and prosecution of capital cases typically goes beyond the parameters of other criminal cases, Feeney said.
Though hard figures are not available, capital cases tried in San Joaquin County probably do not cost much more than a case that ends in life without parole, said Chuck Schultz, the deputy district attorney who heads the county's homicide prosecution unit.
Twenty-five years ago, 17-year-old Terri Lynn Winchell was raped and murdered in a case that not only brought most of Tokay High School to her funeral, but garnered enough publicity that her killers' trials were moved to Southern California.
One suspect, Ricky Ortega, was sentenced to life in prison with parole. The other, Michael Morales, was sentenced to death. Since his 1983 conviction, the case has wound its way through appellate courts. He is scheduled to be executed Feb. 21, but the appeal process continues.
After a defendant is convicted and sentenced to death, the appeals process begins. All death penalty cases are automatically appealed and all defendants are assigned an attorney, though that process alone can take more than five years.
The automatic appeal, called the "direct appeal," is heard by the California Supreme Court, which looks at the whole trial record and then usually affirms the death sentence. The defendant can then ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, which can take a year.
In the meantime, the defendant can file a "state habeus corpus" appeal, which addresses things not included in the trial record, such as inefficient legal counsel during trial. This often requires another attorney to be appointed.
The California Supreme Court can then ask a lower court to review the case, or can deny it. Defendants often file more than one habeus corpus petitions, and each one can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Once state courts strike down all appeals, the defendant can file a "federal habeus corpus" petition, alleging civil rights violations. Sometimes another attorney is appointed to handle this part of the case.
The federal appeal is heard by one of four district courts in California, and those sometimes result in more court hearings. If a new issue is raised that wasn't heard in state court, the federal courts can postpone the case until the California Supreme Court rules on that issue.
Once the district court rules, which takes years because there is no deadline, the case can be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-justice panel hears the appeal, and then it is sometimes again heard by an 11-justice panel.
That procedure can also take years, and it may also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
If the U.S. Supreme Court denies the appeal, an execution date is scheduled. The defendant may then ask the governor to grant clemency.
In the weeks leading up to the execution, the defendant often asks state and federal courts for permission to file another habeus corpus appeal.
Defendants in capital cases are also allowed two attorneys, adding greater cost.
The trials of both Morales and Ortega were more expensive than other cases tried locally because they were held in Ventura County, incurring added transportation and hotel costs for witnesses and prosecutors, Schultz said.
In addition to a murder charge, the district attorney must add a further layer of proof in the form of a special circumstance to qualify the case for capital punishment. Many prosecutors' offices decide on special circumstances through a special internal process, which draws further on resources, Feeney said.
And if a special circumstance is applied to a capital case, that, too, must go through consideration by a jury.
In non-capital cases, an appeal heads to a district court of appeal. But appeals in California's capital cases go directly to the California Supreme Court.
Because of that court's caseload, it can take two to three years before the appeal is heard, Feeney said. That can make the process more expensive, he said.
"Part of the issue is that the California Supreme Court can only hear so many cases a year. It doesn't work to make the Supreme Court just the death penalty court. There are various bottlenecks in this," Feeney said.
Another factor adding to the cost of death penalty appeals is that defense attorneys must exhaust all options.
"Defense lawyers see it is as their job to raise every issue they can because the effects of the death penalty are what they are," Feeney said.
Appointed attorneys representing condemned inmates before the California Supreme Court are compensated at $125 an hour, plus specified expenses, or with a fixed fee that ranges from $135,000 to more than $314,000, depending on case complexity. Investigation expenses for habeus corpus work are reimbursable for up to $25,000 without prior court approval.
Millions in taxpayer dollars are devoted to the death penalty process each year.
The California Attorney General's capital case unit, which prosecutes most death penalty cases on appeal, has an annual budget of $11 million; the California Supreme Court's court-appointed counsel program is funded to the tune of $14.3 million; the Office of the State Public Defender has a budget of $11.3 million for capital cases; and the Habeus Corpus Resource Center has a budget of $11 million. Federal court costs are $12 million a year, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
The chemical cocktail used to execute inmates via lethal injection costs about $200, according to the CDCR.
How much is too much?
Some say the current cost of capital punishment appeals is more than it needs to be.
Too much time and money is spent on litigating issues beyond guilt or innocence, said Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the California Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which pushes for victims' rights.
Much of the litigation in capital cases is devoted to the penalty phase, such as whether evidence was properly disclosed in earlier trial phases and if attorneys and jurors were competent, Scheidegger said.
For instance, he noted, recent litigation in Morales' case had little to do with if he killed Terri Winchell, but whether a condemned inmate feels pain during lethal injection.
"All these issues should be reviewed, but once is enough," he said. "There is no need for three or four or five different courts to go over those (issues) if they have nothing to do with the accuracy of the verdict. We should change the system so we can afford it."
Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on police, mental health and child abuse prevention than on executions, according to Lance Lindsey, executive director of Death Penalty Focus, a San Francisco-based nonprofit against capital punishment.
Only about 1 percent of homicides in the state are tried as capital cases, and those cases cost taxpayers two to three times more than non-capital cases, Lindsey said.
"To spend so many millions of dollars on a such a small number of capital trials really doesn't make much sense," he said.
Between 1978 and 2006, 13 of the 814 prisoners with death sentences were executed in California while 50 died by other means, including 33 natural deaths, according to the CDCR.
Given that more people have died of natural causes on California's death row than have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated, costs associated with the death penalty are unjustified, said Janis Gay, a board member with anti-death penalty Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation.
"If you have life in prison, the same thing is going to happen. So why spend millions of dollars?" she asked.
Costs of the death penalty and the justice it is intended to bring are two separate things, said Deputy District Attorney Schultz.
"Expense isn't something we think about if we're going to seek death for somebody," he said. "It's something we never have and never will consider."
