Reprieve delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
Over the past several days, most of Britain has been feet-up-before-the-fire, enjoying the Christmas holiday. Not so the family of Akmal Shaikh, the British prisoner who is set to die in China at 2.30am GMT on Tuesday.
I spent most of Christmas Day making travel arrangements for Akmal’s two cousins, Soohail and Nasir Shaikh, to fly 10,000 miles around the globe to plead for his life. They were allowed an hour and a half with him this morning, and emerged despondent. Akmal had only just been told he had 24 hours to live.
"He was obviously very ...
Time is running out for Akmal Shaikh, who is due to be executed in China on December 29.
Please join the campaign to save Akmal's life by writing to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and to the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Madam Fu Ying using the text below:
"Dear Prime Minister Brown / Ambassador Fu Ying,
I write to express my deep concern for Akmal Shaikh, who faces execution in China on December 29.
Akmal's family has pleaded for his life to be spared, and my heart is with them at this terrible time. Akmal's death, particularly during ...
Good news. Since the option of Life Without the Option of Parole has been put into place in Texas in 2005, the Los Angeles Times points out that the number of death sentences has decreased by 40 per cent (ie 2005 - 2009) compared to the four years before). Prosecutors have been pushing for fewer death sentences and juries have become less willing to give them.
Nine people were sentenced to death in Texas, in 2009 (as of December 14th), when juries sent 13 people to death row last year and 49 people 15 years ago.
"With life without parole being ...
Recently the New York Times reported that prosecutors are too often blocking access to DNA tests that could exonerate the innocent, even in states where legislatures have specifically passed laws allowing access to testing. It stated:
"Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.
A recent analysis of 225 DNA exonerations by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, found that prosecutors opposed DNA testing in almost one ...
Another day, another crime. That’s how it seems to be going for the British government at the moment.
Late Tuesday afternoon, two High Court judges found that Britain had been “mixed up in wrongdoing”, and ruled that the government had a legal obligation to sort out another mess it had helped to create.
Again, it seems, the British government is conspiring with our American allies to cover up torture.
The case involves Shaker Aamer, the last acknowledged British resident in Guantánamo Bay. Shaker was cleared for release by the Bush Administration, many moons ago, and nobody cares to ...
Under a newly proposed bill - which appears to have strong public support - criminal penalties on homosexual acts in the East African nation would be made much harsher, and include the death penalty.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill features several provisions that are likely to spur a witch hunt of homosexuals in the country:
- Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at
minimum, to life in prison
- People who test positive for HIV may be executed
- Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty
- Anyone who ...
Barring a last-minute appeal, Kenneth Biros will be subjected to an inhumane experiment later today; he’ll be the first person in the US executed using a new method of lethal injection traditionally used to put down pets.
At 3pm (GMT) today, the state of Ohio intends to test the controversial single-drug lethal injection on Mr Biros. He has been on death row for 18 years since 1991, having been convicted of first degree murder.
Until now, the standard method of execution in the 37 US States that retain the death penalty, has been by way of a triple-drug cocktail ...
53-year-old Cecil Johnson was executed yesterday after 29 years on Tennessee’s death row. He was 24 years old when he was given a death sentence for three counts of first degree murder at a convenience store.
His trial, back in July, 1981, was fraught with errors and the evidence questionable. Police reports which were uncertain about the killer’s identity were concealed and one of the main witnesses was only able to identify Johnson after seeing his photograph on a news report. A witness who was due to testify for Johnson ‘switched sides’ after being interrogated by the prosecutor ...
Great piece by the One Show this week.
Roger Gale MP admitted that if we have a death penalty we’ll kill innocent people, and based his support for capital punishment on the idea of it as a deterrent. As Matt Allright correctly pointed out, the evidence clearly shows that the death penalty does NOT deter crime, leaving the pro-death penalty camp apparently in favour of killing innocent people whilst achieving nothing.
Reprieve of course has the utmost sympathy for Andrew Barnes, and all of the relatives of murder victims, but evidence from America suggests that execution often doesn’t ...
In September this year Reprieve launched a three year EC-funded project, Engaging Europe in the Fight for US Abolition. The project seeks to identify and assist European nationals on death row in the US.
Foreign nationality is a significant issue in US death penalty litigation. When foreign nationals are arrested, the US authorities are required to notify the consulate of their native country, if they so request.
The obligation stems from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), which requires such notification ‘without delay’.
There have been numerous instances where foreign nationals sentenced to death in the US were not ...