Capital Punishment – Brain Ethics Sat, 18 Sep 2021 07:20:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Capital Punishment – Brain Ethics 32 32 San Diego synagogue shooter avoids death penalty by pleading Sat, 18 Sep 2021 00:04:31 +0000

A 22-year-old former nursing student has pleaded guilty to the murder of one person and attempted murder of 53 others in a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue, ending the possibility of ‘incur the death penalty.

SAN DIEGO – A 22-year-old former nursing student has pleaded guilty to the murder of one person and attempted murder of 53 others in a deadly 2019 shooting at a Southern California synagogue the latest Passover Day, thus ending the possibility of incurring the death penalty.

John T. Earnest pleaded guilty on July 20 to state charges in San Diego Superior Court and then agreed to serve the rest of his life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for September 30.

In the federal case, the sentence was set for December 28. Defense lawyers and prosecutors also recommend a life sentence, plus 30 years, according to the plea.

Federal prosecutors had previously said they would not seek the death penalty, and Friday’s plea deal finalized that decision. In July, the Justice Department suspended all federal executions after a series of death sentences unprecedented in the Trump administration, although the order does not bar prosecutors from seeking the death penalty. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who said he had reservations about the death penalty, declared the moratorium as officials reviewed government policies and execution protocols.

Earnest opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle on the last day of Passover services in April 2019 at Chabad of Poway, northeast of San Diego. The attack killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, and injured three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the rabbi, who lost a finger.

After Earnest emptied his initial magazine, several devotees rushed at him. Earnest fled in his car and soon after called 911 and confessed that he had just “blown up a synagogue”. Earnest was apprehended by local law enforcement who found the rifle and additional ammunition in his car.

In his plea on Friday, he admitted that he also set fire to a mosque in Escondido on March 24 with seven people sleeping inside, although no one was injured.

He said he carried out the attacks because he wanted to kill Muslims and Jews.

In May 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Earnest with 113 counts, to which he pleaded guilty on Friday.

“This nation stands in solidarity with the family of Lori Gilbert Kaye and the survivors of these unspeakable acts of terror,” Interim US Attorney Randy S. Grossman said in a statement. “We categorically reject the hatred, racism and prejudice of the accused, and we hope that the conclusion of this case will bring some comfort to all those affected by his heinous crimes.”

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MO Governor Mike Parson won’t stop Ernest Johnson’s execution Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:33:20 +0000

Part of Ernest Lee Johnson's brain was removed during surgery to remove a tumor.  He now has the mental capacity of a child.

Part of Ernest Lee Johnson’s brain was removed during surgery to remove a tumor. He now has the mental capacity of a child.

Missouri cannot legally execute Ernest Lee Johnson, 61, on October 5. Because the Supreme Court has always held that killing someone so cognitively disabled would violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last month that Johnson, who had part of his brain removed with a tumor in 2008, cannot be so disabled because he planned the murder at the 1994 closure of three employees of a Columbia convenience store – Mary Bratcher, Mable Scruggs and Fred Jones.

But former Missouri Supreme Court Justice Michael Wolff ruled against the ruling: “Mr. Johnson is a person with such severe intellectual disabilities that a reasonable jury would not have recommended execution. By constitutional standards, his execution would constitute a cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution as interpreted for decades in the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Because we met Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who has spent much of his time in office pretending COVID-19 is the same as a cold and Kevin Strickland is guilty of murder, we dare not not even hope that the proof that Johnson today has a child’s conscience could convince our governor to commute his sentence.

But when the state, our state, kills this man, as it almost certainly will, it will be another indictment against a system so bloodthirsty that it delights in taking revenge on those who don’t even know why they are punished.

As capital punishment opponent Sister Helen Prejean says, there are no millionaires on death row. And even among the culprits, there are few who have not themselves been mistreated or injured to the point of incapacitation.

In reinstating the federal death penalty last year, after a 17-year hiatus, then Attorney General William Barr said we would execute “the worst criminals.” Instead, those put to death personified almost every argument against capital punishment.

The 10 federal prisoners executed in 2020 – the most in a single calendar year for more than a century – included a man with such advanced Alzheimer’s disease he didn’t know why he was killed and two men who were teenagers at the time. of their crimes. On our behalf, the government executed a Native American whose crime was committed on tribal lands, despite the Navajo Nation, which should have had sovereignty, oppose the death penalty. We killed a black man convicted by an all-white jury. And a man with such a low IQ that he too should have been disqualified because he was functioning too poorly to be put to death.

Republican St. Louis McCloskeys obtained governor’s pardon

Parson has the power to stay Johnson’s execution and appoint a five-member commission of inquiry that would have the power to subpoena evidence and compel witnesses to testify. The council would then recommend to Parson whether Johnson should be executed or if his death sentence should be commuted to life in prison without parole.

