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Showing posts from September, 2014

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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

MEPs Call To Save Young Iranian Female Prisoner From Execution

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Following information about the transfer of Ms Reyhaneh Jabbari to Gohardasht notorious prison for her execution, the Friends of a Free Iran in European Parliament issued an urgent press release calling for urgent action to save her life.
The release says: "According to reports received from inside Iran today, Ms Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, a survivor of a sexual assault, is to be hanged imminently.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial for having stabbed in self-defence an agent of Iran's notorious ministry of Intelligence, when he tried to sexually assault her."
FoFI's press release indicates that Ms Jabbari has been transferred to be hanged. Her mother said today that Reyhaneh had called her from Evin prison in the last minute before being transferred to Rajayi-Shahr prison for execution. The prison authorities said she would have to go and "collect the body" tomorrow.
"Amnesty International and man…

Thailand: Thai Man Gets Death Penalty for Train Rape, Murder

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A former railway worker in Thailand was sentenced to death Tuesday for raping a 13-year-old girl on an overnight train, then killing her and throwing her body out the window, an attack that sparked outrage in the Southeast Asian nation and prompted calls for the execution of rapists.
The case also raised questions about the safety of Thailand's long-distance trains, which are popular with tourists who visit the country's southern beaches and enjoy jungle treks in the north. As a result of the July attack, the State Railway of Thailand introduced special carriages for women and children for overnight trains on main routes.
The attacker, 22-year-old Wanchai Saengkhao, was a temporary train employee whose job it was to make beds in the sleeper cars. He confessed to drinking beer with his colleagues and taking drugs during his shift on the night of the attack and then raping the girl, who was sleeping in a lower bunk during a trip to Bangkok.
The Hua Hin provincial court on Tuesd…

Reprieved from the death penalty, Yong Vui Kong hopes to take up graduate studies in prison

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Yong Vui Kong, the Malaysian who received a reprieve on his death sentence for drug trafficking in Singapore is not content with merely escaping death.
His lawyer M. Ravi said that Yong wanted to take up studies in prison although that will be up to the discretion of the Changi prison.
"Singaporeans have the option to study in prison but in the case of foreigners it is up to the prison authorities," he told the Star Online.
Ravi said that Yong, 26, was willing to explore any opportunity to study but he believed that Yong was inclined towards languages as he was interested in English and Mandarin.
Ravi was however concerned about Yong's mental health as he was still confined to a solitary cell in prison.
"I am writing to the prisons about this. It has been almost a year that he was given the life in prison sentence," Ravi said adding that Yong looked very weak and had lost a lot of weight.
Yong, who is from Sabah, was initially sentenced to death in 2009 for tr…

The death penalty in Japan -- Hanging tough

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It is one of the anomalies of Japan's approach to the death penalty that a stricken conscience can bring the system grinding to a halt. At least 2 Japanese justice ministers have refused to sign execution orders, most recently Seiken Sugiura, a devout Buddhist who oversaw a 15-month moratorium from 2005 to 2006. But Japan's new justice minister, Midori Matsushima, seems unburdened by such doubts.
Ms Matsushima, who took office this month, has swatted away demands to review the system. Japan is one of 22 nations and the only developed country - apart from America, where it is falling out of favour - that retains capital punishment. "I don't think it deserves any immediate reform," she said last week: in her view the gallows are needed "to punish certain very serious crimes".
Calls for a review have grown since the release earlier this year of Iwao Hakamada, a 78-year-old who spent 45 years of his life in a toilet-sized cell awaiting execution. A Japanes…

Pakistan: The cost of the death penalty

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ISLAMABAD: Any move by the government to lift the moratorium on the death penalty is not likely to adversely affect Pakistan’s nine-month-old duty free access to European markets, as the Generalised System of Preference plus (GSP plus) is not conditioned on capital punishment.
The ban on death penalty is not legally binding on Pakistan, according to those involved in negotiations on GSP plus and officials close to European Union diplomats. But its lifting will be treated as a major setback to Pakistan’s relations with the bloc of 27 nations, they added.
From January this year, the EU granted duty-free access to Pakistan for a period of 10 years, but this is subject to periodic reviews that will determine whether Pakistan is making progress on 27 conventions of the United Nations pertaining to human, labour and gender rights and freedom of expression.
The major review will take place after three years and will determine whether the status can be continued for seven more years. “The EU…

