Category: Death Penalty

Nebraska court rejects stay of execution for cult leader Michael Ryan

Michael W. Ryan A Nebraska court won’t consider a death row inmate’s appeal raising questions about the state’s new lethal injection method and how the drugs needed for it were obtained.

Cult leader Michael Ryan was sentenced to death for the torture death of one of his followers, and the beating death of the 5-year old son of another cult member.

Saudi woman executed for ‘witchcraft and sorcery’

Sharia A Saudi woman has been executed for practising “witchcraft and sorcery”, the country’s interior ministry says.

Amnesty International says the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion.

Protests planned worldwide against execution of Iranian woman

Hundreds of protesters will gather worldwide Saturday to rally against the imprisonment and possible execution of an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

The case of Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani has drawn international attention. She was convicted of adultery in 2006 and faces the possibility of execution.

Ashtiani was originally sentenced to death by stoning, but it was put on hold earlier this month after an international outcry.
Despite the sentencing delay, human rights activists want to remind the world of Ashtiani’s plight, said Mina Ahadi, chairman of the International Committee Against Execution and Stoning, one of the groups leading Saturday’s protests.

“The fact is, the execution can still happen,” Ahadi said. “And, often times in Iran, these types of executions will happen without any notice.”

Earlier this month, Ashtiani’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, told CNN that she confessed to the crime after being subjected to 99 lashes.

She later recanted the confession and has denied wrongdoing, he said.

Most civilized countries view the death penalty as a barbaric practice and a violation of human right.

California: Field Poll finds 70% support death penalty

Wild West ‘ethics’ persist: Californians maintain their solid support for the death penalty as a punishment for serious crimes, but are divided on whether they would impose a death sentence or life without parole for first-degree murder, according to a Field Poll being released today.

The survey of registered voters found 70 percent backing for capital punishment, up from 67 percent in the last statewide poll in 2006. Substantial majorities supported it, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or party. Twenty-four percent opposed the death penalty and 6 percent had no opinion.

But when a smaller number of voters were asked which sentence they preferred for a first-degree murderer, 42 percent said life in prison without parole and 41 percent said death. Another 13 percent said it would depend on the circumstances, and 4 percent had no opinion.

The last time the Field Poll asked that question, in 2000, it found that 44 percent chose the death penalty and 37 percent favored life without parole.

Satanist case may close death row

Nearly 15 years ago, the brutal murder of three Arkansas Cub Scouts in an alleged satanic rite sickened a nation and strengthened the hand of death penalty champions across the United States. Now the same ghastly crime may be the final nail in the coffin of capital punishment in an America that is manifesting a crisis of conscience over the morality of executions.

Misgivings raised as U.S. prepares to speed death penalty appeals

Since capital punishment was reinstated in the United States three decades ago, 124 people awaiting execution have been exonerated. For some prisoners, the appeals process provided time to prove their innocence. Now a move by the government to speed up appeals has alarmed death penalty opponents, and even some supporters, who worry that innocent people could be put to death.