Again, he won’t, as his compassionate reserves were spent to pardon St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey, the Republican candidate for the US Senate, and his wife Patricia, who pleaded guilty to assault afterwards. brandishing guns against Black Lives Matter protesters the last time around. year.

And no, this won’t be the first time that Missouri officials have ignored the U.S. Constitution in favor of a poll that says you can never go wrong in punishing the pathetic.

In 2015, Cecil Clayton, 74, was put to death despite severe mental illness, dementia and intellectual disabilities related to his advanced age. He also suffered serious brain damage from injuries sustained in a sawmill accident.

On July 16, 2014, John Middleton was put to death despite various mental health issues. The day before, a federal judge in Missouri suspended Middleton’s execution. The judge, Catherine Perry, feared that Middleton was mentally incompetent and ineligible for the death penalty. But Missouri officials executed him anyway.

In this week’s latest court case, Johnson’s legal defense team again argued that Johnson meets all legal and clinical definitions of intellectual disability. But Johnson does not have a mental disability and must die, argued Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.

The crime of which Johnson was convicted was heinous. All three victims were beaten with a claw hammer. One was shot and another was stabbed with a screwdriver. All were found in a cooler inside the store.

When we kill this man, we’ll do what he did. But because of his brain tumor, the already weakened man who committed these murders no longer even exists. And we won’t let that stop us either, will we?

This story was originally published September 17, 2021 5:00 a.m.

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]]> 0 Another Texas death row inmate sees execution delayed after alleged religious freedom violation – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:17:00 +0000

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Another Texas death row inmate has had his execution delayed over allegations the state is violating his religious freedom by not letting his spiritual advisor lay his hand on him during his lethal injection.

Ruben Gutierrez was to be executed on October 27 for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old Brownsville woman in 1998.

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But on Wednesday, September 15, a judge granted a request from the Cameron County District Attorney’s office to set aside the execution date.

Ruben Gutierrez (credit: Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Prosecutors said the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court review of similar religious freedom issues posed by fellow inmate John Henry Ramirez, whose execution was delayed by the High Court last week, will have a impact on the case of Gutierrez.

“As the Ramirez case can be decisive in any matter related to Gutierrez’s claim for religious freedom, it is in the best interest of the state, the family of the victim of Gutierrez’s crimes, that his execution be delayed,” prosecutors said in a filed motion. Tuesday.

Gutierrez was previously within one hour of execution in June 2020 when the Supreme Court granted him a stay because his spiritual advisor was not allowed to accompany him to the death chamber.

Last month, attorneys for Gutierrez filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice violated his right to practice his religion by denying his request to have his priest touch his shoulder, praying aloud. voice and perform the last rites during its execution.

Gutierrez, 44, said those three things had to be done “to secure my path to the afterlife,” according to his complaint.

His lawyers cited the First Amendment to the Constitution and a federal law that protects the religious rights of an inmate.

Ramirez made similar claims when he got a suspension.

The Supreme Court has dealt with the presence of spiritual advisers in the death chamber in recent years, but has not made a final decision on the matter.

That could change after hearing oral arguments in the Ramirez case on November 1.

The court was criticized after refusing to stop the February 2019 execution of Alabama inmate Domineque Ray for his request to have his Islamic spiritual advisor in the death chamber, but a month later, he granted a reprieve to Texas inmate Patrick Murphy, who wanted his Buddhist spiritual advisor in the bedroom.

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Since then, the Supreme Court has delayed several executions following requests from spiritual advisers.

After the court stopped Murphy’s execution, the Texas prison system banned any clergy from entering the death chamber.

Texas previously allowed clergy employed by the state to accompany inmates, but its prison staff included only Christian and Muslim clerics.

In April, the Texas prison system revoked its two-year ban.

The new policy allows an inmate’s approved spiritual advisor to be in the bedroom, but the two cannot have any contact and voice prayers are not allowed during execution. Texas prison officials say direct contact poses a safety risk and vocal prayer could be disruptive.

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the Ramirez case is an opportunity for the Supreme Court to determine whether detainees have the right to spiritual counsel in a death chamber and, if so, what is permitted in the exercise of that right.

“The fact that this case may provide the court with an opportunity to chart a course for what is and what is not acceptable is no guarantee that they will,” said Dunham, whose The group does not take a position on the death penalty but has criticized the way in which states carry out executions.

If the Supreme Court does not provide clear guidelines, this question will arise continually, Dunham said.

Gutierrez has long argued that he did not kill Escolatica Harrison in what prosecutors called an attempt to steal more than $ 600,000 the elderly woman had hidden in her home.

His lawyers have requested DNA tests which they believe could point to the real killer.

