Showing posts with label Capital Sentence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Capital Sentence. Show all posts

April 30, 2013

B-Bomber Lawyer Looks Like it Will be Defending The Younger Bomber


Expert on federal death penalty cases is appointed to defense team of accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Reed Saxon/AP/File 
Prominent defense attorney Judy Clarke will join the defense team representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A federal magistrate judge has appointed a prominent specialist in federal death penalty cases to join the defense team of alleged Boston Marathon terror bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Judy Clarke, a San Diego, Calif., attorney, has the “background, knowledge and experience” that will “enable her to provide adequate representation to the defendant,” US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said in a ruling today.
Clarke’s clients have included Unabomber Ted Kaczynski; Susan Smith, who drowned her two children; and most recently Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner. All received life sentences instead of the death penalty, The Associated Press reported.
Bowler denied, for the time being, a request for the appointment of a second death penalty specialist for the defense team.
Tsarnaev, 19, faces charges of use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He and his brother, Tamerlan, are accused in the April 15 bomb attacks on the marathon that killed three and injured more than 260. They also allegedly killed an MIT police officer. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a confrontation with police in the early morning hours of April 19. Police say they were subduing him after a shootout when his brother ran him over in a desperate escape.
Clarke joins three other attorneys — Miriam Conrad, the chief federal public defender for Massachusetts, and two assistant public defenders — in defending Tsarnaev.
The defense had asked for appointment of two attorneys “learned in the law applicable to capital cases” after Tsarnaev was charged last week.
Bowler wrote today, “A federal death penalty case implicates particular procedural requirements and ‘is extremely demanding to defend because of the effort and pressure involved.’ In light of the circumstances in this case, the defendant requires an attorney with more background, knowledge and experience in federal death penalty cases than that possessed by current counsel.”
“Appointment of Attorney Clarke is therefore justified to provide the defendant with adequate and proper representation,” Bowler wrote.
In a footnote, Bowler said, “Indeed, her qualifications demonstrate she is ‘learned in the law’ of capital cases.”
David I. Bruck, the other attorney the defense wanted to join their team, is a clinical professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law and director of the school’s death penalty defense clinic.
A message left at Clarke’s firm this afternoon wasn’t immediately returned. The website describes her as “specializing in complex criminal litigation, federal capital defense, and white collar crimes.” An e-mail message left for a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office wasn’t immediately returned

March 13, 2013

Saudi Arabia Stops Beheadings {Temporarily}



Is this what progress looks like in Saudi Arabia? The Kingdom is considering ending execution by beheading in favor of firing squads, reports the Egyptian English-language news website Ahram OnlineA committee consisting of representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Justice and Health says there are shortages in government swordsmen and argue that a change to execution by firing squad would not violate Islamic law, the Saudi daily newspaper al-Youm writes. According to an official statement from the committee, “This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents.”
Execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia has continually been condemned by human-rights groups. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 69 people were executed by beheading in 2012, while Amnesty International says 79 were killed under the death penalty in the same period. In 2012 HRW wrote, “Saudi Arabia has no penal code, so prosecutors and judges largely define criminal offenses at their discretion.” Rape, murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking and even suspected “sorcery” are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s Islamic law.
The Saudi death penalty recently made headlines following the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan woman who was beheaded for the murder of her employers’ 4-month-old son. Nafeek arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2005 aged 17, but spent the next seven years in Saudi jails after the baby died under her care, writes CNN. The family of the boy believed he had been strangled by Nafeek, while she claimed he had choked on his milk. The young Sri Lankan immigrant had no access to a lawyer during her pretrial interrogation during which she said she was forced to sign a confession, notes CNN. The execution of this young woman revealed how “woefully out of step they [the Saudi justice system] are with their international obligations regarding the use of the death penalty,” said Philip Luther from Amnesty International. It highlighted how Saudi law tends to treat children as adults in criminal cases even though international law prohibits the death penalty for crimes committed before the age of 18, writes HRW.
A spokesperson for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that Ban insists on the application of international human-rights law for all men and women in Saudi Arabia, regardless of their migration status or nationality. “We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the growing world’s movement away from the death penalty,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. However, representatives from Riyadh have rejected these calls as “external interference” and claim that Saudi Arabia “respects … all rules and laws and protects the rights of its people and residents,” writes Ahram Online.

January 30, 2013

Requested Attorney One Not Provided } Sentenced to Death Today in Texas Justice



Kimberly McCarthy is shown in this undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photograph. Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on January 29, 2013, the first woman to be put to death in more than two years, for the stabbing murder of her neighbor in 1997. REUTERS/Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Handout
 By Corrie MacLaggan  
 Austin Texas }  Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday, the first woman to be put to death in the United States in more than two years, for the stabbing murder of her neighbor in 1997.
Women are rarely executed in the United States. Only 12 female inmates were put to death since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The last woman executed was Teresa Lewis in Virginia on September 23, 2010, the information center said.
"Although women commit about 10 percent of murders, capital cases also require some aggravating factor like rape, robbery, or physical abuse," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the information center, adding that women usually have not committed a long list of prior felonies.
"It's unclear whether jurors or prosecutors may be more lenient in potential prosecutions of women, since there are relatively few," said Dieter.
McCarthy, 51, was convicted of entering the Lancaster, Texas home of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, on July 21, 1997, under the pretense of borrowing some sugar. She then stabbed Booth five times, according to the Texas attorney general's summary of the case.
She also cut off Booth's left ring finger in order to take her diamond ring, which she later pawned.
McCarthy also was believed to be responsible for the murders of two other elderly women, one using a meat tenderizer as a weapon and another using a claw hammer, according to the Attorney General's summary.
McCarthy was found guilty in 1998 by a Dallas County jury of murdering Booth and sentenced to death. Her conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2001 because no attorney was present when she was questioned after the crime even though she had requested a lawyer, court documents show. She was tried a second time in 2002, was again found guilty by a Dallas County jury, and again sentenced to death.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2004 agreed with the second conviction.
McCarthy would be the second person executed in the United States so far this year. Forty-three inmates were put to death in 2012.
(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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