The watchdog group California Taxpayers Association has not considered the financial aspects of the death penalty, President Larry McCarthy said.
But the group does support studies showing that sentencing the small percentage of repeat, violent offenders to life in prison, namely through the state's Three Strikes law, greatly reduces social and criminal justice costs.
"It really is cost-effective to try to identify that percentage and deal with that," he said.
Society's definition of justice will change over time, McCarthy said, and with that comes fluctuations in the cost of that justice.
"We continue to try to, as a society, figure out how to handle these problems, and it is a huge challenge," McCarthy said. "Cost becomes a factor."
Capital punishment by the numbers
$7.4 billion: 2006-06 budget for the California Corrections Department.
$250 million: Average cost of 11 executions in 27 years.
$114 million: Costs of death penalty to taxpayers.
$34,150: Average annual cost of housing an inmate in state prison.
9,000: Average number of pages of court transcripts in capital cases.
645: Inmates on death row.
$200: Cost of lethal injection chemicals.
49: Average age at time of execution.
33: Death Row inmates who died of natural causes.
17.5: Average time spent on Death Row.
13: Inmates executed in California since 1978.
Source: California Attorney General's Office
09 March 2006
BAHAMAS / UK
die todesstrafe auf den bahamas wurde von dem höchsten zuständigen britischen gericht verboten.
seit 1973 wurden 16 menschen hingerichtet.
Bahamas death penalty banned
THE mandatory death penalty in the Bahamas was abolished by five British law lords yesterday when they held it to be a breach of international human rights.
In a significant ruling the judicial committee of the Privy Council struck down the mandatory death sentence imposed in two test appeals as a breach of the constitution.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the senior law lord, said that, as early as 1973, the mandatory death penalty should have been regarded as inhuman and degrading punishment.
Since 1973 16 people have been executed in the Bahamas. If the judge had had a discretion ? as argued by counsel for the appellants, Edward Fitzgerald, QC, of Doughty Street ? then they would probably not have been executed.
The challenge was brought by Forrester Bowe Jr, who was convicted of the murder of Deon Roache in 1998 and sentenced to death and has served eight years; and Trono Davis, convicted of the murder of Jerrad Ferguson in December 1999 and sentenced to death. He has served six years.
Keir Starmer, QC, of Doughty Street, said: ?This case . . . marks a new dawn for human rights in the region.?
07 March 2006
Death Penalty Rare for Women, But On the Rise in Iran and China
FRANKFURT, Mar 7 (IPS) - A 17-year-old Iranian girl known only as Nazanin fought off two men trying to rape her, and is said to have fatally stabbed one of them. In January, almost two years after the incident, a Tehran court sentenced her to death.
A 17-year-old Iranian girl known only as Nazanin fought off two men trying to rape her, and is said to have fatally stabbed one of them. In January, almost two years after the incident, a Tehran court sentenced her to death.Nazanin is one of at least 19 women believed to be on the death row in Iran, says Elisabetta Zamparutti, head of Hands Off Cain, a Rome-based organisation working to abolish the death penalty around the world.While the number of women facing the death sentence appears to be on the rise in some countries, like Iran and China, worldwide, women are less likely than men to be condemned to death.Women commit fewer heinous crimes like murder, for which death can be the ultimate sentence, and there is a cultural repugnance to killing a woman that does not hold for men.
"Legally there is no discrimination" between men and women in Egypt, Amr Abdel Motaal, senior partner at a Cairo law firm, told IPS. "Males and females are equal before the law, although judges, who are typically men, tend to be more lenient towards female defendants. The number of women who receive the death penalty is very small."Only China, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Vietnam regularly execute women without any apparent gender bias, according to the Capital Punishment U.K. website. The penal codes of most countries prohibit the execution of pregnant women, who are either reprieved at once or, in theory, liable to be executed after they have given birth.[...]
[ Full Article / Death Penalty Rare for Women, But On the Rise in Iran and China
die zur zeit bekannten hinrichtungstermine für dieses jahr:
28. Texas Raymond Martinez
29 Texas Kevin Kincy
25. Texas Pedro Sosa
26 Texas Marvin Wilson
27 Texas Derrick Frazier
may / mai
04 Texas Jackie Wilson.
08 USA federal / bundesgefangener Richard Tipton
10 Texas Angel Resendiz
10 USA federal / bundesgefangener Cory Johnson
12 USA federal / bundesgefangener James Roane Jr.
16 Texas Derrick O'Brien
17 Texas Jermaine Herron
17 Texas Tommy Lynn Sells
24 Texas Jesus Aguilar
june / juni
26 Texas Timothy Titsworth
28 Tennessee Paul Reid
july / juli
19 Ohio John Spirko
in der woche des 28. South Dakota Elijah Page
26. Febraury 2006
die türkei hat mit der ratifizierung des protokolls no. 13 des abkommens über die sicherung der menschenrechte und fundamentalen freiheiten die todesstrafe in allen fällen abgeschafft.
2003 war das protokoll nr. 6 unterzeichnet worden, in dem auch die todesstrafe abgeschafft wird, allerdings in kriegszeiten oder bei bedrohung durch krieg zuließ.
Turkey Ratifies Protocol Abolishing Death Sentence
STRASBOURG - Turkey has ratified the Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances.
Turkey signed the protocol on January 9th, 2004 by taking into consideration the Protocol No. 6.
Turkey signed the Protocol No.6 to the Convention, concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty, on January 15th, 2003, and approved it on December 12th, 2003.
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention does not exclude the death penalty in respect of acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war.
Under the Protocol No. 13, the death penalty shall be abolished and no one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed.
No derogation from the provisions of this Protocol shall be made under Article 15 of the Convention, and no reservation may be made under Article 57 of the Convention in respect of the provisions of this Protocol.
