Connecticut has ended the death sentence, becoming the fifth state in the U.S. in five years to repeal the cruel and inhuman punishment as the abolition movement progresses worldwide.
“These funds can be better spent to address crime and offer support to victims, rather than on bankrolling a punishment that has been rejected by more than 140 countries and 16 U.S. states.”
Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, Amnesty International U.S.A.
We think this is great news and signals a leap forward in our campaign to end death penalty. This move will free resources in Connecticut to be directed toward policies that truly prevent crime, and support the needs of crime victims and their families. The relatives of 179 murder victims signed a letter of support for the bill.
Connecticut’s lawmakers passed the vote after ten and a half hours of debate by 20 votes to 16. The Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, described the death penalty as one of the “most compelling and vexing issues of our time”, as he signed the bill to replace the death sentence with life without parole for all new cases.
Connecticut joins 16 other states in America – nearly a third of all U.S. states, and 97 countries worldwide – to have now abandoned the death penalty.
More information at Amnesty International’s page here.
On Sunday’s Dateline, two of the Bali Nine speak publicly for the first time… just days ahead of final hearings on whether their death sentences for drug trafficking will be carried out.
Mark Davis has gained exclusive access to Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan in the ‘death tower’ at Indonesia’s Kerobokan Prison.
They talk openly about their lives then and now, what they think of their crimes, and the prospect of facing death by firing squad.
Mark also hears first-hand of the heartache for their families back in Australia, as they wait to hear if their pleas for clemency will be granted.
WATCH – See this special edition of Dateline on Sunday at 8.30pm on SBS ONE.
LIVE CHAT – Mark Davis will be online after Sunday’s program to answer questions about his story. Click here to find out how to take part in our live chat.
For more information, go to the Dateline homepage, or tune in on Sunday at 8.30pm
The Court of Appeal dismisses concerns around the mandatory death penalty
On Friday 14 May the Court of Appeal rejected Yong Vui Kong’s appeal against his sentence and declared the mandatory death penalty to be constitutional. This decision paves the way to Yong’s imminent execution and highlights ongoing concerns around fair trial in relation to the application of the mandatory death penalty in Singapore.
Yong Vui Kong, a 22-year-old Malaysian, was arrested in 2007 with 47 g of diamorphine (heroin) and sentenced to death for drug offences. Today’s judgement challenged the mandatory death penalty in Singapore. Singapore’s mandatory death penalty provides the judges no discretion to consider alternative punishments or to consider mitigating circumstances violating the fundamental right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, it fails to comply with minimum human rights protections for criminal prosecutions. It also strips judges of the discretion to consider alternative punishment.
A high profile campaign has been organized and led by Yong’s defence lawyer Madasamy Ravi, (ADPAN member). Singapore presents major challenges on the death penalty but it is the support from others, including ADPAN members, that helps those working for aboliton in Singapore and those sentenced to death. Please organize appeals and place the appeal on your website.
March 12th 2010
THE death penalty has been buried forever after Federal Parliament passed laws ensuring it can’t be reinstated in any jurisdiction.
While no Australian state or territory uses the death penalty, the laws were needed to ensure the situation could never be reintroduced.
Both sides of politics supported the move which is largely seen as symbolic.
Full story here.
Last fall, the American Law Institute, which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it.
There were other important death penalty developments last year: the number of death sentences continued to fall, Ohio switched to a single chemical for lethal injections and New Mexico repealed its death penalty entirely. But not one of them was as significant as the institute’s move, which represents a tectonic shift in legal theory.
“The A.L.I. is important on a lot of topics,” said Franklin E. Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “They were absolutely singular on this topic” — capital punishment — “because they were the only intellectually respectable support for the death penalty system in the United States.”
Full story here.
|Tuesday, 18 August 2009|
|Rabble-rousing troubadour STEVE TOWSON talks to JODY MACGREGOR about playing a benefit concert for Australians Against Capital Punishment.
JM: What should we expect from the Australians Against Capital Punishment gig?
ST: Well, from the line-up some diverse, great musicians that will be playing for a cause close to their hearts. Personally, I find the idea of capital punishment terrifying, there is a saying that goes ‘no rich man ever died on death row’. To me, capital punishment is a dangerous tool that is mainly wielded by wealthy politicians against poor people. Just look at the USA and the power of life and death that was wielded by George W. Bush when he was governor.
Read the full article here.
TO THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and
THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE SENATE OF AUSTRALIA
This petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia draws the attention of the Parliament of Australia to the fact that there are currently no Federal Laws to prohibit the use of capital punishment against Australian citizens at home or abroad.
We request that the House of Representatives and the Senate legislate at the earliest opportunity to introduce and pass laws that prohibit the use of capital punishment against all Australian citizens. We also seek that this Government and all future Governments protect Australian citizens from the death penalty in other countries.
We further seek the expansion of the current repatriation program and move to have all Australian citizens serving a custodial sentence in a foreign country repatriated to Australia.
More about the ASU’s Human Right Committee can be found here.
Australians Against Capital Punishment invite you to a concert to raise awareness of people facing the death penalty around the world.
Sunday August 23rd 4pm- 8.30
Browning Street Studios,
11 Browning Street, West End
Entry $12 or $10 concession
For inquiries contact Tina on 0423 709 445 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Attorney General Marks Four for Date with Firing Squad from Among 111 Now Sitting on Death Row.
(6/1/2009) NusaBali reports that Indonesia’s Attorney General has identified 4 among the 111 people sitting on death row in Indonesia for execution shortly after the coming presidential elections to be held in July 2009.
While not specifically naming those next to be placed before a firing squad, the Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes from the Attorney General’s office, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, confirmed that the date of the four deaths will happen sometime after the presidential poll.