Monday, June 18, 2018

Thailand ends Moratorium

Today, 18th June, 26 year old Teerasak Longji was executed in Thailand by lethal injection, ending a nine year moratorium which next year would have earned Thailand de facto abolitionist status. Announcement of the execution by the Department of Corrections referred to the savagery of the murder which led to the death sentence, carried out with a knife stabbing that inflicted 24 stab wounds. The ascribed motive was robbery of a mobile phone and money.
The Ministry said that the Court of First Instance, the Appeal Court, and the Supreme Court had each handed down the death penalty. Longji claimed his innocence at the three court proceedings. It is an anomaly of Thai justice that those who plead guilty and express regret generally receive a reduction of sentence,resulting in a sentence of life imprisonment rather than execution. Those who protest innocence throughout, as is the right of all accused, which would include those who are indeed innocent, face sentence of death. Such practice may induce the innocent to plead guilty.
The execution goes against statements of government policy that the moratorium intended abolition, and conflicts with an acceptance of the arguments for abolition expressed in several discussion meetings of the Ministry. The execution appears to have been hurried at short notice, as happened in the previous execution in 2009,later referred to by a government politician as a 'mistake'. A reference in the announcement to the execution policies of the US and China as a justification for today's execution is cynical. The execution is a severe set-back for progress to abolition in the South-East Asian region where counties are happy to justify their own actions by the example of others.
deathpenaltythailand deeply regrets reporting this execution after an intermission of nine years.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Palestine Choses Life

Accession to Protocol Aiming at Abolition of Death Penalty is Step in Right Direction
Aware of the sad history of the people of Palestine, it gives deathpenaltythailand great pleasure to congratulate Palestine on its choice of life over death.

On Wednesday, 06 June 2018, the Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas signed instrument of State of Palestine's accession to 7 international convention and treaties, including the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) commends the accession to the ICCPR Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and emphasizes it is a step in the right direction that needs to be upheld with legislative steps to guarantee compliance with the protocol.

Since its establishment in 1995, PCHR has opposed the use of death penalty in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and called upon the Palestinian leadership in many occasions and with the issuance of a new death sentence to necessarily abolish it and sign the relevant international protocol.

PCHR at the time based on legal and logical grounds that render the application of death penalty in the Palestinian Authority (PA) a crime in light of absence of investigation techniques and guarantees for a fair trial in order to apply such a dangerous penalty. Moreover, PCHR believes that such penalty is inhuman and ineffectual in achieving general deterrence or peace in society.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Execution in old age

Thailand exempts those aged ? and over from being executed.
Not so in "The Land of the Free", the USA!

United States – Execution of the oldest prisoner since reintroduction of capital punishment
Walter Moody, an 83-year-old death penalty prisoner, was executed by lethal injection in the American state of Alabama for a crime he committed 30 years ago. He was the 8th death penalty prisoner aged over 65 to be executed in the United States since 2015 and he was the oldest death penalty prisoner to be executed since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976. 

                                         Meanwhile in the land of the not so free: 

65 years old Chinese farmer escapes execution after killing his neighbour and dismembering corpse

Beijing: Judge defends decision, saying executions to be carried out immediately will only be ordered in the most extreme circumstances or if there is a grave threat to public security

But the court suspended the sentence for two years, which meant he would be spared from execution as the penalty is usually downgraded to a life sentence automatically at the end of the suspension period.