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


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

Debate on death penalty not very vigorous 1 year after Aum executions

July 06, 2019, Japan Today

July marks one year since the founder and 12 former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult were executed after being convicted of murders, including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

The executions could have sparked a vigorous debate on the death penalty in Japan, but they have not led to any major movement calling for its abolition despite international criticism, and polls suggest many Japanese are supportive of capital punishment.

The unprecedented group execution of Aum founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, and the former senior members occurred on July 6 and 26, 2018.

It brought the total number of annual executions in Japan to 15 in 2018 from the previous year's four, according to the Justice Ministry.

Human rights organization Amnesty International said Japan is among 56 countries and regions that conduct capital punishment while more than two-thirds of world states have abolished it in law or in practice as at the end of 2018.

Approval of capital punishment is high in Japan.

A 2014 opinion poll by the Cabinet Office showed only 9.7 percent believed the death penalty "should be abolished" while 80.3 percent said its existence "could not be helped".

Among the latter, 57.5 percent did not support its abolition in the future, although 40.5 percent did "if the situation changes."

Yoshio Urushibara, a former politician and adviser to the Komeito party, the coalition ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, argues for abolishing executions due to the possibility of wrongful convictions.

"It would mean that the state kills innocent people," Urushibara, a lawyer, said.

But he also believes that any future legislation to abolish the death penalty would have to consider the feelings of the families of crime victims.

Many such families have mixed feelings.

"What about the lives of the victims who were killed as if they were less than bugs?" said Minako Ogino, whose 21-year-old daughter Yukari was murdered 10 years ago.

Without the death penalty, "I would like a punishment that makes (the perpetrators) feel that being alive is excruciating," she said.

Although no changes to the books have been made relating to the death penalty, the former Aum members' executions may have stirred something.

"It would have been impossible to have a discussion about capital punishment prior to the executions," a senior official of the ministry said, suggesting people may now feel more open to discussing the death penalty.

Lawmakers formed a cross-party group last year, calling for "a candid discussion" involving both sides of the debate.

Public safety authorities remain wary, meanwhile, of potential violence by Aum's successor and splinter organizations and have been monitoring their activities as the founder Asahara continues to wield influence even after his death.

Police sources say members of the successor organization, which branded itself as Aleph, have walked around the Tokyo Detention House where Asahara was long held and executed, believing it to emanate mystical energy.

The members have been recently doing so individually to attract less attention, the sources say.

Authorities also remain vigilant of a movement among the members to name Asahara's second son as their leader.

"We cannot deny the possibility that a new charismatic sect leader could appear," one of the sources said.

Recruitment is also a point of concern, especially among youths who either do not know or remember little of Aum's past.

The organizations have a total of 1,650 members with Aleph gaining 100 new members annually, according to the police.

Recruiters often engage their targets at public events, only later revealing their affiliation as relationships deepen, according to the sources.

"There are many young recruits who do not know the past cases (caused by Aum). We are afraid of them blindly accepting dangerous beliefs and becoming violent," said a former investigator who was involved in the cases.

Authorities are also concerned about the future of Matsumoto's remains, which they fear may lead to his "deification" or spark a violent leadership fight. The remains are currently being kept at the detention house, as family members dispute who should receive them.

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