“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. … In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.” (Bryan Stevenson)”
Bryan Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.
This is his TED speech from March
The whole talk’s worth listening to, but he begins talking about the death penalty around the 8.00 mark.
By Will Ross
BBC News, Nairobi
More than 4,000 prisoners on death row in Kenya will have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, President Mwai Kibaki has announced.
No death sentences have been carried out in Kenya for more than two decades.
Since then more than 4,000 people have been on death row in the country’s overcrowded, underfunded prisons.
Date: July 01 2009
THE Federal Government has written to the states, telling them of its plans to introduce laws banning them from ever reintroducing the death penalty, whether they like it or not.
While all states have abolished the death penalty, there is nothing preventing a government from bringing it back.
The Age has a copy of a letter sent from Federal Attorney General Robert McClelland to his state counterparts on June 16, informing them “of the Commonwealth Government’s intention to introduce legislation to prohibit the application of the death penalty throughout Australia”.
The language of the letter is significant, as it indicates the Federal Government has opted to use the external affairs power in the constitution to put the prohibition in place.
This is instead of asking the states to refer their powers to the Commonwealth to enable it to pass the laws banning the reintroduction of the death penalty — an option that is seen as less watertight by the Federal Government because usually states only refer their powers for a limited period of time.
It is understood the Federal Government has legal advice that under the external affairs power and international treaties signed by Australia, including the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it is able enact the laws and so intends to take this path.
23 June 2009
Togo today decided to abolish the death penalty following a unanimous vote by the national assembly.
Togo has thereby become the 15th member of the African Union and the 94th country in the world to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
“This country has chosen to establish a healthy justice system that limits judicial errors…and guarantees the inherent rights of the individual,” said Justice Minister Kokou Tozoun when the cabinet first adopted the abolition bill on 10 December 2008. “This (new) system is no longer compatible with a penal code that maintains the death penalty and grants the judiciary absolute power with irrevocable consequences.”
Togo stopped applying the death penalty more than three decades ago. The last executions of people sentenced to death date back to 1978 and the last death sentence was handed down in 2003.
Through today’s vote, Togolese members of parliament have reinforced the trend towards abolishing the death penalty in Africa.
Burundi adopted a new penal code in April 2009 which abolished the death penalty from the legislation. Several other countries, notably Mali, are reviewing their legislation and considering the possibility of removing any recourse to the death penalty.
Original story here.
The groups say 16 Asian countries now do so, adding that while it is impossible to know exactly how many such death sentences are imposed, reports from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand indicate a high percentage of executions in those countries are imposed on those convicted of drug offenses.
ADPAN, Human Rights Watch and the IHRA singled out China, Indonesia and Vietnam for particular concern, saying they continue to execute people for drug offenses and that some countries have marked the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with such executions.
© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Original story here.
“Every person has, after he or she has been born,the right to life. Any loss of life attributable to agencies of the state must be fully and independently investigated. No death penalty should be carried out in this nation.”
The Statute of Liberties by Geoffrey Robertson
Australians Against Capital Punishment is a community group formed in early 2007 to advocate for a total abolition of the death penalty across the globe, and to call on our government to once again commit itself to opposing the death penalty in all cases, in all countries wholeheartedly.
Australians Against Capital Punishment believes that a Human Rights Act for Australia is a positive move towards protecting and valuing human rights in our country, and will help Australia in promoting an international culture of respect for the rights of all people.
We believe that a Human Rights Act should include, but not be limited to the following:
The Death Penalty being irreversible and unconscionable shall not be permitted in Australia.
Australia’s opposition to the Death Penalty, domestically and abroad, must be absolute.
No Australian government or government agency shall cooperate in any operation which can lead to the Death Penalty.
The Australian government is obliged to act on behalf of any Australians who are arrested or detained overseas.
The Multi-Faith Centre at Griffith University, in cooperation with various faith, interfaith, and community organisations, will host the following event:
The Death Penalty: An Interfaith Forum
Prof. Sarva-Daman Singh (Hinduism)- Honorary Consul of India in Brisbane
Dr. Anne Nguyen (Buddhism) – Senior Lecturer, Computer Science & Technology, Griffith University
Peter Arndt (Christianity) – Executive Director Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Brisbane
Imam Dr. Tariq Syed (Islam) – Council of Fatwa, Australian National Imams Council
Wednesday, 29 April
Time: 7.15 – 9.30 pm
Where: Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University
For further information, email to: email@example.com
RSVP by April 25 to: 3735-7052 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparations continue for the execution of the Bali Bombers in the coming days, and AACP will be holding another vigil outside the Indonesian Consulate in Brisbane to show our opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances.
The acts of horror perpetrated by these men will not be lessened by their deaths, and we believe that capital punishment is never the answer.
Monday November 3rd
175 Eagle Street,
Brisbane, Qld. 4000
Some images from last night’s vigil -
It looks increasingly certain that within days, perhaps hours, the Bali Bombers will be executed by firing squad in Indonesia.
While AACP does not in any way condone their acts of barbarity, we also cannot condone the premeditated taking of a life by any state, in any circumstances.
We therefore invite you to a candlelight vigil tonight, Sunday November 2nd outside the Indonesian Consulate from 5.30pm until 6.30 to show the world that despite some recent statements from our political leaders, Australia still says no to the death penalty.
Please come along if you can make it, and let your friends know.
Sunday November 2nd
INDONESIAN HONARARY CONSULATE
175 Eagle Street,
Brisbane, Qld. 4000
The Politics of Drugs and Death
Friday October 10th 6.30pm for a 7.00 start
Western Districts Rugby F.C., Memorial Park, Sylvan Rd, Toowong
Last year, the UN called for a universal moratorium on executions. Still, hundreds of people across the world are on death row facing the ultimate violation of their human rights – some for nonviolent crimes such as drug offences. Join AACP and our speakers as we examine these issues.
Stephen Keim, SC
Patron of Australians Against Capital Punishment
Dr Alex Wodak
President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
Tony Trimingham, OAM
Established the Damien Trimingham Foundation following the death of his son from an overdose
Dr Denis Bartrum
Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department
Lee & Christine Rush
Parents of a young Australian on Death Row in Bali
Cost for 3 course meal: $45 per head
RSVP by Monday October 6th to Don on 0405 721 617 or email Don.Sinnamon@gmail.com
Flyer below -