Prosecutors said the request was a “ruse” and that Gutierrez was convicted on the basis of various evidence, including a confession.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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(Video) Iran: Ebrahim Raisi’s planned speech at the UN is a threat to human rights Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:07:00 +0000

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has underlined the continued lack of responsibility for the 1988 massacre.

September 16, 2021 - The monument commemorates over 30,000 political prisoners executed in the 1988 massacre. Most of the political prisoners were PMOI members or supporters.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): The monument commemorates more than 30,000 political prisoners executed in the 1988 massacre. Most of the political prisoners were members or supporters of the PMOI.

September 16, 2021 - Former UN officials and human rights experts call for an investigation into the 1988 massacre.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): former UN officials, human rights experts call for an investigation into the 1988 massacre.

September 16, 2021 - 30,000 political prisoners, mostly PMOI members and supporters, were executed in 1988 under the direct order of Khomeini, founder of the Iranian regime.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members and supporters of the PMOI were executed in 1988 under the direct order of Khomeini, founder of the Iranian regime.

September 16, 2021 - The UN urged to investigate the massacre of political prisoners in Iran in 1988.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): UN urged to investigate 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

September 16, 2021 - World powers are ashamed of their silence on the 1988 massacre

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): World powers are ashamed to remain silent about the 1988 massacre.

September 16, 2021 - regime condemned in 67th.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): regime condemned in the 67th.

September 16, 2021 - Taken from social media, widely used in campaigns for Raisi's appointment to the highest judicial office during the mullahs' rule.

(NCRI) and (OMPI / MEK Iran): Social media snippets, widely used in campaigns for Raisi’s appointment to the highest judicial office under the mullahs’ rule.

By allowing him to speak, the international community will turn a blind eye to 3 decades of accumulated knowledge about the massacre and Raisi’s role in it.

Geoffrey Robertson, a human rights lawyer from the UK, said countries that have ratified the Genocide Convention are obliged to take action against those implicated in such a crime. “


PARIS, FRANCE, September 16, 2021 / – Since the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader chose Ebrahim Raisi as president, there have been increasing calls for his prosecution and preventing him from visiting the state. So far, however, these calls have largely fallen on deaf ears.

Raisi is now due to address the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, and his remarks will be expected to address themes of justice and freedom – terms that are far removed from the daily experience of Iranian citizens and the fundamental identity of Iran. diet.

This identity has been reinforced in recent weeks by the appointment and legislative confirmation of a number of senior officials whose terrorist good faith matches that of the president himself.

Raisi’s cabinet includes an unprecedented number of officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, several individuals who are currently under US and EU sanction, and one who is the subject of a Interpol warrant for its involvement in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. which killed 85 people.

Raisi was also sanctioned by the United States in 2019. There is no arrest warrant against him in any country, but the reason for the sanctions against him could also justify his arrest by authorities in virtually every country in the country. world. This was explained last month by several specialists in human rights and international law, during a virtual conference organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to serve as a forum for discussion on the 1988 massacre. of political prisoners.

The conference focused on the role Raisi played in these murders. For the families of the victims, for other Iranian regime officials and for the Resistance Movement which has been working to overthrow the system that has supported the perpetrators of the massacre for more than three decades, the prosecution of Raisi would be a powerful sign that the The regime’s impunity in such cases is finally at an end.

This impunity has been reinforced by weak and conciliatory policies towards the regime, especially with regard to its human rights situation. This too was at the center of the recent NCRI conference, which featured remarks from a number of European lawmakers who urged their governments to take a more assertive stance with the Iranian regime and consider measures that would actively support the people. Iranian and his protests. movements.

These protests began in earnest at the end of 2017 and merged into a national uprising that included more than 100 towns and villages in mid-January 2018. In November of the following year, another uprising spontaneously erupted in nearly 200 locations, featuring anti- regime slogans and calls for regime change and “death of the dictator”.

The Iranian regime brutally suppressed these protests and Raisi played a key role in this oppression as he was in charge of the regime’s justice at the time of the mass shootings, indiscriminate arrests and systematic torture.

Public condemnation of his role in this crackdown quickly mingled with long-standing condemnation of his role as one of four officials who served on Tehran’s “death commission” in the summer of 1988 This body set in motion the process by which prisoners of conscience were re-judged in order to verify their opinions and political affiliations, then summarily executed, they refused to comply with the theocratic system.

In the space of about three months, this process killed more than 30,000 people, including adolescents, pregnant women and many prisoners who had already served their initial sentences before being put in the crosshairs by the police. fatwa of the then supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, declaring that any affiliation with the main opposition, the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (PMOI / MEK) are considered “enmities against God” and are sentenced to death.

This criminal charge continues to be used to this day to justify the death penalty. Raisi’s promotion from the head of the judiciary to the head of the executive means that such politically motivated assassinations will be accelerated.