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have not signed the Protocol No. 13 while Albania, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Poland and Spain have not ratified the protocol although they signed it.
26. February 2006
ab mitte dieses jahres müssen todesstrafenprozesse öffentlich sein hat das oberste gericht entschieden.
CHINESE death penalty cases to be heard in open court - report
China's Supreme People's Court has ruled that from the latter half of this year all death penalty cases must be heard in an open court, the China Daily said.
The decision announced at a two-day seminar in Zhengzhou by China's chief justice Xiao Yang was taken to better safeguard human rights, the newspaper said.
'The move will ensure justice and caution in death penalty rulings,' Xiao said Friday, according to the newspaper.
China does not publish the number of people put to death, however some local legal scholars have said about 10,000 are executed every year, or far more than the combined figure for the rest of the world.
24. February 2006
ein 1999 wegen mord zum tod verurteilter mann wurde vom florida supreme court freigesprochen.
lt. dem gericht waren die beweise so schwach, das der richter die anklage eigentlich sofort hätte ablehnen müssen.
Another Innocent Inmate to be Freed From Death Row
The Florida Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of death row inmate John Robert Ballard and ordered his acquittal in the 1999 murders of two of his acquaintances. The Court concluded that the evidence against Ballard was so weak that the trial judge should have dismissed the case immediately. The primary evidence presented against Ballard was a hair and a fingerprint, both of which he could have left during his many visits to the victims' apartment. Bloody fingerprints and a 100 other hair samples were found associated with the crime scene, none of them belonging to Ballard, who has always maintained his innocence. One of the victims was a known drug dealer.
The state Attorney General's office said that it would not seek a rehearing in the case. At Ballard's trial, only 9 of the 12 jurors recommended a death sentence. The judge decided to sentence Ballard to death, commenting: "You have not only forfeited your right to live among us, but under the laws of the state of Florida, you have forfeited your right to live at all." It is expected that Ballard will be released soon, after serving 3 years on death row.
(Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2006; Miami Herald, Feb. 24, 2006; Ballard v. Florida, No. SC03-1012, Feb. 23, 2006).
Once his acquittal is confirmed, Ballard will be the 123rd person exonerated and freed from death row in the country since 1973 and the 22nd such person in Florida. Florida leads the country in death row exonerations.
22. February 2006
die verschiebung / der aufschub einer hinrichtung wegen fehlendem medizinischem personal kommt faktisch einem moratorium gleich und könnte auch andere bundesstrafen betreffen.
Controversy May End Calif. Executions
The state's postponement of an execution because no medical professional would take part amounts to a moratorium on capital punishment in California, home to the nation's largest death row, and could have implications for other states that use lethal injection.
Michael Morales, 46, was scheduled to die Tuesday by injection for torturing, raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl 25 years ago. But officials at San Quentin State Prison could not meet the demands of a federal judge who ordered licensed medical personnel to take part in the execution. Because of ethical considerations, there were no takers, and the execution was called off.
The reprieve meant California, with 650 condemned inmates, awoke Wednesday to what effectively was a moratorium on executions.
The case may eventually place the issue of lethal injection before the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirty-seven of the 38 states with capital punishment use a procedure similar to California's.
The high court has yet to weigh in on a question that inmates around the country have been raising in recent years: whether lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.
Last week's ruling in the Morales case by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel shifted the debate subtly to whether licensed medical personnel should play an active role in an execution, something the American Medical Association and other medical groups have long opposed on ethical grounds.
"This is an issue that is ultimately going to have to be resolved by the Supreme Court," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. "Because you're ultimately not likely ever going to have doctors in the execution chamber."
In California and other states with lethal injection, licensed medical experts generally do not take part in the execution itself, other than to pronounce a prisoner dead. In California, the intravenous lines are inserted by prison staff trained specifically for that purpose. The drugs are then added by a machine.
Natasha Minsker, a capital punishment expert with the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the death penalty, said she believes a prison may be breaking the law by using executioners who do not have proper medical credentials.
"There are limits on practicing medicine with controlled substances," she said. "It appears prison personnel in this are breaking the law because they are not licensed to do this."
Fogel will hold hearings in May on whether California's method of execution is cruel and unusual punishment. Until that is resolved, neither Morales nor any other California death row inmate is likely to be executed unless licensed medical personnel step forward.
The next inmate in line, Mitchell Sims, 45, is on death row for killing a pizza delivery man in 1985. His final appeal rests with the U.S. Supreme Court. No execution date has been set.
California, like most states, carries out lethal injection with three separate drugs ? one to relax them, another to paralyze them and a third to stop their hearts.
Morales' attorneys claimed that once a sedative is given the prisoner, he may feel excruciating pain if still conscious when the paralyzing agent is administered. The federal judge, in response, ordered a licensed anesthesiologist to be on hand to ensure that wouldn't happen.
In the alternative, the judge said the prison could use just a sedative to execute the inmate, but it would have to be injected by a licensed practitioner, a group that includes doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics and other medical technicians.
But two anesthesiologists refused to take part in Morale's execution, citing ethical concerns. And the prison could not find a medical professional willing to administer the one-drug injection.
"I have no doubt that every inmate nearing execution will glom onto this," said Kent Scheidegger, director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a pro-capital punishment group. "But I can't imagine the Supreme Court requiring a state to do something that can't be done."
21. February 2006
die hinrichtung eines mannes in texas wurde jetzt vorerst ganz ausgesetzt, da die knastleitung kein medizinisches personal hat um die hinrichtung zu vollstrecken.
Execution called off because of lethal injection questions
The state on Tuesday postponed indefinitely the execution of a condemned killer, saying it would be unable to comply with a judge's order to have a medical professional inject the lethal dose.