Nurse's death sentence reignites abortion debate in Kenya

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Nurse Jackson Namunya Tali was not the first person Christine Atieno approached when she sought help to end an unwanted pregnancy in Kenya.
Tali says that Atieno asked for assistance after undergoing a botched abortion, in a country where the procedure is illegal.
Last week, the high court in Nairobi sentenced 41-year-old Tali to death for murder, after the death of both mother and foetus.
In the ruling, Judge Nicholas Ombija said the nurse, who had been working at Kihara Sub District Hospital and operating a private clinic in Kiambu, had been found guilty of murdering Atieno.
“He has killed two people, a foetus and her mother, and the only sentence available in law is the maximum death penalty, which I have handed to him,” said the judge.
The court heard that Atieno died in Tali’s vehicle as he drove her from a clinic to another hospital for advanced treatment, the BBC reported.
The ruling has reignited the debate over abortion, which is only legal in Kenya if the pregnancy is deeme…

New Jodi Arias trial set to determine life or death for convicted killer

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Jodi Arias’ guilt has been determined. The only thing that remains to be decided is whether she dies for killing her ex-boyfriend.
More than six years after the death of Travis Alexander, and more than a year after Arias was convicted of murder, a second penalty phase to determine her punishment gets under way on Monday with jury selection.
Arias acknowledged that she killed Alexander in 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home, but claimed it was self-defence. He suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit and was shot in the head. Prosecutors argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage when Alexander wanted to end their affair.
The 34-year-old former waitress was found guilty last year, but jurors could not agree on a sentence. While Arias’ murder conviction stands, prosecutors are putting on the second penalty phase with a new jury in another effort to secure the death penalty. If the new jury fails to reach a unanimous decision, the judge will then sentence …

Pakistan: Blasphemy laws are deadly serious – we must stand up for Mohammed Asghar

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A 70-year-old Briton suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is facing a death sentence in Pakistan. This is no joke
It is part of my job description to be offensive. I can, if I wish, make a joke hoping that Alex Salmond, now he is at the end of his political life, lays 20,000 fish eggs and dies. I can make a joke pointing out that David Cameron told off Sri Lanka for human rights abuses committed with weapons Britain sold it – like Ronald McDonald calling you a fat bastard.
The most I risk from saying such things is alienating a stranger. The same cannot be said of Mohammed Asghar. He is 70, and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Edinburgh. When they discharged him he went to Pakistan, perhaps to escape what he thought were the undue restrictions on his liberty. Before he had been there long – four years ago now, in 2010 – he was facing a death sentence for blasphemy.
Apparently Asghar claimed to …

India: Death without the right to appeal

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September 26, 2014: In its report, “India: Death Without the Right to Appeal”, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that India was not complying with the “United Nations safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty” which provide that “Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction, and steps should be taken to ensure that such appeals shall become mandatory.”
Many death row convicts are being denied the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction with the Supreme Court setting aside acquittal by the High Courts and restoring death penalty imposed by the trial courts, and enhancing lesser sentences of life imprisonment awarded by the High Courts to death penalty.
Further, with respect to offences under the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), the Supreme Court being the appellate court against the orders of the designated TADA courts, the convicts under the TADA a…

Pennsylvania not ready to abandon lethal injections

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Pennsylvania can't find the drugs necessary to execute a convicted murderer who's ready to die, but officials in Pennsylvania aren't ready to look at alternatives to lethal injection for the 184 inmates who sit on death row.
Some states have proposed returning to methods such as firing squads as European drug manufacturers make it difficult to obtain the execution drugs after three botched attempts this year with them.
“When you look at other states, I think they're much more invested in the death penalty than we are,” said Kathleen Lucas, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, which advocates life in prison without parole.
Gov. Tom Corbett on Sept. 16 signed a temporary reprieve for death row inmate Hubert Michael Jr. in part because manufacturers stopped selling their drugs to states that used them in executions. Michael was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Trista Eng, 16, in York County. He voluntarily gave up his appea…

Singapore: First convicted murderer to have bid for re-sentencing rejected by Court of Appeal since new law