Iran’s overall execution rate has soared for more than two months that Raisi served as head of the judiciary, and is rising even faster as his presidential administration takes shape. There is little doubt that this overall growth coincides with an increase in executions of political prisoners, in particular.

Iran has always been the world leader in both metrics, depending on its population, and its commitment to the misuse of the death penalty has surely been reinforced by the inaction of foreign powers on the issues. rights in Iran, in particular the crisis of 1988. massacre.

Last year, seven United Nations human rights experts issued an open letter to Iranian regime authorities in which they deplored this inaction and noted that the UN has the ability to hold murders to account. the same year.

In December 1988, a resolution on Iran’s human rights record identified an upsurge in politically motivated executions, but was not followed up by any UN body.

“The inability of these bodies to act,” the experts wrote, “has had a devastating impact on survivors and families as well as the general human rights situation in Iran.” In other words, inaction gave Tehran a sense of impunity at the time, and the inaction that followed only reinforced that impunity.

Raisi’s presence at the United Nations General Assembly will be the biggest affirmation of this impunity to date. By allowing him to speak, the international community will turn a blind eye to three decades of accumulated knowledge about the massacre and Raisi’s role in it.

Geoffrey Robertson, a human rights lawyer from the United Kingdom, told the NCRI conference that countries which have ratified the Genocide Convention are obliged to take action against those implicated in such a crime .

This is what they can do, he explained, by applying the principle of universal jurisdiction in order to arrest and prosecute Raisi or any other known perpetrator whenever they set foot in the territory of a nation committed to the universal defense of human rights.

Shahin Gobadi
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Who is Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian presidential candidate and executioner in the 1988 massacre

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Ukiah, 20, arrested for starting the Hopkins fire that burned “many structures and threatened hundreds of lives” Wed, 15 Sep 2021 01:48:57 +0000

Devin Johnson [Booking photo from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department website]

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten announced this evening in a public update that law enforcement has arrested Devin Johnson, 20, on arson charges. Law enforcement accuses him of deliberately starting the Hopkins fire, the blaze that destroyed several homes and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.

Wall of flames

The Hopkins fire sent a wall of flames through the Calpella neighborhoods. [Photo by Matt LaFever]

Captain Van Patten explained that shortly after the fire started at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, a prevention officer from the Cal Fire Mendocino unit immediately opened an investigation. The next day, a fire investigator from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority participated in the investigation along with a prevention officer from the Cal Fire Humboldt Del Norte unit.

A house burns down in the Black Oak Estates as the Hopkins fire continues to spread. [Photo by Matt LaFever]

A house on fire in the Black Oak Estates as the Hopkins fire continues to spread. [Photo by Matt LaFever]

Today, September 14, Captain Van Patten said investigators developed surveillance footage from a nearby business up to where the Hopkins fire started on Sunday. This footage, Captain Van Patten explained, showed an unidentified adult male as “the person, the reason, the cause of the Hopkins fire.”

Soon after, these fire investigators began to search the area for clues, clues and additional evidence. At 10:50 am, one of the fire investigators saw the unidentified man “a few hundred yards from where we are today”.

Burnt Structure Calpella LaFever

A charred carcass sits outside a burning building as the Hopkins fire burns through a neighborhood on Sunday. [Photo by Mark LaFever]

According to Captain Van Patten, investigators have determined the stranger to be Devin Johnson, on active felony probation for attempted theft. As a result of follow-up investigations, Mr Johnson was arrested and held in the Mendocino County Jail. Johnson is charged with aggravated arson of several structures, arson of an inhabited structure and arson during the state of emergency. He is currently being held without bail.

Below is a video of the press conference:

The following press release from the Cal Fire Mendocino unit provides an overview of their investigation into the cause of the Hopkins fire and the successful identification of the suspect:

On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit arrested an individual for arson (PC 451 (c)). This individual is believed to be responsible for starting the Hopkins fire on Sunday, September 12, 2021, which burned numerous structures, threatened hundreds of lives, including response personnel, burned 257 acres and damaged services public and critical infrastructure.

A CAL FIRE officer with assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Ukiah Valley Fire Department and Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office arrested the suspect today. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to Mendocino County Jail.

“I am very proud of our Law Enforcement Officer, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office for working together on this case,” said Unit Leader CAL FIRE. MEU, George Gonzalez. “Our communities are much safer after this arrest.”

While the fire danger remains high across California, wildfires pose a major threat to life, property, and natural resources in our state. CAL FIRE urges the public to be vigilant in their preparation and be aware of suspicious activity when a fire breaks out. If you witness suspicious activity, the following steps should be taken:

  • Do not approach the person (s) engaging in the suspicious behavior, if it is safe to do so, note the description of the person (s), including location, sex, height, weight, description of clothing , hair color and any other distinguishing features such as tattoos. If a vehicle is involved in the suspicious activity, the following information may be of assistance to the investigator

California Arson Hotline: 1-800-468-4408 The arson hotline takes anonymous reports on arson and offers rewards to those who provide information about a suspected arsonist. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Criminal Code 451 PC – California Arson Laws

In addition, with all due respect to the potential victim of the circumstances described, it should be made clear that the charges contained in the reservation book have not been proven in court. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any person described must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.



