July 8, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 28
Guinea: The National Assembly has voted in favor of a new criminal code which abolishes the death penalty. The new code also criminalizes torture. Guinea’s last execution was 15 years ago. They are the 19th country in Africa to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
Iraq: Prime Minister Haider Jawed Kadhim Al-Abadi has ordered the immediate execution of all terrorists on death row. The announcement comes just one day after a deadly attack in Baghdad, which killed over 200 individuals and wounded over 200 others. On Monday, July 4, 2016, five individuals were executed. Their names were not released.
Maldives: Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon has resigned due to irreconcilable disagreements with the government regarding the decision to implement the death penalty. Days after the government amended rules to allow for the death penalty, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to death for killing a lawmaker in 2012. Executions can be carried out by lethal injection or hanging.
Philippines: Congressman Ruffy Biazon, in an act of support for newly sworn-in President Rodrigo Duterte, has filed a bill to revive the death penalty. The nation banned capital punishment in 2004. President Duterte, as part of his campaign, promised to reinstate the death penalty, particularly for drug dealers. He has also supported individuals arresting and/or killing drug dealers in their communities. Since President Duterte has been sworn in, at least 8 “major” drug dealers have been killed in “shoot-outs.”
Manny Pacquiao, a former boxer and now a Senator, supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to bring back the death penalty. Manny has announced that he supports carrying out executions by hanging, which would make it easier for doctors to participated, and others who oppose capital punishment. He also believes in the death penalty for those convicted of rape with murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and robbery with murder.
United States of America: The Florida Supreme Court has gone on summer vacation without issuing a ruling regarding the death penalty law in the state. Legislatures passed a new death penalty sentencing procedure after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that theirs was unconstitutional, as the judges were given too much power in determining a sentence, and the juries to little power, as a judge could override the recommendation of the jury. Opponents have argued that the new law is also unconstitutional and that all current death row inmates should have their sentences commuted to life in prison. The Florida Supreme Court will not resume until the end of August.
Fifty-seven-year-old Linda Carty has spent the last 14 years on death row in Texas. She now holds hope that she will be released. Linda has always insisted that she is innocent of arranging the murder and theft for which she has been convicted. She will now have the chance to plead her case before a judge for the Texas Court of Criminal appeals. Her attorney is arguing that the original prosecutor coerced false testimony from witnesses.
The Supreme Court of Arkansas has ruled that the state’s lethal-injection is law is constitutional, meaning executions can proceed in the state once they are able to obtain execution drugs. Following the ruling, a group of death row inmates have asked the Court to reconsider its decision. Eight executions have been on hold due to the lawsuit. Arkansas’ attorney general has announced that she will ask the Governor to set execution dates for those eight men.