The Blissful Ignorance of American neo-Nazis

The violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville reflects the dangerous, vicious, open-the-floodgates culture that having a Bully-in-Chief in the White House has created in America.
Hundreds of protesters descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017 for a “Unite the Right” rally. 
The rally was dispersed by police minutes after its scheduled start at noon, after clashes between rallygoers and counter-protesters, and after a torchlit pre-rally march Friday night descended into violence.
But later that day, as rallygoers began a march and counterprotests continued, a reported Nazi sympathizer drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.
Self-described “pro-white” activist Jason Kessler organized the rally to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. 
Kessler is affiliated with the alt-right movement that uses internet trolling tactics to argue against diversity and “id…

Court to rule Tuesday on Koh Tao murder appeal

Koh Samui Court is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to accept the appeal request against the death sentence handed down to the two Myanmar nationals convicted of murdering two British backpackers in Koh Tao in September 2014.
Amporn Sungthong, a lawyer for the two Myanmar nationals, submitted a 319-page document to the court, before the deadline Monday.
The court was too busy to make a decision on Monday and told the lawyer to return Tuesday for a decision.
If the court does not accept the appeal, it is expected the defendants may cite new reasons and request another counter-appeal to have the ruling reconsidered.
Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 22, were sentenced to death in December 2015 for the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and the murder of David Miller, 24, on the resort island on Sept 15, 2014.
In March, the Appeal Court for Region 8 upheld the death sentence for the two.
The defence team, led by Nakhon Chomphuchat, believes police interrogations conducted on the…

Fla. gov. removes anti-death penalty prosecutor from cop killing case

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge
Everett Miller wore handcuffs and shackles during a first-appearance hearing that lasted a minute and a half. When it was over, he said, "Thank you, your honor."
Miller, 45, also is facing charges of resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. Other charges likely will be filed.
Sgt. Sam Howard of the Kissimmee Police Department died Saturday afternoon at a hospital where he had been taken following Friday night's attack in Kissimmee, Florida, located south of the theme park hub of Orlando. Officer Matthew Baxter died Friday night.
Meanwhile, detectives said they were looking for a person of interest as they proceed in their investigation.
Detectives emphasized that Maribel Gonzales King is not a suspect, but they said she was known to frequent the neighb…

Florida set to conduct its first execution in a year and a half

Ahead of a planned resumption of executions in Florida on 24 August, 18 months after the last one, Amnesty International is issuing a paper on recent developments relating to the death penalty in the US state.
Death in Florida” outlines the state’s response to the January 2016 US Supreme Court decision that Florida’s capital sentencing law was unconstitutional, and the governor’s reaction to a prosecutor’s subsequent decision to reject the death penalty.
When State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she would not seek the death penalty due to its demonstrable flaws, Governor Scott immediately responded by ordering her replacement with a different prosecutor more willing to engage in this lethal pursuit. 
So far the Governor has transferred 26 cases to his preferred prosecutor.
Racial discrimination was one of the death penalty’s flaws – along with its costs, risks and failure as a deterrent – cited by State Attorney Ayala, the first African American to be elected to that position …

California mass killer spared death penalty over prosecutor misconduct

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man convicted of the worst mass killing in Orange County history was spared the death penalty on Friday after a judge found that serious misconduct by prosecutors had violated his rights to a fair trial.
The ruling means that, barring a successful appeal, former tugboat worker Scott Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at a Seal Beach hair salon.
"If this case had been prosecuted from the outset by the Orange County District Attorney within the most fundamental parameters of prosecutorial propriety, this defendant would likely be living alongside other convicted killers on California's Death Row," Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals wrote in a 19-page ruling.
Dekraai pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder in May 2014, making him eligible for the death penalty, but the judge took the case away from Orange County prosecutors the following year over accusati…

Indonesia to Reject UN Recommendation to Scrap Death Penalty

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Muhammad Nurkhoiron said that Indonesia is likely to reject 20 out of 75 recommendation from the United Nations Human Rights Council. “One of which being the scrapping of death penalty,” Nurkhoiron told Tempo yesterday.
The commissioner did not divulge the details about 20 recommendations that would be rejected by the government. He said that they would only be noted by the government. He reasoned that, among others, the nations who made such recommendations did not understand the context of human rights issues faced by Indonesia.
The UN Human Rights Council in a universal periodic review (UPR) in May issued 225 recommendations on human rights to Indonesia. The government had immediately accepted 150 recommendations including those relating to the education sector, religious freedom and protection for vulnerable and disabled people. However, 75 recommendations are still being discussed.
The UPR session …