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Court of Appeals Relaunches Challenge of Death Row Inmates in California | California News Fri, 10 Sep 2021 23:52:00 +0000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A death row inmate in California who was convicted of murder in 1986 by a one-member black jury can challenge his conviction and sentence, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday .

Curtis Lee Ervin, who is black, was tried by a predominantly white panel after the prosecutor used peremptory challenges to fire nine of 11 potential black jurors, the Ninth United States Court of Appeals noted in reiterating the challenge of Ervin’s discrimination, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. .

Ervin, 68, of Richmond, was convicted of kidnapping and stabbing Carlene McDonald of El Sobrante to death after accepting $ 2,500 from her ex-husband, Robert McDonald of Pinole, to kill her.

Ervin and McDonald were sentenced to death and another man, Orestes Robinson, received a life sentence.

McDonald and Robinson both died in prison.

Political cartoons

The California Supreme Court upheld Ervin’s death sentence in 2000 and he appealed to federal court, where a judge in 2018 found there was no discrimination in jury selection.

However, the appeals court panel ruled 3-0 that the federal judge should reconsider the case using stricter racial bias standards in jury selection than the United States Supreme Court has said. in a 2019 ruling, the Chronicle reported.

Retired prosecutor in the case, James Anderson, told The Chronicle on Friday that race had played no role in his questioning of potential jurors.

“I don’t care whether they are black, white or whatever … if they weren’t able to give me a precise answer on their attachment to the death penalty, they were gone,” he said. declared.

Defense lawyers Pamala Sayasane and Robert Bryan have said Ervin is innocent.

“A black man is in jail because of the prosecutor’s misconduct and racial prejudice,” Sayasane said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Capital punishment – a matter of life and death Wed, 08 Sep 2021 04:13:06 +0000

ON September 3, Muhammad Hafizul Rashid Emmy, 29, broke down in tears when the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced him to death by hanging after convicting him of smuggling 299.09g of cannabis into the country. three years ago.

Following this heartbreaking news, social media users are calling for the abolition of this arbitrary, immoral and barbaric punishment – the death penalty – in Malaysia. They are of the opinion that such taking of human life is no longer relevant in today’s world.

The death penalty has its beginnings in primitive societies which were reflected in the old legal systems. Many countries around the world today, including Malaysia and Singapore, have laws that specifically state that certain offenses are death penalty offenses for which the penalty is the death penalty.

Deterrence of Crime and Fair Retribution

Since life is a priori man’s most precious possession, the threat that his life will be taken from him if he commits certain acts is the best deterrent against the commission of these acts. The theory of deterrence clearly states that the purpose of the death penalty is to sow terror in the heart of a wrongdoer, so that he can regain his sanity and learn to obey the law in the future.

The death penalty has traditionally been justified on retributivist grounds. Retributive justice is a system of justice in which the criminal is punished in proportion to the moral scale of the crimes. In other words, heinous crimes or those which generate more moral outrage are punished with more severe penalties. If there are moral monsters living among us who are unable to control their savagery and violence, it is better for the welfare of society that they be forced to pay the ultimate price for their evil deeds.

Retribution has its basis in religious values, which have historically held that it is appropriate to take “an eye for an eye” and “a life for a life” (Holy Bible, Exodus 21:23). We can find death sentences for crimes in the Babylonian legal text, the Hammurabi Code (Babylonian legal text) and the Quran.

It is important to keep in mind that fair retribution is not unjust provided that the accused has benefited from due process, that the wrongdoing is serious and that there are other guarantees such as call, grace and review.

Public support for the death penalty

The London-based Death Penalty Project and the Malaysian Bar have published a public opinion survey on the mandatory death penalty, reaching a representative sample of over 1,500 Malaysians. They are overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty, whether mandatory or discretionary: 91% for murder, 74% to 80% for drug trafficking depending on the drug concerned, and 83% for firearms, the main motive. in support of death. the penalty was retribution.

The death penalty is constitutional

Malaysian courts, on the other hand, while interpreting the right to life under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, have ruled that the death penalty itself is constitutional, provided it is recognized by law. The courts upheld the death sentences for drug trafficking and possession of firearms in Ong Ah Chuan v. PP [1981] AC 648 and PP against Lau Kee Hoo [1983] 1 MLJ 157 respectively.