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A 39-year-old man who has been on death row for 5 years for knifing an elderly housewife more than 110 times in 2005 was on Monday denied the chance to escape the gallows.
Muhammad Kadar is the 1st convicted murderer to have his bid for re-sentencing rejected by the Court of Appeal since laws were changed last year giving judges the discretion to impose a life sentence instead of the death penalty for certain categories of murder.
Muhammad and his older brother Ismil 1st went on trial in 2006 for murdering their neighbour, Madam Tham Weng Kuen, 69, at her Boon Lay flat while robbing her.
The long-running trial, which lasted 3 years, saw many twists and turns, including Muhammad's stunning confession in court that he was the sole assailant although he had told police earlier that Mr Ismil was the main culprit.
Both were found guilty of murder by the High Court. Their appeal against convictions ended in a dramatic twist in 2011 when Mr Ismil was freed after the Court of Appeal clea…

China Sentences Two to Death for Mosque Attack

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A court in China's far west has sentenced to death 2 teenagers for the killing of the head of the country's biggest mosque, state media reported, in a case that highlighted divisions in the violence-wracked Xinjiang region.
The Kashgar Intermediate People's Court on Sunday handed down the death penalty to Gheni Hasan and Nurmemet Abidilimit "on charges of forming and leading terrorist groups and murder", the official Xinhua news agency said.
A 3rd person, Atawulla Tursun, received a life sentence for "taking part in terrorist groups and murder", Xinhua said.
"The court said the gang, led by Gheni Hasan, was influenced by religious extremism and trained its members to murder patriotic religious figures," the report said.
The state-run China Daily newspaper on Monday gave Abidilimit's age as 19 and Hasan's as 18, though it identified Hasan as Aini Aishan, a Chinese transliteration.
Jume Tahir, the government-appointed imam of the 600-ye…

Japan: "No plans to abolish capital punishment"

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The Japanese government does not believe that the death penalty is in need of any immediate reform, the country's new Justice Minister Midori Matsushima said.
Matsushima, who took up the portfolio in early September, reaffirmed her stance on capital punishment in Japan, one of 22 countries in the world that still mandate capital punishment for certain crimes.
"I believe that the death penalty is necessary to punish certain very serious crimes. We have to take into account the emotional reaction of the families as well as the general public," Matsushima said at a press conference Friday.
At least 5.6 % of Japanese citizens said the death penalty was "unavoidable if the circumstances demand it", while 5.7 % "totally oppose it", according to the most recent poll conducted on the topic, which the minister cited.
The latest 2 executions in the country took place Aug 29, bringing the total number of state-mandated deaths to 11 since the Liberal Democratic …

Karzai signs death penalty for Kabul rape convicts

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed death penalty for Kabul rape convicts.
Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Karzai said the death penalty for the perpetrators of Paghman gang rape was signed by the President on Saturday.
"President Karzai signed off today on the order for execution of 5 criminals convicted of rape & kidnapping in Paghman incident," Faizai said.
The Appeals Court of Kabul awarded death sentence to 5 of the 7 convicts of a group involved in brutal beating, robbery and gang-rape of 4 women in capital Kabul on September 15th.
The convicts facing death penalty includes Azizullah, Nazar Mohammad, Qaisullah, Samiullah and Habibullah, who were involved in gang rape of 4 women.
The women were initially abducted while they were returning from a wedding ceremony and were repeatedly raped besides their belongings were robbed by the gang.
Source: Khaama Press, Sept. 27, 2014

In a Final Act, Karzai Orders Execution of 5 Men in Rape Case
Hamid Karzai's last ma…

Vietnam: Ex-leader of Vietnam's Agribank arm gets death for embezzling $3.7mn

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A Vietnam court has sentenced the former general director of Finance Leasing Company No. 2 (ACL II), Vu Quoc Hao, 59, to death for embezzling VND78 billion (nearly $3.7 million) in a corruption case.
Corruption whistleblowers may be rewarded with up to $236,000 in Vietnam
Hao received the sentence at the court hearing for him and 10 other defendants involved in major corruption that took place at ALC II, which is under the State-owned Vietnam Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (Agribank), several years ago, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court said Friday after a 10-day trial.
The jury handed down the same penalty to Pham Minh Tuan, 56, former director of Xuan Viet Co., Ltd.; and Hoang Loc, 49, ex-general director of the Vietnam Verification and Appraisal Joint Stock Company (VIVACO).
Among the remaining 8 defendants - most of whom were from ACL II - 4 got life sentences while the other 4 received sentences from 15 to 20 years in jail.
According to the indictment, in 2003…

