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January 23, 2009

Lots of executions in the US and Iran (and other death penalty news)

Barack Obama has been President for less than three full days, but already there have been three executions in the United States during his time in office.  This AP article, headlined "Two convicted killers executed in Texas, Oklahoma," provides the latest US execution news.  Intriguingly, I believe all three defendants executed this week were African-American.

Intriguingly, another country has also had a busy week with executions.  This New York Times article provides the basic details: "Iran hanged 22 convicted criminals in mass executions on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tehran and a few other cities, official news media reported."

Staying at the international news desk, this BBC report discusses a major mixed ruling from Uganda on the death penalty in that country: "Uganda's Supreme Court has ruled in a case involving more than 400 death row inmates that the death penalty is constitutional.... [But it] also said it was unreasonable to keep convicts on death row for more than three years [which] means most of the prisoners involved in the case will have their sentences commuted to life in prison."

Going even further East, this China Daily story recaps the various sentences given to defendants involved in that country's tainted milk scandal: "Capital punishment for two, a suspended death penalty for one, life imprisonment for three, 15-year jail terms for two and varying sentences for the 13 other accused."

January 23, 2009 at 06:04 AM | Permalink

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I feel that a rather important point has been missed in all of the articles you have listed for this audience. In Iran, China, and most other countries that carry out capital punishment there are no real trials or proper defense for the accused. As you know this is not the case for the accused in the US. This is a point often missed in most if not all articles that compare our system to other countries.

As to the US executions in the US being African-American, I am sure their victims didn't care what race they were; they just wanted to live. Are you suggesting that if the accused is an AA we should not sentence them to crimes (that allow Capital Punishment) to even out the score? Statistically speaking you will also find that most violent crime by African-Americans are perpetrated against African-Americans.

I am not writing this in defense of Capital Punishment. The fact that it takes 20 years to complete all the defense requirements is in itself Cruel and Unjust. The system is broken. But we cannot compare the US with China who will hang the managers of a company for 'show' to the outside world and let the real criminals continue to rule due to their Communist Party affiliations. The New York Times is the leader in the country of the 'Blame America First' crowd. Most intelligent Americans no longer believe that they are a credible source for news.

Posted by: John K. Matyi | Jan 23, 2009 9:11:14 AM

Doug's commentary about the race of the perp being executed would have more force if he acknowledged that non-Hispanic white killers in America are more likely to be executed than African-American killers. Doug also could have focused on the victims of these killers, most of whom were African-American.

Posted by: | Jan 23, 2009 10:32:44 AM

In many aspects, Iran's death penalty is more democratically administered than the DP in the US. In no jurisdiction in the US are executions done in public. In China executions are often televised, and Iran they are done in public squares. This allows people to make their own decisions about whether the means by which government bureaucrats kill people is within their moral compass.

In the US, those who support the death penalty and claim that the people want it absolutely refuse to let everyone watch a state-sponsored killing. They are simply too afraid that if the people saw what it looks like when some POS that didn't go to law school and makes under 150,000 per year decides gets paid to kill another POS that didn't go to law school and makes under 150,000 per year. Instead, they think that executions should be kept secret because they hate America and they hate the First Amendment but like taxpayer funded killings.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 24, 2009 4:50:25 PM

John K. Matyi wrote: "I feel that a rather important point has been missed in all of the articles you have listed for this audience. In Iran, China, and most other countries that carry out capital punishment there are no real trials or proper defense for the accused. As you know this is not the case for the accused in the US."

Ha. Is this a joke? Or are you just entirely unfamiliar with the US criminal justice system, particularly those justice systems of the various Southern states, from whence most death sentences arise?

Posted by: DK | Jan 25, 2009 4:38:14 AM

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**TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU ~JAMAL ~ ARE HAVING PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE SAID FOR THEM WORLD~WIDE ..WE CAN ALL ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT EVERYONE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS THAT KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS HOW UNJUST OUR U.S JUDICIAL SYSTEM CAN BE WITH OUR POORER AMERICANS,BECOMES ACTIVE IN MAKING SURE THAT TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA AND MUMIA ABU~JAMAL OF PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVE FAIR AND JUST TRIALS BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TAKE PLACE.
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"Time to Rethink Goals of Prison," January 5, 2009 Roanoke Times Editorial: "The Criminal Justice System Needs Help," January 5, 2009 Las Vegas Sun Editorial: "Voice for Broken Prisons," January 3, 2009 U.S. News & World Report: "James Webb Shows Leadership Regarding Prison Reform," January 2, 2009 New York Times Editorial: "Sen. Webb's Call for Prison Reform," January 1, 2009 Washington Post: "Webb Sets His Sights On Prison Reform," December 29, 2008 Daily Press: "Alternative to Jail for Addicts Gains New Supporter," December 28, 2008 The Virginian Pilot: "Senator Elevates Debate on Failed Drug, Prison Policies," October 18, 2008 The Roanoke Times Editorial: "A Sensible Call for Sentencing Reform," October 13, 2008 Washington Post Op-Ed: "Two Separate Societies: One in Prison, One Not," April 15, 2008

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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS COMPLETE FAITH THAT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS IS THE RIGHT MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR JUSTICE TO PREVAIL FOR ALL AMERICANS !

Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 27, 2010 11:03:12 AM

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