The sword of justice hangs over everything, it is powerful only as long as it is suspended; it is almost useless once fallen. The existence of death sentences for crimes such as murder underscores society’s aversion to the offense and reaffirms the belief in the sanctity of human life. As the total abolition of the death penalty is not a jus cogens standard, Malaysia is not legally bound to abolish the death penalty.

Society must be educated about the serious consequences of drug addiction in order to strengthen the deterrent effect of the death penalty. People need to be exposed to the way diehard drug addicts experience their deplorable state of existence. There should be more public sentiment and awareness of executions when they take place. As it stands, the execution of a convicted felon in our prisons does not attract more media attention than a few short lines. – September 8, 2021.

* Julian Ong Qi Xuan reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the author or post and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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Letters to the Editor – September 4, 2021 Fri, 03 Sep 2021 22:50:00 +0000

The question: The potential release of the convicted murderer of 24-year-old Barbara Meliota in 1982.

I am writing this letter to support Phyllis Meliota (“’I can never forgive’,” August 30). I am a retired police officer and I oppose the parole of Anthony Doyle and all the murderers.

Doyle’s crime was savage, brutal, and animalistic. It is a despicable excuse for a human being. He should be denied parole and die behind bars.

Barbara Meliota was only 24 when she murdered her. She can never be released on parole of the death penalty inflicted on her by Doyle. He should never be released on parole.

Gary Acerra

Staten island

I read the article regarding the possible upcoming parole of Anthony Doyle, who very violently murdered Barbara Meliota, who was a nurse at Montefiore Hospital in 1982.

It would be a shame if he were ever released. This man is pure evil, and a life in prison is too good for him. Murdering a nurse is like murdering a police officer. He is someone who has dedicated his life to helping people.

Please, for the sake of his family and friends, never let this thug out of jail.

Lenny nelson

Valley stream

How will Doyle’s release serve the good of society?

Anyone who does something this horrible is not really human. There is certainly no guarantee that he won’t do something horrible again.

The irresponsible New York Parole Board consistently overlooks things like this. He should have been executed, which would have happened if it had happened in Texas or Florida.

Why on earth should he have the privilege of enjoying his “golden years” after intentionally taking a life in such a horrible way? Where is the logic in this?

How can we justify this? Only our Parole Board, friend of cop killers and all other kinds of vicious murderers, could.

Niles welikson

Williston Park

The potential release of nurse Barbara Meliota’s killer reminds us once again of just how liberal officials, including the late Governor Mario Cuomo, who promised us “life without parole” for capital crimes, simply do not feel the moral outrage of those at the time the crime was committed.

I predict the eventual release of David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz. To those who oppose the death penalty, I say: life without parole must be exactly that.

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld

Small Neck

The problem: The Democrats’ attacks on Larry Elder, a Conservative candidate in the California recall election.

In a despicable but predictable response to a Conservative candidate for governor of California, the left launches into its usual racial tirade (“The Left’s Shameful Denigration of Larry Elder,” Heather Mac Donald, September 1).

Desperate to overcome the Liberals’ natural inclination to vote for a black candidate over a white, Democrats attempt to smear Elder as a black and white supremacist.

By using this term, they reveal that their definition of a white supremacist is simply conservative. Elder frightens progressives because he supports his beliefs with facts.

Robert mangi


I live in Los Angeles, and finally we have a fantastic candidate for governor in Larry Elder.

Democrats can’t stand him leading the polls, and he’s so clear and precise in his message of decency, free choice, and support for law and order.

They can’t stand it, so they call it the black face of white supremacy. It’s funny but so sad and dangerous.

Ed Herbst

Los Angeles, California

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (with your full name and city of residence) to Letters are subject to change for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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The Day – 7 black men executed for rape in 1951 obtained posthumous pardons Wed, 01 Sep 2021 05:48:46 +0000

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday granted posthumous pardons to seven black men who were executed in 1951 for the rape of a white woman, in a case that has prompted calls for clemency from the the whole world and in recent years. was denounced as an example of racial disparity in the application of the death penalty.

Northam announced the pardons after meeting a dozen of the men’s descendants and their lawyers. Screams and sobs could be heard from some of the descendants after Northam’s announcement.

The “Martinsville Seven”, as the men became known, were all convicted of raping Ruby Stroud Floyd, 32, a white woman who had traveled to a predominantly black neighborhood of Martinsville, Va. January 8, 1949, to collect money for the clothes she had sold.

Four of the men were executed in Virginia’s electric chair on February 2, 1951. Three days later, the other three were also electrocuted. All were judged by entirely white juries. It was the largest group of people executed for a single victim felony in Virginia history.

At the time, rape was a capital crime. But Northam said on Tuesday that the death penalty for rape was applied almost exclusively to blacks. From 1908 – when Virginia first started using the electric chair – to 1951, state records show all 45 people executed for rape were black, he said. The pardons do not deal with the guilt or innocence of men, but Northam said the pardons are an acknowledgment that they did not receive due process and received a “racial death sentence which did not ‘is not applied in the same way to white defendants.