Indonesia: German man arrested in Bali for cocaine possession

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Indonesian customs said Saturday they have arrested a German man for allegedly trafficking cocaine onto the resort island of Bali.
Hans Peter Naumann, 48, had flown from Bangkok to Bali on an Air Asia flight before he was caught around midday Friday, officials said.
He could be charged with drug trafficking, for which the maximum penalty is a death sentence and 10 billion rupiah (S$1.06 million) fine, Bali customs official Djarot Utomo said.
"He admitted that he was only a courier," and would get US$5,000 (S$6,371) as payment, Utomo said.
Airport authorities spotted Naumann looking pale and acting suspiciously upon his arrival so decided to conduct a body search.
They found 11 capsules containing 201 grams (7 ounces) of cocaine in his underwear as well as six capsules weighing 38 grams of the drugs he had swallowed, Utomo said.
The German embassy in Jakarta could not immediately be reached for comment.
Foreigners are regularly caught with drugs on Bali and a death sentence …

Somalia: Woman stoned to death for polyandry

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Mogadishu: A Somali woman has been stoned to death in an Islamist Al Shabab-controlled part of the country for secretly marrying several husbands, officials and witnesses said on Saturday.
Witnesses said the woman was buried up to her neck and pelted with rocks and stones by hooded men in front of a large crowd in the southern coastal district of Barawe.
“The woman married four husbands and confessed to the crime. I questioned her several times while she was in prison and she told me she was mentally fit. All the four husbands were questioned and they have confirmed that they had married her,” Islamic court judge Shaikh Mohammad Abu Abdullah told the gathering.
The woman, 33-year-old Safiyo Ahmad Jumale, was executed on Friday in front of dozens of onlookers.
“The woman was brought with her eyes covered and she was buried up to her neck before she was stoned to death by hooded men,” said Ali Yare, a resident who witnessed the execution.
Somalia’s Al Qaida-affiliated Al Shabab control…

India: SC extends stay on Yaqub Memon's death sentence

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The Supreme Court Friday stayed execution of the death sentence of 1993 Mumbai bomb blast convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon as it issued notice to Maharashtra government on his petition seeking an open court hearing of his plea for the review of the apex court's verdict upholding his death penalty.
Extending the June 2 order suspending his death sentence, a bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice R. Banumathi in their order said that the execution of the death sentence will be stayed.
Seeking the revival of his review petition, which was earlier dismissed after being considered in the chamber by the judges, Memon relied on Sep 2 verdict of the apex court's constitution bench which had held that a petition seeking the recall of the apex court's order upholding the death sentence will be heard in an open court by a bench of 3 judges.
The constitution bench in its Sep 2 order had also said: "It will also apply where a review petition is already dismiss…

China: Chinese man declared innocent 13 years after death penalty

A man from south China's Guangdong Province was pronounced innocent by a local court after being sentenced to death for murder 13 years ago, Xinhua reported Friday.

Xu Hui, a resident of Zhuhai city in Guangdong, was given the death penalty with a 2-year reprieve for raping and killing a 19-year-old girl by the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court in 2001.

Xu repeatedly protested his innocence but all the appeals were rejected by local courts until the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) found the suspect's confession contradicted evidence provided in 2007.

Under the instruction of the SPP, the People's Procuratorate in Guangdong suggested the Guangdong Provincial Higher People's Court rehear the case in 2008. On Sep 9, the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court brought in a verdict of not guilty.

Source: IANS, Sept. 25, 2014

Jordan: Prince Zeid calls for abolishing death penalty

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged all states to put an end to death penalty, which he said is the very example of human vengeance at its worst. 
In remarks at the high-level event, Moving Away from the Death Penalty: National Leadership, held on the margins of the annual General Assembly debate in New York, he affirmed that the right to life represents everything the UN stands for. 
His Highness added that the application of the death penalty deprived people of their lives "arbitrarily and cruelly" and that the practice itself was "unjust and incompatible with human rights." He underscored the need to reform judicial systems around the world, noting that only then would a practice based on vengeance truly be defeated. 
"We encouraged the international community to "set course" towards a "more sophisticated, more human" form of justice which goes beyond punishment and seeks "a genui…

