Philippine Standard Time
Monday, June 10, 2019, 2:18:54AM

In Defense of the Right to Life: International Law and Death Penalty in the Philippines

A study by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and Dr. Christopher Ward, SC, Australian Bar, Adjunct Professor, Australian National University


Zimbabwe Considers Abolishing Death Penalty
Human Rights Watch |, February 15, 2024
Death penalty incompatible with right to life
OHCHR |, January 31, 2024
Debunking narratives for a return of the death penalty
WCADP |, November 13, 2023
Jury in Pittsburgh synagogue trial to begin deliberating death penalty
The New York Times |, July 31, 2023
Singapore executes a woman for first time in almost two decades
The Guardian |, July 28, 2023
Ghana votes to remove death penalty, calling it sign of ‘inhumane’ society
The Washington Post |, July 26, 2023
Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk after Ghana’s Parliament votes to abolish death penalty
UN OHCHR |, July 26, 2023
Parents in South Korea who kill newborns now face death penalty after law passed
The Straits Times |, July 19, 2023
Capitol Hill Democrats introduce bill to end federal death penalty
Catholic News Agency |, July 19, 2023
North Koreans risk death penalty for using South Korean language
Scottish Legal News |, June 30, 2023
Arizona Man Is Freed After 28 Years on Death Row
New York Times |, June 16, 2023
Two Australians facing death penalty in Vietnam granted clemency
Al Jazeera |, June 06, 2023
Japanese Supreme Court upholds mans death sentence for Manila murders
The Japan Times |, June 05, 2023
Zimbabwe’s new bill that imposes death penalty for ‘unpatriotic acts’
Africa Feeds |, June 01, 2023
Iran hangs three on drug charges amid criticism
Al Jazeera |, May 21, 2023
Singapore: OHCHR calls on authorities to halt imminent trafficking execution
United Nation News |, April 25, 2023
Washington state eliminates death penalty from law
CNN |, April 21, 2023
HC: Death penalty should be abolished in the 21st century
UN OHCHR |, April 03, 2023
HC: Death penalty should be abolished in the 21st century
UN OHCHR |, April 03, 2023
HC: Death penalty should be abolished in the 21st century
UN OHCHR |, April 03, 2023
HC: Death penalty should be abolished in the 21st century
UN OHCHR |, April 03, 2023
Malaysia ends mandatory death penalty for serious crimes
BBC News |, April 03, 2023
Surge in executions of drug offenders in 2022, more on death row
Al Jazeera |, March 16, 2023
Pope condemns Irans use of death penalty against protesters
Reuters |, January 09, 2023
Pope Francis’ prayer intention for September: ‘Abolition of the death penalty’
CBCP News |, September 01, 2022
Singapore executes two drug traffickers despite pleas for clemency
CNN |, July 07, 2022
Malaysia to abolish mandatory death penalty
Al Jazeera |, June 10, 2022
Missionary priest praises Central African Republic for abolishing death penalty
Crux |, June 02, 2022
Saudi Arabia: Release Abdullah al-Howaiti, revoke death sentence
Un News |, May 31, 2022
Rights office welcomes Zambia’s pledge to abolish the death penalty
UN News |, May 22, 2022
Kazakhstan Finalizes Commitment to Abolishing Death Penalty, Submits Ratification of Protocol to UN
The Astana Times |, March 28, 2022
Papua New Guinea abolishes death penalty
JURIST |, January 24, 2022
‘Just Mercy’ author urges Utah Legislature to abolish death penalty
Deseret News |, January 20, 2022
Macron calls for worldwide end to death penalty on 40th anniversary of French abolition
France 24 |, September 10, 2021
Virginia Becomes First Southern State to Abolish the Death Penalty
The New York Times |, March 24, 2021
Death penalty debate reemerges in Nevada after past stalls
Fox 5 (Las Vegas) |, March 24, 2021
Virginia becomes first state in US south to abolish death penalty
ALJAZEERA |, March 24, 2021
Abolish the federal death penalty
Chicago Sun-times |, March 01, 2021
Family members of murder victims speak out against the death penalty
KPVI News 6 |, March 01, 2021
Bill To Repeal Death Penalty Filed In Wyoming Legislature
Kgab |, March 01, 2021
State Senate Votes to Abolish Death Penalty
Newsradio 1140 WRVA |, February 04, 2021
Trump administration carries out 13th, final federal execution
Aljazeera |, January 16, 2021
A federal judge has granted a stay of execution for the only woman on federal death row pending a competency hearing
CNN |, January 12, 2021
Asian Nations Reject UN Vote Against Death Penalty
Human Rights Watch |, November 24, 2020
Holy See: ‘Death penalty the most shocking thing in the world
Vatican News |, October 10, 2020
Tunisia president calls for return of death penalty following brutal killing
The Guardian |, October 01, 2020
Kazakhstan takes important step towards abolishing death penalty
Amnesty Internatonal |, September 24, 2020
US Bishops stress opposition to death penalty
Independent Catholic News |, September 23, 2020
‘Travesty of justice’: Reaction to execution of Iranian wrestler
Aljazeera |, September 14, 2020
Unpacking public opinion on the death penalty
Asia Pacific Forum |, July 28, 2020
The Florida Supreme Court’s U-turn on the death penalty
Tampa Bay Times |, May 28, 2020