“These men were executed for being black, and that’s not fair,” Northam said.

“Their punishment did not match the crime. They should not have been executed, ”he added.

The seven men were found guilty and sentenced to death within eight days. Northam said some of the defendants were debilitated at the time of their arrest or unable to read the confessions they signed. He said none of the men had lawyers present during their questioning.

Ahead of their executions, protesters picketed the White House and the governor’s office received letters from around the world begging for mercy.

James Walter Grayson is the son of Francis DeSales Grayson, who was one of the Seven. He sobbed loudly when Northam told family members he would grant pardons after meeting them on Tuesday. “Thank you Jesus. Thank you, Lord,” he said, as he cried as he was kissed by two other descendants of men.

Grayson said he was 4 when his father was executed.

“It means so much to me,” he said of forgiveness.

“I remember the same day the police came to the door. He kissed us and they took him away, ”he told The Associated Press in an interview after the announcement.

Rudolph McCollum Jr., a former mayor of Richmond who is the grandnephew of Francis DeSales Grayson and the nephew of another of the executed men, Booker T. Millner, told Northam that the executions represent “a wound that continues to grow. tarnish Virginia’s history and efforts to move beyond its dubious past. ”He cried when Northam announced he would forgive the men.

In December, lawyers and the men’s descendants asked Northam to grant posthumous pardons. Their petition does not claim that the men were innocent, but claims that their trials were unfair and the punishment was extreme and unfair.

“The Martinsville Seven were not given due due process” just because they were black “, they were sentenced to death for a crime for which a white person would not have been executed for” simply because they were black. ‘they were black,’ and they were killed by the Commonwealth., ‘just because he’s black,’ “the defenders wrote in their letter to Northam.

The seven men, most in their late teens or early twenties, were: Grayson, Millner, Frank Hairston Jr.; Howard Lee Hairston; James Luther Hairston; Joe Henry Hampton; and John Clabon Taylor.

Eric W, Rise, an associate professor at the University of Delaware who wrote a book in 1995 on the case: “The Martinsville Seven: Race, Rape, and Capital Punishment,” Floyd told police she had been raped by a large group of black men. and testified at all six trials. Two of the men were tried together.

The seven men signed statements admitting they were present during the attack, but they did not have access to their parents or lawyers at the time, Rise said.

“The validity of the confession was one of the things their defense attorneys raised during the trials,” Rise said.

Four of the men testified in their own defense. Rise said two men said they had consensual sex with her, one man denied any involvement and another said he was so drunk he couldn’t remember what happened.

Northam has now granted a total of 604 pardons since taking office in 2018, more than the previous nine governors combined, his administration said on Tuesday.

“It’s about righting the wrongs,” Northam said. “We all deserve a fair, equal and well-functioning criminal justice system, no matter who you are or what you look like,” he said.

In March, Northam, a Democrat, signed a law passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature abolishing the state death penalty. It was a sea change for Virginia, a state that recorded the second highest number of executions in the United States. The Martinsville Seven case was cited during the legislative debate as an example of the disproportionate use of the death penalty against people of color.

]]> 0 Court of Appeal hears the request of a former death row inmate for a new trial | Courts Fri, 27 Aug 2021 21:38:00 +0000

One of the last three men to be on Colorado death row, currently serving a life sentence, is asking the Court of Appeals to grant him a new trial amid the widespread injustice that , according to Sir Mario Owens, led to his murder conviction in 2007.

Owens now claims he received ineffective legal assistance during the trial and that a juror not only lied in court, but also had a series of very unorthodox personal connections to the victim and several witnesses.

“These are constitutional protections of extraordinary importance,” lawyer Jonathan D. Reppucci told the three-judge panel that heard Owens’ appeal on Tuesday. “Justice must realize not only the reality of fairness, but the appearance of fairness.”

An Arapahoe County jury initially convicted Owens of the murder of Gregory Vann, 20, on July 4, 2004. A separate jury in 2008 again convicted him of the murders a year later of Javad Marshall-Fields and Vivian Wolfe, both 22 years old. Marshall-Fields was to testify against another suspect in Vann’s murder. Owens was sentenced to death for the Marshall-Fields and Wolfe murders, which Governor Jared Polis commuted to life in prison after the state legislature abolished the death penalty last year.

In a 222-page dossier filed with the Court of Appeal, Owens meticulously explained how the evidence would have suggested early on that someone else had murdered Vann in a chaotic scene at a rally in Lowry. Park. From an initial police bulletin with three descriptions of suspects who did not match Owens to the preferential treatment prosecutors alleged from one of the only witnesses who identified Owens, the defense at trial was denied access to evidence crucial, argued the appeal.