Death-Row Dining

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Last week, news of a London pop-up restaurant called Death Row Dinners(tagline: “Eat like it’s your last meal on earth”) went viral. The dinners were presented by anonymous organizers who identified only as Dirty Dishes. A flashy Web site displayed black-and-white mug shots of inmates wearing letter boards around their necks. Instead of booking information, the boards displayed historical last-meal menus: “Wild rabbit, biscuits with rabbit gravy, blackberry pie”; “burger, 2 hard boiled eggs, baked potato, 3 shots Jack Daniels, coffee.” A mission statement read: “If you love food, then at some point in your life you will have discussed the age-old question ‘What would your last meal be?’ and Death Row Dinners goes some way to answering that. Sort of.” “Sort of” because the question really being answered was the plainly voyeuristic, “What have prisoners on death row chosen for their last meals?”
The public response was swift and marked by moral outrage. Some wondered if the project wa…

Iran: Prisoner of conscience Mohsen Amir Aslani hanged for ‘different interpretation of Quran’

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NCRI - The Iranian Resistance calls on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, as well as all international human rights organizations to strongly condemn the execution of prisoner of conscience Mr Mohsen Amir Aslani on charges of “corruption on earth; changing Islam’s principles and secondary laws; and new interpretation of Quran”. 
It further calls for adoption of binding decisions against the growing number of arbitrary executions by the religious fascism ruling Iran.
Mr. Amir Aslani, 37, who had been in prison since eight years ago, was once sentenced to four years in prison which was later commuted to twenty-eight months. However, as more fabricated charges were brought against him, the head henchman Judge Salavati condemned him to death.
The Iranian regime has refraining from handing over the body of this prisoner to his family through stonewalling and offering contradictory answers to them.
The executions are continuing while Hassan Rouhani, inf…

Florida: Gov. Rick Scott Signs 20th Death Warrant

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Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed the death warrant for Chadwick Banks, who murdered his wife, Cassandra Banks, then raped and murdered his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Melody Cooper, on Sept. 24, 1992 in Gadsden County. Banks shot both victims in the head. He is to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the Florida State Prison in Starke.
It is Scott's 20th death warrant, well ahead of any other governor's 1-term record of executions since the death penalty was re-instituted in Florida in 1976. Jeb Bush ordered the execution of 21 people during his tenure, but he did so over 8 years. The Banks execution will be the 8th this year in Florida, which accounts for more than a quarter of the 30 executions in the nation so far in 2014.
Scott signed law, called the Timely Justice Act, to fast-track executions last year. At the time, 132 inmates were certified at least partially death-warrant ready. Banks's name was added to the list, along with that of five other in…

Former FBI Director Says People Were Executed Based Partly on Faulty Agency Testimony

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William Sessions, former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, recently pointed to cases of defendants who were executed based in part on faulty hair and fiber analysis in calling for changes in the use of forensic evidence. 
In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Sessions told the story of Benjamin Boyle, who was executed in Texas in 1997. His conviction was based on testing conducted by an FBI crime lab that an official review later determined to be unreliable and "scientifically unsupportable." Neither state officials nor Boyle's attorneys were notified of the task force's findings before his execution. 
In two other cases, inmates were also executed despite findings that their cases were tainted by unreliable forensic testimony from the FBI. 
Sessions said, "I have no idea whether Boyle was innocent, but clearly, he was executed despite great doubts about his conviction. Such uncertainty is unacceptable, especially in a justice system that still allows…

Louisiana Legislature starts to look at death penalty costs

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The Louisiana Legislature is looking into the cost associated with carrying out the death penalty in the state.
State Sen. JP Morrell, D-New Orleans, is heading up a new Capital Punishment Fiscal Impact Commission. The group's first meeting was Wednesday morning.
Louisiana doesn't have a well-researched estimate of how much it is spending on capital punishment trials and execution, according to Morrell. The commission's goal is to get an idea of what the overall price tag is for executions in the state.
The death penalty might be more expensive than the general public realizes. Inmates on death row are segregated from the main prison population and receive specialized care. Capital murder trials can also be much more expensive than regular murder cases. 
The subcommittees will meet approximately once per month. The overall commission will meet once per quarter, according to Morrell. The group has to conclude its work by the end of 2015.
Click here to read the full article