State officials notified federal court officials of the decision late in the afternoon, a spokeswoman for the federal courts told The Associated Press. It came hours before Michael Morales, 46, was scheduled to die from a lethal dose of barbiturate delivered by a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional.
That mode of execution was settled on by prison officials after plans to kill Morales using a three-drug cocktail were scuttled when two anesthesiologists refused to participate on ethical grounds.
Morales was supposed have died at 12:01 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison for torturing, raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl 25 years ago. But the anesthesiologists, who were brought in because of a ruling by a federal judge last week, objected that they might have to advise the executioner if the inmate woke up or appeared to suffer pain.
Prison officials then rescheduled the execution for Tuesday night, planning to skip the usual paralyzing and heart-stopping drugs and kill him with an overdose of a sedative.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel approved that plan Tuesday afternoon, but said the sedative must be administered in the execution chamber by a person who is licensed by the state to inject medications intravenously, a group that includes doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical technicians.
Morales' lawyers said they would appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the state notified the court late Tuesday afternoon that it did not intend to go forward with the execution, said Cathy Catterson, a clerk for the 9th Circuit.
It wasn't immediately clear when the execution would be carried out, but it isn't likely to happen for months because of legal questions surrounding the mode of lethal injection in California.
Prison officials were not immediately available for comment.
The victim's mother, Barbara Christian, was outraged by the decision.
"I'm totally disillusioned with the justice system. We've been waiting 25 years with the expectancy that he is gonna pay for his crimes," she said. "It feels like we just got punched in the stomach."
Morales was sentenced to death in 1983 for killing Terri Winchell by attacking her with a hammer, stabbing her, and leaving her to die half-naked in a vineyard.
Morales plotted the killing with a gay cousin who was jealous of Winchell's relationship with the cousin's male lover. The cousin, Ricky Ortega, now 44, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The case has renewed an ethical debate that has persisted for many years about the proper role of doctors in executions and the suitability of the lethal injection method used in California and 35 other states.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld executions in general despite the pain they might cause inmates, but has never directly addressed whether alleged pain in lethal injections is unconstitutionally excessive.
Morales' attorneys argued that the three-part lethal injection process violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The attorneys said a prisoner could feel excruciating pain from the last two chemicals if he were not fully sedated.
Fogel, in a ruling last week, gave prison officials a choice: bring in doctors to ensure Morales was properly anesthetized, or skip the usual paralyzing and heart-stopping drugs and execute him with an overdose of a sedative.
The American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the California Medical Association all opposed the anesthesiologists' participation as unethical and unprofessional.
The anesthesiologists ultimately withdrew after the judge wrote that they might have to demand that the executioner administer more sedatives through a separate intravenous line to make sure the prisoner is unconscious.
"Any such intervention would clearly be medically unethical," the doctors, whose identities were not released, said in a statement Tuesday. "As a result, we have withdrawn from participation in this current process."
The anesthesiologists would have joined another doctor who is on duty at all California executions to declare the prisoner dead and ensure proper medical procedures are followed. But the doctor does not insert any of the intravenous lines and is not in the room during the execution itself.
In the past, the intravenous lines have been inserted by prison staff, and then the drugs were added by a machine.
Because the execution was not carried out before the 24-hour warrant expired at 11:59 p.m., state officials will have to go back to the trial judge who imposed the death sentence in 1983 for another warrant.
In the meantime, Fogel is expected within about 90 days to hold a series of hearings on whether the original three-drug method, as performed without anesthesiologists, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. His ruling last week promised the hearings as an alternative if the state couldn't abide by either of the two options for putting Morales to death.
The state uses the three-drug method, instead of just injecting a sedative, because it takes about 10 minutes to kill somebody compared to 30 minutes or more. Thirty-seven other states use either two or three drugs to carry out executions by lethal injection.
1. February 2006
der supreme court hat zum zweiten mal innerhalb einer woche eine hinrichtung in florida gestoppt und den antrag, der die giftinjektionen betrifft, angenommen.
Supreme Court blocks second Florida execution in a week
For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for an inmate on Florida's death row, this one scheduled to die for drowning a woman in her bathtub a decade ago.
The court, acting without its newest member, ordered Florida to stop the evening execution of Arthur Rutherford, who contends the state's lethal injection procedure amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
The court's action came as Florida prepared to execute Rutherford and only a few hours after justices gathered privately for the swearing in of new Justice Samuel Alito. Alito did not consider Rutherford's case.
Florida inmate Clarence Hill won a Supreme Court stay last week, after he had been strapped to the gurney to take the deadly chemical injection. Justices said they would use Hill's case to clarify how inmates may bring last-minute challenges to the way they were to be put to death. Arguments are expected this spring.
The intervention in Rutherford's case was not a surprise because he also brought a late challenge to lethal injection.
An appeals court said he could not pursue the claim.
Rutherford's lawyer, Linda McDermott, said he was entitled to a chance to prove that the chemical cocktail used in Florida's lethal injection process "constitutes deliberate indifference to a foreseeable risk of the gratuitous and unnecessary infliction of pain."
The stay Tuesday will remain in place until justices deal with the issues raised by Hill and Rutherford. That probably will be before July.
Rutherford, 56, was convicted of robbing and killing Stella Salamon, a 63-year-old widow originally from Australia, in 1985 at her home in Milton, Florida. Rutherford, a handyman, had installed sliding glass doors in the house.
The woman was severely beaten and drowned or asphyxiated. Her body was found in a bathtub. Four witnesses testified that Rutherford either told them that he was planning to kill her or admitted it afterward.
27. January 2006
7 politische gefangene wurden zum tod verurteilt und es wird befürchtet das ihre hinrichtung trotz moratorium bald stattfinden wird.
die sieben hatten während ihrer prozeße keine anwälte.
