Abolish death penalty, Amnesty International urges Kenya

Charlene Craig
April 13, 2018

In its annual assessment of the death penalty, Amnesty International's research points to a further global decrease in 2017, down from the high peaks recorded for total executions in 2015 and death sentences in 2016.

The US had 23 executions in 8 states in 2017: Alabama (3) Arkansas (4) Florida (3) Georgia (1) Missouri (1) OH (2) Texas (7) Virginia (2).

Excluding China, 84% of the reported executions previous year were carried out in just four countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

"It is important that as a people, we recognise that in this report, it is stated that the year under review two countries; Guinea in Africa and Mongolia outside Africa abolished the death penalty".

His comments coincided with release of an Amnesty report on the status of the death penalty worldwide.

At least 31 public executions were carried out in Iran, where hanging remained the main method of execution, the same as in Pakistan.

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"I think there is a strong perception in the region that Australia is only concerned with the death penalty when Australians are facing execution". If terrorism, kidnapping and other high crimes are occurring in our society with people getting paid ransom and living a larger than life existence, how come they are not on death row?

"This bill has the unified and unwavering support of every bishop in Louisiana", said Robert Tasman, executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Bishops.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017 Global Death Penalty Report in Accra, Country Director of Amnesty International, Robert Amoafo Akoto revealed that seven people were sentenced to death in only 2017 but Ghana's prisons are now holding a total of 160 persons on death row, including six foreigners.

Figures compiled by the Prisons Department and reported in local media indicated that 1,122 people were under sentence of death as of February 2017, it added. Among the countries cited were Iran, Pakistan, Belarus, Iraq, and China.

Death sentences have been finalized for the cult members, with some of those convicted reported to be seeking retrials.

"Although there seems to be a slight drop from the number of executions reported past year, we are not sure of the exact number of executions in Malaysia as this information is not made accessible to the public". She said that "part of the government's job is to punish those who do evil, and the death penalty is to curb heinous crimes".

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Kenya also has not executed any death-row inmates since 1987. He was put to death for the 2002 strangling death of his 12-year-old stepdaughter in Livingston Parish.

On Tuesday in the Senate, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, representing the conference, said, "The Catholic Church considers the death penalty an offense against the sanctity of life". No notification is being given. "Though rulers like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman trumpet supposed "reforms" - Saudi executioners are as busy now as they were two years ago".

A public execution in the northern city of Nour, Iran.

"The fact that countries continue to resort to the death penalty for drug-related offences remains troubling". But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia's moratorium on the use of the death penalty will not be suspended, the report said. In 2017, all three of al-Nahiri's civilian lawyers with experience in death penalty defense were withdrawn, leaving him with just one military lawyer lacking any capital punishment experience.

"Over the past 40 years, we've seen a huge positive shift in the global outlook for the death penalty, but more urgent steps need to be taken to stop the horrifying practice of state killing", said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's secretary-general.

Some legislators also chafed at the religious leaders - including a nun and a representative for the Catholic bishops - saying the death penalty was immoral.

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