Owens also criticized his public defenders at the trial for a strategy that was not only poor, but so flawed that it violated his constitutional right to effective representation. Specifically, his attorneys attempted to argue that the case was a mistaken identity – but also Owens defending himself, which could not be true.

“It was a full pants seat… I wasn’t ready to do it. We didn’t have a coherent trial strategy,” one of his defenders said on the appeal record.

In a very unusual situation, Owens then pointed to the potential bias of a woman on his jury who, at the time, was called Stephanie Griggs and referred to in court documents as Juror 75. She did not. never revealed during the trial that the witnesses testifying were her. friends of her son, that the victim – Vann – had been a guest in her house and that she had provided false information in her jury questionnaire.

The appellate judges struggled to know whether Juror 75, although he had these parties at her house as children, had actually recognized them as such during the trial.

“We have the testimony of his son that [Vann] was a frequent guest at the house and loved by many of her friends, ”said Justice Craig R. Welling. “But we don’t have a conclusion one way or the other as to whether or not she knew Mr. Vann. . “

Senior Deputy Attorney General Jillian J. Price said Juror 75 did not know the full names of the witnesses and did not say he specifically recognized them.

“It’s like going to a party and meeting someone I know is Bill and that’s all I know like him,” she said. “Then I see ‘Bill Smith’ on a cold witness list. There’s no way I can match these two people.”

But Owens countered that Juror 75’s relationship ran deeper. Juror 75 admitted that some witnesses who were friends of her son told her “Hi Mom” ​​during the trial, and that when she went to her son’s apartment in the middle of the proceedings, she saw and hugged someone who had just testified. Her son later told her that her “homeboys were testifying” and that she had to apologize for the trial.

Price attempted to minimize contact, telling the panel that the witnesses were not friends of the juror 75 and that the court should avoid a “slippery slope” by examining the associates of the children, spouses and even fellow jurors for conflicts.

“She saw a witness testify out of court the night he testified and had an interaction with him,” Welling replied. “It’s not, ‘I have a colleague who went to dinner with someone once.’ They’re pretty first and second degree connections. ”

At one point, Juror 75 communicated with trial judge Michael Spear through a bailiff that she recognized someone in the courtroom as well as other “people.” . The bailiff allegedly told him that the judge had said it was “not a problem”. The Appeal Board expressed concern that the specific situation of juror 75 was lost in the translation.

“I don’t think anyone would dispute that if or all of this information had been known to the trial judge,” Judge Michael H. Berger said, “this juror would not have deliberated on this case.”

The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to be tried by an impartial jury, which means jurors must decide a case based solely on the evidence presented at trial.

Reppucci asked the appeals court to consider whether extraneous information, such as juror 75’s personal contact with the witness and his son’s directive, would have influenced a reasonable juror, regardless of whether the contact had him. really biased. Spear had directly asked the jury that if anyone recognized a witness “from a location outside the courtroom,” they should bring them to the attention of the court.

Previously, Christopher J. Munch, a retired district court judge, had been specially appointed to review Owens’ post-conviction claims. Owens argued before the Court of Appeal that Munch’s handling of the case was deeply flawed. In addition to significantly restricting the in-person testimony of Owens’ witnesses, the defense argued that Munch offered no assessment of outside influences on the juror.

On appeal, Owens reported several bogus responses to the jury’s tribunal questionnaire 75, where she falsely stated that she was not a victim or party to legal proceedings, and claimed that she did not recognize the names of Vann or Marshall-Fields. The defense alleged 14 court proceedings in which juror 75 was a part and noted that the Marshall-Fields and Wolfe murders took place around the corner from where juror lived 75.

The attorney general’s office excused the errors as “reckless” and said juror 75 did not make the connections until after the trial.

“Because his bogus answers and non-disclosure deprived Owens and the court of critical information that provided multiple grounds for dismissing him, Owens is entitled to a new trial,” the defense insisted.

On several occasions during oral argument, Reppucci appeared troubled by the panel’s unfavorable line of questioning, before stating at the end that “it worries me that this tribunal is going down that route, but the tribunal will do what the tribunal will do. “

“We haven’t said which path we’re taking, so don’t worry yet,” Berger warned. “We’re trying to figure out what to do.”

Reppucci apologized and noted “this is a difficult case”.

Likewise, the pleadings were difficult to watch for Rhonda Fields, the mother of Marshall-Fields and now a Democratic state senator for Aurora.

“My son was murdered in 2005 and I am facing the possibility of a new trial this week,” she said after witnessing the proceedings in person. “It’s really hard to understand what justice looks like.”

Owens suggested to the court of appeal that Robert Ray, who was also sentenced to death for the Marshall-Fields and Wolfe murders, was the one who killed Vann. The appeal board’s decision in Vann’s murder could affect proceedings in his death penalty case.

The case is People c. Owens.

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