PHILIPPINES: Right to life; Death penalty; Administration of justice
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a human rights organisation in the Philippines, about the plight of seven political prisoners who are facing possible execution. They are Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar.
They were charged with various crimes punishable by death under the Republic Act 7659, an Act to impose the Death Penalty on certain heinous crimes. Although the Philippine government has observed moratorium on executions, they have not abolished capital punishment in accordance with Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which it is State party. The Philippines is one of the many countries in Asia imposing death sentences. (Please visit our previous appeal on the death sentence in the Philippines: UA-152-2005
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)-Luzon
45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Seven political prisoners are in death row
"olitical crimes are those directly aimed against the political order, as well as such common crimes as may be committed to achieve a political purpose," the Supreme Court (SC) said. Yet those words are nothing more than rhetoric. Political dissenters continue to be charged with common crimes punishable by death. Tomorrow they could be executed in cold blood. They are Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar.
All of them have something in common. All of them are poor. They could not afford to hire a competent lawyer due to poverty and this contributed to their unwarranted conviction and the meting out of death sentence by local courts. All of them are men of conviction. Their crimes are that they fought for the masses who raised their fist to fight for their rights and defended the oppressed and sacrificed for others.
Their incarceration at death row speaks of the terrible irony we have - that those who fought for social change languish in jail. The sight of men and women of conviction who defended the oppressed suffer in prison is a stark reality of the kind of democracy we have - the systematic treatment of political dissenters as ordinary criminals.
The TFDP learned that their respective cases were decided without any documentary evidence and a handful of testimonies stood as their defense before the Court. When one takes into consideration such judgment, one must doubt if the right for equal protection under the law was observed. In fact, substantial due process was denied them which contributed to the unwarranted conviction of seven political prisoners who are in death row. When one also takes into consideration the gravity of sentence on them, one must doubt the impartiality of such judgment.
This situation speaks of only one thing, that of an attempt to obscure the suppression of political dissenters and how grave is the situation of political prisoners in the country. The seven were charged with various crimes punishable by death under the law (Republic Act No. 7659). Their cases struck at the heart of human right creed- right to life. More important, their cases dispelled the illusion and showed the world what we have- a democracy that thrives on sheer lies. The capital punishment of executing people in cold blood, repudiates the spirit of restorative justice behind the modern penal system which strives to reform and rehabilitate the offenders.
Please write letters to express your concern about the treatment of political prisoners and detainees and the continuing imposition of capital punishment in the Philippines. In your letters, please draw attention to Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar, all are currently detained at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
26. January 2006
der supreme court hat die hinrichtung eines mannes minuten vor der hinrichtung gestoppt und wird entscheiden ob gefangene die zum tod verurteilt wurden die todesspritze als hinrichtungsmethode die ihre rechte verletzt und schmerzhaft ist, anfechten können.
bisher hat das gericht solche anträge immer abgelehnt.
High Court to Hear Lethal-Injection Case
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide when death row inmates may challenge lethal injection as a method of capital punishment, in a surprise decision issued after the justices dramatically stopped the execution of a Florida prisoner who was already strapped to a gurney preparing to die.
Clarence E. Hill, 48, convicted of murdering a Pensacola police officer in 1982, had refused a final meal and needles had punctured his arm when the Supreme Court stayed his execution. The court said it would hear his claim that he should have an opportunity to argue that his civil rights would be violated because the chemicals used to execute him would cause excessive pain.
It is a claim that has been pressed with growing frequency by capital defense lawyers around the country in recent years -- but that has generally not yet succeeded, either in lower courts or at the Supreme Court.
Thirty-seven of the 38 death penalty states use lethal injection, as do the U.S. military and the federal government. Since the chemical mixtures in all jurisdictions are similar to those used in Florida, a victory for Hill at the Supreme Court could tie up the death penalty across the county in litigation, at least temporarily, legal analysts said.
"It certainly could be a mess," said Douglas A. Berman, a professor at Ohio State University who specializes in criminal law. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death-penalty organization, at least 25 inmates are scheduled for execution between now and the end of June, when the court would probably issue a decision.
The Hill case does not ask the court to rule directly on the constitutionality of lethal injection -- which states adopted as an alternative to hanging, gas, electrocution and shooting -- even though Hill maintains that the particular mix of chemicals used in Florida would cause him an unconstitutional degree of suffering.
Rather, the case raises a procedural problem: what recourse there should be for a prisoner who finds out at or near the last minute that the method by which the state proposes to execute him might be "cruel and unusual" punishment.
Normally, death row inmates try to fight their sentences through claims that their constitutional rights were violated at trial. Congress and the Supreme Court have limited those appeals, known as petitions for habeas corpus, and once they run out, further efforts are generally not allowed.
But for years capital defense lawyers have argued that a separate federal civil rights statute creates a way to press constitutional claims between the time an inmate exhausts habeas corpus and the actual moment of execution.
Hill tried to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, to give him a day in court to argue against Florida's lethal-injection protocol, based in part on an article about lethal injection in the Lancet, a medical journal.
The article, published in 2005, said that 21 of 49 inmates executed by lethal injection in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina may have been conscious and feeling pain.
The 11th Circuit dismissed Hill's appeal, and he remained scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Tuesday. But the Supreme Court intervened, setting oral argument in the case for April 26.
The court's decision was a surprise to legal analysts because the court issued a stern rebuke of a similar last-minute challenge by a California death row inmate in 1992, and avoided the issue of permitting last-minute civil rights appeal in 2004. At that time it noted that "imposition of the death penalty presupposes a means of carrying it out."
But the court's most liberal members, Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, have indicated an interest in the question of challenges to lethal injection.
In May 2005, they dissented from a 5 to 4 ruling that denied a stay of execution for a Missouri death row inmate on a similar issue.