Man sentenced to death in Singapore via Zoom
BBC News |, May 20, 2020
Saudi Arabia ends death penalty for crimes committed by minors
The Guardian |, April 27, 2020
Catholic leaders praise abolition of death penalty in Colorado
CRUX |, March 25, 2020
Colorado Abolishes Death Penalty and Commutes Sentences of Death Row Inmates
The New York Times |, March 23, 2020
UK urged to act over men facing death in Egypt for alleged childhood crimes
The Guardian |, March 08, 2020
Berlin International Film Festival: Iranian film about executions wins top prize
BBC |, February 29, 2020
Trump condemned after claiming very powerful death penalty would reduce drug dealing
The Independent |, February 11, 2020
Outsourcing injustice: Guantanamo on the Euphrates
Al Jazeera News |, February 04, 2020
British Isis prisoners may end up in Iraq, where death sentences are handed down without due process
Independent |, February 02, 2020
Saudi Arabia executed record number of prisoners in 2019: Report
ABC News |, January 14, 2020
Death Sentence Overturned for Pervez Musharraf, Ex-Leader of Pakistan
The New York Times |, January 13, 2020
Japan executes foreigner for first time in a decade
Independent |, December 26, 2019
The Khashoggi verdict is exactly what impunity looks like. It must be denounced.
Agnes Callamard, Opinions, Washington Post |, December 24, 2019
5 foreigners in drug case could face death in Indonesia |, December 18, 2019
Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan ex-leader sentenced to death for treason
BBC News |, December 17, 2019
Botswana urged to abolish death penalty after latest execution
The Guardian |, December 09, 2019
I Oversaw Executions. We Cannot Resume the Federal Death Penalty
New York Times |, December 04, 2019
Americans Now Support Life in Prison Over Death Penalty
Gallup News |, November 25, 2019
UN criticizes Irans use of death penalty against minors
DW |, October 24, 2019
The Death Penalty for Drugs: What Public Opinion Surveys in Asia Teach Us
Giada Girelli, Filter Mag |, October 17, 2019
Malaysia: Unfair trials, secretive hangings and petty drug convictions reveal ‘cruel injustice’ of the death penalty
Amnesty International |, October 10, 2019
Against the death penalty: barrister Julian McMahon
ABC Radio |, July 25, 2019
Malaysia’s repeal of death penalty opens deep wounds, including that of Mongolian model murder
The Independent|, July 09, 2019
Why is Sri Lanka reinstating death penalty?
DW|, July 07, 2019
Debate on death penalty not very vigorous 1 year after Aum executions
Japan Today|, July 06, 2019
Prosecutor won’t seek death penalty in death of grandmother
News 4 Tucson|, July 06, 2019
SC issues Interim Order against death penalty
Daily FT|, July 06, 2019
Latter-day Saint Church defends involvement in death penalty case
Fox13 Salt Lake City|, July 06, 2019
Death penalty debate remains muted in Japan 1 year after AUM executions
Kyodo News|, July 05, 2019
Source: Govt will not table Bill to abolish death penalty this Parliament meeting
The Star|, July 05, 2019
The murder was caught on surveillance video. The accused now faces death if convicted
Miami Herald|, July 05, 2019
Sri Lanka- Supreme Court issues interim order against death penalty
MenaFN|, July 05, 2019
Jury to consider death penalty in Chinese scholar killing
Federal News Network|, July 05, 2019
As Malaysia eyes death penalty repeal, Al Jazeera documentary explores dilemma of capital punishment
Malay Mail|, July 04, 2019
Kentucky judge declares death penalty protocol unconstitutional
Crux Now|, July 04, 2019
Jose Martinez, The Hit Man Who Confessed To Killing Three Dozen People, Avoids The Death Penalty
BuzzFeed News|, July 03, 2019
Merced County DA is seeking the death penalty. And it could get costly, experts say
The Merced Sunstar|, July 03, 2019
Activists Hold Annual Fast Outside Supreme Court to Protest Death Penalty
Spektrum News|, July 02, 2019
Kentucky judge declares states death penalty protocol unconstitutional
The Courier Journal|, July 02, 2019
Lawmakers vote to substantially limit Oregon’s death penalty
Oregon Live|, June 29, 2019
Abolish the Death Penalty?
New York Times|, June 22, 2019
The Intercept|, June 18, 2019
In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death
The Guardian|, June 18, 2019
Debunking the Court’s Latest Death-Penalty Obsession
The Atlantic|, June 17, 2019
Poll finds Californians support the death penalty — and Newsom’s moratorium on executions
The LA Times|, June 17, 2019
Using Saudi death penalty vs. children is barbaric
CNN|, June 17, 2019
Reader reluctantly accepts governor’s death penalty moratorium
The LA Times|, June 14, 2019
Saudi Teenager Faces Death Sentence for Acts When He Was 10
New York Times|, June 09, 2019
GOP Lawmakers Are Quietly Turning Against the Death Penalty
The Atlantic|, June 07, 2019
Death knell: taking a stand to abolish capital punishment
Monash University |, February 26, 2019
Germany abolishes death penalty in public vote
Independent |, November 21, 2018
Pope Francis: ‘death penalty inadmissable’
Vatican News |, August 02, 2018
One Test Could Exonerate Him. Why Wont California Do It?
The New York Times|, May 17, 2018