Singapore: Record heroin haul for CNB; 2 arrested

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The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) seized 6.5kg of heroin - the single largest haul of heroin this year - on Tuesday (Sep 23) in an operation to dismantle a local drug syndicate.
The operation also saw 1.3kg of cannabis seized, along with other drugs such as Ice, ecstasy, Erimin-5 tablets, CNB said in a press release on Wednesday. The drugs had a street value of about S$506,000, it added.
CNB staged a sting at a commercial building in Geylang. Its officers arrested two Singaporean men aged 44 and 46 in their car parked in the commercial building's compound. About 535g of heroin was recovered from the car, and a small amount of Ice was recovered from the older man.
CNB officers also raided a unit in the same commercial building which was believed to be the syndicate's hideout. They found the larger stash of heroin and cannabis there, and more than S$12,000. In addition, about 460g of heroin was recovered from the 44-year-old's home in Jalan Kayu.
Investigations are ongoing…

Marathon-bombing trial stays in Boston, judge rules

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BOSTON — A federal judge ruled yesterday that the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of planting two bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, will remain in Boston but be delayed for two months.
U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole rejected an argument by Tsarnaev’s attorneys that the trial should be moved because their client cannot get a fair trial in Boston. However, O’Toole delayed the trial until Jan. 5. Attorneys for Tsarnaev had sought a delay until September 2015.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the bombing that killed three and injured more than 260. He and his older brother, Tamerlan, are accused of detonating two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon. Tamerlan was killed during a gunbattle with police days after the bombings.
Source: The Columbus-Dispatch, September 25, 2014

Five executed in Iran, including 18-year-old boy

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Iran Human Rights, September 24, 2014: Five prisoners were hanged in three different Iranian cities, reported Iranian state media.
According to the state run Iranian news agency Fars, one man was hanged in the prison of Noshahr (Northern Iran) early this morning Wednesday September 24. 
The prisoner who was identified as “Jaber N.” was convicted of a murder in 2004. His age at the time of committing the alleged offence wasn’t mentioned in the report.
Two other prisoners convicted of drug-related charges were hanged in the prison of Qazvin (west of Iran) early this morning reported Fars news. 
The prisoners were identified as “Sadegh Mohammadkhanloo” (33) charged with trafficking of 995 grams of the narcotic substance Crystal, and “Asghar Mahtabi” (35) charged with possession and trafficking of one kilogram of crack and 200 grams of crystal, said the report.
Two other men, convicted of murder were hanged in the prison of Mashhad (Northeastern Iran). 
One of the prisoners was an 18 …

UK: Last Meal Themed Restaurant Cancelled Following 'Serious Threats' to Owner

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A restaurant which planned to offer "culinary twists" on the last meals of prisoners has been cancelled even before it opened its doors following criticism and threats against the owner.
Death Row Dinners, a pop-up which was due to open in Hoxton, east London, experienced a huge amount of backlash for its "bad taste" menu based on what convicted criminals ate before they were executed.
The restaurant's website also caused controversy for displaying the menu options around the necks of real-life prisoners. These were soon taken down as the outrage surrounding the restaurant escalated.
The £50-per-head restaurant originally said they were "shocked and saddened" by the negative reaction, but vowed to stay open. Death Row Dinners compared offering a last meal themed experience to taking part in a Jack The Ripper street walk through the streets of London.
Among those who criticised the restaurant was Amnesty International, a human rights group that oppos…

UAE: Family of dead maid refuses to accept blood money

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4 sentenced to death for rape and murder ordered to pay blood money
The Sharjah Appeals Court has ordered 4 Emirati men, who were spared the death penalty after being convicted of murder in 2009, to pay blood money to the victim's family.
The ruling was issued on Monday.
The ruling was issued by presiding Judge Abdullah Al Shamisi.
Sharjah Appeals Court found the 4 Emirati men guilty of the charge of raping and killing an Ethiopian housemaid and chopping her body into pieces.
Meanwhile, the victim's family refused to pardon the killers or accept the blood money.
In 2010, The Sharjah Court of First Instance issued the death penalty to A.M., 35, S.R., 32, H.A., 33, and A.J., 30, all Emiratis, for raping and killing an Ethiopian maid in what came to be known as the "Al Dhaid murder".
The verdict was handed down by Judge Yaqoub Al Hammadi and 2 other judges on the bench, Hussain Al Asoufi and Ahmad Awdh.
The Sharjah Police had earlier said it was one of the gravest crime…