Whether there would be five votes on the court to support Hill's claim is another question. The case is likely to be heard by a court that includes two new conservative justices appointed by President Bush: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., whose Senate confirmation is expected this week.
The case is Hill v. Crosby , No. 05-8794.
nur einer der insgesamt 562 "registrierten" native american tribes (sac and fox nation in oklahoma) entschied sich 1994 dafür die todesstrafe einzuführen.
eine professorin des native american law centers an der uni tulsa sagte dazu das die tribes die todesstrafe ablehnen weil es eine unporpotional große zahl von native americans gibt, die von bundesgerichten verurteilt werden. bundesgerichte sind für sogenannte erhebliche delikte zuständig die auf dem den tribes gehörendem land geschehen zuständig.
Lone tribe has death penalty
When a Cache man was implicated in the death of his girlfriend in January 2005, prosecutors indicated he could face the death penalty.
No such comments were made in August after a Fort Cobb father was arrested in the deaths of his three children.
The difference was a realization the death penalty is not an option in most murder cases that end up in federal court because they happened on Indian land.
Only one of 562 recognized tribes -- the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma -- opted to allow the death penalty when the government modified the list of crimes punishable by death in 1994.
That means life in prison is the harshest punishment for Jon Kent Red Elk and Dean Robert Payne if they are convicted of first-degree murder. Red Elk of Cache is charged with first-degree murder after the January 2005 death of his girlfriend on Comanche Nation land. He contends he only helped her commit suicide.
He is awaiting trial as the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers an evidentiary issue in his case.
Payne, a member of the Comanche Nation, told authorities he planned to kill his children and then himself because he was upset over marital problems. He survived his suicide attempt and faces murder charges in federal court in Oklahoma City.
His attorney has indicated he will pursue an insanity defense at his February trial. His case is in federal court because the crime was on Comanche land.
"Under the law, the death penalty is not an option" in such cases, Justice Department spokesman John Nowacki said.
*States take action*
Since 1976, when the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was constitutional, 38 states and the federal government have authorized its use in certain criminal cases, according to Justice Department records. Congress modified the government's list of crimes punishable by death in 1994, opening the door for Indian tribes to opt in, as well.
Former Sac and Fox treasurer Truman Carter said it was a simple decision for the tribe, which historically has been strict about law and order. It was the first tribe to establish a full police department and court system.
Carter said the number of violent crimes on Indian land was rising when the death penalty discussion began more than a decade ago. He said Sac and Fox leaders unanimously passed a resolution to allow the death penalty for murders committed on its land, which occupies part of Lincoln, Payne and Pottawatomie counties.
"We wanted that sanction, the death penalty, to be an option," said Carter, a Shawnee attorney who specializes in federal Indian law.
Other tribes have not followed suit.
Caddo Nation Chairwoman LaRue Martin said she doesn't remember the tribe considering the death penalty, likely because there weren't any crimes on tribal land to spur such talk.
Martin said there still appears to be no interest in allowing the death penalty, even after three children who were members of the Caddo Nation were killed by their father.
Most tribes refused to consider the death penalty because their members believe the punishment is imposed more often on Indians.
Attorney Ken Bellmard, who has worked for more than a dozen tribes, said most tribes had discussions about the death penalty when Congress made it available to them in 1994 but never really considered it.
Melissa Tatum, a professor at the University of Tulsa's Native American Law Center, said tribes balked because a disproportionate number of American Indians are already tried in federal court.
Federal courts have jurisdiction in prosecuting most serious crimes that occur on Indian land, so more Indians end up there.
"Most tribes don't view the death penalty as appropriate, given those circumstances," she said.
Tribes historically vary on whether to allow the death penalty, Tatum said, but there is not any cultural objection to it.
Many formerly had some form of capital punishment.
She said there are several documented instances from the 1800s when the Muscogee (Creek) Nation executed people convicted of larceny for the third time.
Others chose less harsh methods of punishing members guilty of serious crimes.
23. January 2006
kaum von der öffentlichkeit bemerkt hat das us militär neue instruktion für die ausführung von todesurteilen erteilt. dies wird als indikator bewertet das die miltärs sich auf die erste hinrichtung
seit 1961 vorbereiten.
6 männer sind zur zeit im militärknast in fort leavenworth, kansas, in den todeszellen.
bei einem der männer wurde das todesurteil von 1988 vom supreme court 1996 bestätigt und vom united state court of appeals of the armed forces ( dem höchsten berufungsgericht des militärs ) wurde letzten monat eine berufung abgelehnt. es ist noch nicht klar ob es noch weitere möglichkeiten gibt das urteil anzufechten. die exekution muß vom präsidenten bestätigt werden.
die meisten der änderungen betreffen den ablauf der hinrichtung, und welche rolle die einzelnen dabei haben. eine der änderungen macht es aber möglich menschen nicht nur in fort leavenworth hinzurichten.
theoretisch wären damit die voraussetzungen geschaffen , menschen ,die bei den bevorstehenden prozeßen in guantanamo zum tod verurteilt werden, dort hinzurichten.
US military issues new execution regulations
In a little-noticed move, the U.S. Army has issued new regulations governing the death penalty, raising speculation that the military might be preparing for its first execution since 1961.
"This publication is a major revision," said the document issued January 17 and signed by Sandra Riley, administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army.
"This regulation establishes responsibilities and updates policy and procedures for carrying out a sentence of death as imposed by general courts-martial or military tribunals," the document said.
There are currently six men on military death row in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. One, Dwight Loving, is believed to be the leading candidate for execution.
"We're worried these new regulations might be a sign they are getting ready for an execution," said David Elliot of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Loving, an Army private stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, was convicted of murdering two taxicab drivers in 1988. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld his sentence in 1996.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces rejected his latest appeal last month. It is unclear what, if any, legal resources, he has left at his disposal. The execution would have to be approved by President George W. Bush to go ahead.