World News

Abolish the Death Penalty?

June 22, 2019, New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “When We Kill,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, June 16):

I served as a juror in a felony murder case. In the end, there was no question that the accused did, in fact, brutally slit the throat of an elderly woman and let her bleed to death in front of her lifelong partner. Being on that jury was the hardest thing I have ever done — to have to accept the reality that sitting 10 feet from me was a human being capable of such an inhuman act.

But would I have voted for the death penalty had it been an option (it no longer was in my state)? No. Why not? Simple: He was a killer. I am not.

Jim McKean
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I admire Nicholas Kristof immensely and usually agree with his opinions. However, I think he is wrong about the death penalty, not in his criticisms necessarily, but in his campaign to abolish rather than remedy. There are crimes so horrendous and indisputable (serial killings, Charles Manson) that make untenable the arguments for keeping their perpetrators alive at public expense.

I submit to Mr. Kristof that the process could be so clearly improved that instead of an error rate of 4 to 5 percent, properly horrifying and inexcusable, the rate could be reduced to a fraction of 1 percent, still horrifying but inevitable, and acceptable, in any system involving humans.

There should be a five-person sub-Supreme Court devoted solely to death penalty cases, with a staff sufficient to investigate them, to question prosecution and defense, to uncover not just prosecutorial misconduct (which we know to be too common), but also any information that is exculpatory or mitigating. Or to find a case airtight, beyond question.

That would largely resolve the problems of both excessive delay and excessive expense in litigating capital offenses, not to mention excessive error. I agree with Mr. Kristof that, as currently rendered, many death sentences are cruel, sometimes barbaric. I disagree that it must always be so, that capital punishment cannot be administered much more carefully and fairly.

Andrew Fitch
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.