‘Stop wasting human lives’: Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle urges end to drug killings

The head of the Philippines’ powerful Catholic Church called Sunday for an end to the “waste of human lives” following a brutal week in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in which a 17-year-old boy was among dozens killed.
Police raids dubbed “One Time Big Time” saw at least 76 people shot dead, authorities said, as rights groups and lawmakers condemned the operation as an alarming “killing spree” in Duterte’s flagship campaign.
On Sunday, the highest-ranking Church official in the predominantly Catholic nation expressed concern about the increase in the number of deaths.
“We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives,” Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle said in a statement read in Sunday Masses in the capital.
“The illegal drug problem should not be reduced to a political or criminal issue. It is a humanitarian concern that affects all of us.”
Duterte, 72, launched an unprecedented crackdow…

Most American Indian tribes opt out of federal death penalty

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. -- In a heinous case on the Navajo Nation, an 11-year-old girl was lured into a van, sexually assaulted and killed. The tribe did not seek to have the man who recently admitted to killing her put to death.
American Indian tribes for decades have been able to tell federal prosecutors if they want a death sentence considered for certain crimes on their land. Nearly all have rejected that option.
Tribes and legal experts say the decision goes back to culture and tradition, past treatment of American Indians and fairness in the justice system.
"Most Indian tribes were mistreated by the United States under past federal policies, and there can be historical trauma in cases associated with the execution of Native people," said Robert Anderson, a University of Washington law professor and a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. "This allows tribes to at least decide in those narrow circumstances when there should be a federal death pen…

Iran: 3 Prisoners Hanged in Qom

They were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence.
3 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Qom Central Prison on murder charges. The case files for these prisoners were reportedly opened about 21 years ago.
According to a report by the human rights news agency, HRANA, the Iranian authorities carried out the 3 executions on the morning of Tuesday August 15. 
The report identifies the prisoners as Mahmoud Arab Khorasani, Mehdi Kaseb, and Mohammad Taghi Dehparvar. 
The prisoners were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday August 13 in preparation for their executions.
"These three prisoners were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights. "21 years ago, 2 of the prisoners had their death sentences commuted to lashings and a 3-year prison term each. However, they were tried again…

Morocco King Pardons 415 Inmates, Including 14 Convicted Terrorists

On the King and the People day celebration, King Mohammed VI granted a royal pardon to 415 persons convicted by the various courts of the kingdom, said the Department of Justice in a statement.
Out of the 343 detained beneficiaries of the pardon, 337 inmates benefited from the pardon over their remaining prison term and 6 inmates had their prison sentences commuted from life imprisonment to fixed prison terms.
In addition, among the 72 free beneficiaries of the royal pardon, 14 people benefited from pardon over their imprisonment term, 1 person had his prison sentence dropped and fine maintained and another person benefited from pardon over his prison term and fine, while 56 people had their fines dropped.
King Mohammed VI also granted his pardon over the remaining prison term for the benefit of 13 detainees, sentenced for terror charges and who participated in the "Mussalaha" (reconciliation) program.
He has also commuted death penalty to a 30-year fixed prison term for th…

Malaysia postpones execution of Filipino on death row

The scheduled execution of a Filipino convicted of murder in Malaysia was postponed after the governor of Sabah heeded appeals from the Philippine government, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.
Ejah Bin Jaafar was supposed to be hanged on Friday.
"We would like to thank the governor of Sabah for responding to the repeated appeals of the Philippine government on behalf of the family of Mr. Jaafar," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in the statement.
"The execution of Ejah Bin Jaafar was ordered postponed by Sabah Governor Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin following a last-minute appeal from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur," the DFA said in a statement.
Jaafar's punishment may be reduced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty, depending on the outcome of a case review.
"The Sabah Pardons Board will meet in December to review his case... The decision of the board will be final and executory wi…