In the last military execution to take place, Army Pvt. John Bennett, convicted of the 1955 rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl, was hanged at Fort Leavenworth on April 19, 1961.
Two servicemen were sentenced to death last year. Sgt. Hasan Akbar was convicted of killing two military officers in Kuwait in 2003 during the opening days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A jury also sentenced Senior Airman Andrew Witt for stabbing to death his wife and another airman.
Most of the changes in the new regulations were technical, clarifying the role of various officers in the execution procedure. However, one change would make it possible for executions to take place at sites other than Fort Leavenworth.
"This new regulation appears to allow officials at appropriate levels with appropriate coordination to determine the location of an execution on a case-by-case basis," said Sheldon Smith, an Army public affairs specialist, in an e-mail to Reuters.
Anti-death penalty activists said this theoretically opened the way for foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who might in the future be sentenced to death by military commissions, to be executed at the prison.
Currently, 10 Guantanamo Bay detainees have been charged with various offenses, but none of these are capital cases.
17. January 2006
minuten nach seinem 76. geburtstag wurde in kalifornien ein mann ,der 1982 zum tod verurteilt wurde, hingerichtet.
Calif. Executes Oldest Death Row Inmate
California executed its oldest death row inmate early Tuesday, minutes after his 76th birthday, despite arguments that putting to death an elderly, blind and wheelchair-bound man was cruel and unusual punishment.
Clarence Ray Allen was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison. He became the second-oldest inmate put to death nationally since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976.
Allen, who was blind and mostly deaf, suffered from diabetes and had a nearly fatal heart attack in September only to be revived and returned to death row, was assisted into the death chamber by four large correctional officers and lifted out of his wheelchair.
His lawyers had raised two claims never before endorsed by the high court: that executing a frail old man would violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that the 23 years he spent on death row were unconstitutionally cruel as well.
The high court rejected his requests for a stay of execution about 10 hours before he was to be put to death. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied Allen clemency Friday.
Allen went to prison for having his teenage son's 17-year-old girlfriend murdered for fear she would tell police about a grocery-store burglary. While behind bars, he tried to have witnesses in the case wiped out, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to death in 1982 for hiring a hit man who killed a witness and two bystanders.
"Allen deserves capital punishment because he was already serving a life sentence for murder when he masterminded the murders of three innocent young people and conspired to attack the heart of our criminal justice system," state prosecutor Ward Campbell said.
Allen expressed his love for family, friends and the other death-row inmates in a final statement read by Warden Steve Ornoski. Allen ended his statement by saying, "It's a good day to die. Thank you very much. I love you all. Goodbye."
The family of one of Allen's victims, Josephine Rocha, issued a statement saying that "justice has prevailed today."
"Mr. Allen abused the justice system with endless appeals until he lived longer in prison than the short 17 years of Josephine's life," the statement said.
Last month in Mississippi, John B. Nixon, 77, became the oldest person executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed. He did not pursue an appeal based on his age.
Allen's case generated less attention than last month's execution of Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, whose case set off a nationwide debate over the possibility of redemption on death row, with Hollywood stars and capital punishment foes arguing that Williams had made amends by writing children's books about the dangers of gangs.
There were only about 200 people gathered outside the prison gates before Allen's execution, about one-tenth of the crowd that came out last month.
10. January 2006
in new jersey wurde eine kommission eingesetzt , die bis november einen bericht über die "gerechtigkeit in urteilen mit todesstrafe und die kosten der verhängung" erstellen soll.
es sollen auch alternativen überprüft werden die "die sicherheit der öffentlichkeit und die bedürfnisse der angehörigen der opfer" gewährleisten.
nach illionois und maryland ist new jersey der dritte bundesstaat der ein moratorium erlässt, allerdings der erste der dies über die gesetzgebung macht, und nicht durch eine anordnung des governors.
zur zeit sind 10 menschen zum tod verurteilt. die todesstrafe wurde 1982 wieder eingesetzt, die letzte hinrichtung war 1963.
N.J. lawmakers vote to suspend executions
Task force to study fairness and cost of capital punishment
TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) -- New Jersey lawmakers voted Monday to suspend executions while a task force studies the fairness and costs of imposing the death penalty.
The measure now heads to Gov. Richard J. Codey, who has indicated he will sign it before leaving office on January 17.
Under the measure, a 13-member commission would have until November to report on whether the death penalty is fairly imposed and whether alternatives would ensure public safety and address the needs of victims' families.
New Jersey would become the third state behind Illinois and Maryland to suspend executions, but the first to do so through legislation. The others were done by executive order. Maryland has since lifted its suspension.
There are 10 prisoners on New Jersey's death row. While capital punishment was reinstated in the state in 1982, the last execution took place in 1963.
The Assembly passed the measure Monday, 55-21, with two abstentions. The Senate approved it 30-6 last month.
"By its action today, the Assembly joins the Senate in signaling deep concern that the state's death penalty system isn't working," said Celeste Fitzgerald, director of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. She said capital punishment is meted out unfairly and risks executing the innocent.
Sharon Hazard Johnson, whose parents were murdered in their home, accused lawmakers of "slowly murdering me and my siblings." She said capital punishment is justified "when it fits the crime."
The bill had bipartisan legislative support.
Joseph Roberts, a Democrat who is set to become Assembly speaker on Tuesday, said the legislation is overdue.
"The injustice of the current system, and the steep price tag of it as well, means we ought to take a look at it," Roberts said.
"In New Jersey, there has been a sea change in how people view the death penalty," said Sen. Diane Allen, a Republican who voted for the moratorium.
"We've heard about people who have been put to death and were then found to be innocent. We've looked at the cost, which is enormously more for someone on death row than for a person who's imprisoned for life without parole," Allen said.
New Jersey lawmakers are not alone in considering a study of executions. Concerned about wrongful convictions and whether the poor and minorities are more likely to receive the death penalty, at least 12 other states have appointed study commissions. Thirty-eight states allow people to be sentenced to death.
2. January 2006
seit seinem regierungsantritt 2000 verspricht präsident chen shui-bian daß er die todesstrafe abschaffen wird. umfragen aber beweisen angeblich das etwa 80% der bevölkerung die todesstrafe befürworten. allerdings werden momentan weniger todesurteile vollstreckt.
1998 wurden 32 menschen hingerichtet, 2001 waren es 10 und 2005 wurden 3 menschen hingerichtet.
jetzt wird ein neues gesetz vorbereitet, nachdem menschen die zum tod verurteilt werden zwei jahre beobachtet werden. sollten sie während dieser zeit "volle reue über ihre verbrechen zeigen" kann die todesstrafe in lebenslanglich umgewandelt werden.
Nation keeps death penalty, but reduces executions
PHASING OUT: The government hasn't been able to fulfill its goal of abolishing the death penalty. But it has lowered the number of people it actually executes instead
Of 17 prisoners sentenced to death last year, just three were executed -- suggesting that the government is trying to legally retain the death penalty, but in practice carry out as few executions as possible.
Since taking power in 2000, President Chen Shui-bian and his Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have promised to end the death penalty. But with opinion polls conducted in recent years by the ministry showing that around 80 percent oppose the abolition of the death penalty, the government has been deterred from drafting any amendments to the Criminal Code.
However, the government has also been criticized for making little effort to educate and persuade the public on the matter.
Additionally, the ministry's polls indicate that opposition to the abolition of the death penalty drops to 40 percent if complementary measures -- such as sentencing limits and a threshold for parole for life imprisonment -- are also taken. But the government and the legislature have failed to get any such amendments approved.
But despite its inability to abolish capital punishment, the ministry has proposed policy goals to reduce the scope of cases in which the death penalty can be applied.
"The Supreme Prosecutor's Office has filed extraordinary appeals to the Supreme Court for prisoners sentenced to death, making every effort to keep them alive," Justice Minister Morley Shih told the Taipei Times.
"For those whose extraordinary appeals were rejected by the Supreme Court, the MOJ has also delayed their executions," Shih added.
Such appeals and delays explain why only three out of 17 criminals sentenced to death last year were actually executed, Shih said.
The ministry is also considering introducing a bill that would keep criminals given the death sentence under observation in jail for two years, with those who express full remorse for their crimes being eligible for life imprisonment.
By introducing such a law, Taiwan could join other countries which retain the death penalty in law but have virtually abolished it in practice. Many such countries have not carried out executions for years and are believed to have policies or established practice that prevents executions from taking place.
Shih added that the ministry is drafting amendments to the Criminal Code, which mandates the death penalty for some types of marine piracy. If that part of the law is revised, their would be no mandatory capital sentencing left in the Criminal Code.
Another offense that carried a mandatory death sentence -- kidnap leading to murder -- was amended in 2002 to carry a punishment of life imprisonment.
Despite the ministry's plans, last week it executed to brothers from Kaohsiung, Lin Meng-kai and Lin Hsin-hung. Those executions triggered a protest from the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, a non-governmental organization.
The Lin brothers were sentenced to death for cruelly murdering one man and critically injuring the man's brother, both the Lins' neighbors, over a trivial matter four years ago.
"Because the two Lins expressed no remorse during their trials, and even said they would take revenge on the victims' families if they were able to leave jail, the Supreme Court rejected their extraordinary appeal in June and the MOJ could not find other legal avenues of appeal," added Shih.
Last January, the ministry executed Wang Chung-hsing for dumping six Chinese women into the Taiwan Strait while he was being chased by the coast guard. All six drowned.
According to the ministry's records, the nation's annual number of executions has been decreasing for years. Thirty-two prisoners were executed in 1998, a number that shrank to just ten in 2001, and only three each in 2004 and last year.
Shih said that Taiwan might not be able to abolish the death penalty soon, because a majority of the public believes that it deters crime more effectively than other punishments, and that without the death penalty, relatives of the victims of cruel crimes would not be given justice.
According to the global human-rights group Amnesty International, "while a total of 122 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, 74 other countries and territories retain and use the death penalty, but the number of countries which actually execute prisoners in any one year is much smaller."
The organization said that based on publicly-available reports, at least 3,400 people are executed in China each year, but that the true number is thought to be much higher.
In March 2004 a delegate at the National People's Congress said that "nearly 10,000" people are executed every year in China, the organization added.
Aguments for an against the death penalty
*The existence of the death penalty is the only way to truly deter criminals and maintain social order.
*The death penalty is the only way to comfort members of a victim's family and society at large.
*The human rights of both the victim and the accused must be taken into consideration. Issuing the death penalty for heinous crimes is the only way to meet social expectations. Would a lesser verdict than the death penalty for kidnapper and killer Chen Chin-hsing (???) or the killer or killers of former Taoyuan County chief Liu Pang-yu (???) and seven others be acceptable to social?
*Society must be fair and just, If the death penalty cannot be applied to someone who has killed many people, this fairness and justice is lost.
*The death penalty does not solve the crime problem. Both local and international studies have found that instituting the death penalty does not have an impact on social order, and in particular does not reduce the rate of serious crime.
*It is different to avoid making mistakes in investigations, and inevitably some people are mistakenly charged with crimes. Having a death penalty means some innocent people may be put to death.
*Executing a criminal is a primitive form of revenge that does not help society advance.
*No one, not even the state, has the right to kill. Respect for life must also include respect for the lives of killers.
*The abolishment of the death penalty is an international trend, and it is beneficial to a country'image and diplomacy.
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