To the Editor:

As a conservative and a practicing Catholic, I find there is little Nicholas Kristof and I usually agree on. However, I am in complete agreement with his position that the death penalty is barbaric. As he points out, the death penalty is neither a deterrent nor less costly than life imprisonment.

As a Catholic I am pro-life, and as such I cannot condone the death penalty. For me, there is little difference between abortion and the death penalty. Both result in the taking of a life. A distinction without a difference.

Gerard J. Cassedy Jr.
Ponte Vedra, Fla.


To the Editor:

Grateful thanks to Nicholas Kristof for his thorough and compassionate column on the injustice of capital punishment. My father, Harry Blackmun, delayed announcing his retirement as associate justice of the Supreme Court in order not to distract from his January 1994 dissent in Callins v. Collins.


Here is what he wrote:

“From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. For more than 20 years I have endeavored — indeed, I have struggled, along with a majority of this Court — to develop procedural and substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor. … Rather than continue to coddle the Court’s delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved and the need for regulation eviscerated, I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.”

Nancy Blackmun
Needham, Mass.


To the Editor:

After carefully reading Nicholas Kristof’s piece, I respectfully disagree with him. I grew up in the heart of the Ted Bundy years, and several of my neighbors were murdered by him (I did not know them personally). He murdered at least 30 young women — perhaps as many as 100 — most savagely.

When I heard about his execution, it was like lancing a boil. He destroyed the lives of more people than just his victims and never once shed a tear of remorse.

As a progressive independent voter, I am still firmly for the death penalty. It is people like Ted Bundy who have galvanized my belief. To be blunt, the death penalty is a form of societal revenge.

Doug Leen
Petersburg, Alaska


To the Editor:

I only wish Nicholas Kristof had extended his excellent article to criticize the death by incarceration with which some states (including New York) have heedlessly replaced the death penalty. The “life without parole” sentences now handed out more and more frequently condemn thousands of people to a slow but inevitable death behind bars, in brutal, cruel conditions that are now coming to public attention. As these sentences become more common, they will keep feeding the crisis of mass incarceration.

The answer is not just to remove the death penalty but to transform our thinking and our system to reflect the reality that everyone can change, that most people at age 50 are far different from who we were at 18, 19 or even 30, and that long sentences serve no purpose other than promoting vengeance and violence and filling our prisons with people whose incarceration does nothing to promote public health and safety.

Laura Whitehorn
New York
The writer is a co-founder of Release Aging People in Prison.


To the Editor:

A comment in Nicholas Kristof’s death penalty piece irritates me. He mentions that Clifford Williams Jr. had “a public defender,” insinuating that because his attorney was employed by a public defender office, that attorney’s work was sloppy and contributed to Mr. Williams’s conviction. Mr. Williams probably had a bad attorney, but his legal representation wasn’t bad just because he had a “public defender.” To condemn the work done by the thousands of overworked and underpaid public defenders in this country in one broad brush stroke is egregious.

As a criminal defense attorney, working for the Minnesota Office of the Public Defender, for nearly 25 years, I saw many intelligent, dedicated, skilled and hard-working criminal defense attorneys who represent indigent clients for a public defender office. I heard over and over from trial court judges that if that judge ever had a need for a criminal defense attorney, a public defender would be the first choice.

Mr. Williams’s conviction was tragic and may indeed have been the result of his attorney’s work (or lack thereof). But don’t sensationalize his story with a blanket condemnation of public defenders.

Barbara Deneen
St. Paul


To the Editor:

The death penalty should always be an option until there’s nobody left who deserves it. In the meantime, a life sentence is not enough for creatures like Ted Bundy. Beyond retribution, even life without parole offers no guarantee of continued incarceration. All it takes is one ideology-driven lawyer or documentarian crafty enough to make the case a cause célèbre and suddenly the victims’ families get to spend the rest of their lives going to hearings, or, worse, see their loved ones’ killer ennobled and released on a technicality.

The only credible argument against capital punishment is the possibility of wrongful conviction, and our legal system needs to do a better job preventing that, regardless of the sentence. As for the expense, the reason executions cost more than imprisonment is that they’re worth it.

World News index: