Showing posts with label Hangings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hangings. Show all posts

January 10, 2018

Hanging In Iran for Some Dug Offenses Has Been Abolished

Image copyright 


Iranian officials prepare a noose for an execution in Noor of a convicted murderer who was eventually spared by the mother of his victim (15 April 2014) 
Image caption
(AFP pictures) 
               BBC reports:
Capital punishment has been abolished for some drug offences, and the head of the judiciary has said all cases on death row can be reviewed.
The move is set to be applied retrospectively, meaning some 5,000 prisoners could escape execution.
Iran executes hundreds of people every year, mostly for drug offences.
In August, Iran's parliament raised the threshold on the amount of drugs that would be considered a capital offence. 
Under the previous law, possessing 30g of cocaine would trigger the death penalty but that has been increased to 2kg (4.4lb). The limit on opium and marijuana has been increased tenfold to 50kg.
  • Iranian minister calls for fewer executions in 2016
  • Iran's drug addicts 'more than double' in six years
  • 'Disturbing rise' in global executions
Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani told local media that most death sentences would be reduced to extended jail terms.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, from Iran Human Rights (IHR), an independent NGO based in Norway, welcomed the law change.
Image shows an Iranian policeman guarding 3,000kg (6,600lb) of opium seized from drug smugglers.
An Iranian policeman guards 3,000kg (6,600lb) of opium seized from drug smugglers(AFP)

"If implemented properly, this change in law will represent one of the most significant steps towards reduction in the use of the death penalty worldwide," he told the BBC.
But he expressed concern that those on death row might not be able to take advantage. "Since most of those sentenced to death for drug offences belong to the most marginalised parts of Iranian society, it is not given that they have the knowledge and resources to apply for commuting their sentence," he said.
Human rights group Amnesty International also welcomed the news, but said it would like to see further progress.
"The Iranian authorities must stop using the death penalty for drug-related offences, with a view to eventually abolishing it for all crimes," a spokeswoman said.
"There are currently an estimated 5,000 people on death row for such offences across the country. About 90% of them are first-time offenders aged between 20 and 30 years old."
The group quoted an official who said that, since 1988, Iran had executed 10,000 people for drug crimes.
In 2016, Iran's then justice minister said he was looking for an "effective punishment" for criminals instead of execution. Mostafa Pourmohammadi said he thought the number of capital crimes should be revised and the death penalty kept for "corrupt people".

July 21, 2017

More On the Suicide Death of Chester Bennington 41

Chester Bennington, lead singer of the band Linkin Park, was found dead in his home Thursday, and his death is being investigated as a possible suicide, the L.A. County Coroner’s Office confirms to PEOPLE.
Law enforcement officials responded to an emergency call from Bennington’s home in Palo Verdes Estates, California, around 9 a.m., an officer told PEOPLE. TMZ reportsBennington, 41, hanged himself and was discovered by an employee. 

Bennington’s band mate, guitarist and vocalist Mike Shinoda, confirmed the news on Twitter Thursday, writing: “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”


The rock frontman was a close friend of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell — who also committed suicide by hanging in May — and spoke at his funeral. Bennington’s body was found on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday

Since the news of his death broke, collaborators, friends and fans have taken to social media to pay their respects.
Cameron Strang, the head of Linkin Park’s label Warner Bros Records, said in a statement: “Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”


Born in Phoenix, Arizona on March 20, 1976, Bennington suffered several childhood traumas that would haunt his life for years to come. His parents divorced when he was 11 and he was sent to live with his father, a police detective who specialized in child sex abuse cases. It wasn’t until years later that Bennington revealed that he was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of an older male friend beginning at just 7 years old.

“It escalated from a touchy, curious, ‘what does this thing do’ into full-on, crazy violations,” he told Kernag in 2008. “I was getting beaten up and being forced to do things I didn’t want to do. It destroyed my self-confidence. Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything. I didn’t want people to think I was gay or that I was lying. It was a horrible experience. The sexual assaults continued until I was 13.” He eventually told his father about the abuse, but declined to pursue the case when he learned that the abuser was himself a victim. “I didn’t need revenge,” he told the Guardian later.


The splintered family life coupled with vicious molestations triggered feelings of intense rage in the boy, and he sought solace in drugs. As a young teen he began using marijuana, opium, cocaine, meth, and LSD, as well as alcohol. High school was no less of a refuge. “I was knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different,” he said later. At 17 he was sent to live with his mother, who largely confined him to the house when she learned of his burgeoning  

By the end of high school he began to explore music, notably in the Phoenix-area band Grey Daze. The group released three albums between 1993 and 1997, but failed to make an impact on the industry. On Halloween 1996, he married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, and worked at a digital services firm to make ends meet while he tried to make a living from his band.
Discouraged, he nearly quit music altogether until Jeff Blue, the Vice President of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles, suggested he audition with a group called Xero, who were looking to replace their recently departed lead singer. Bennington recorded an audition song—missing his birthday celebration in the process—and got the job in the spring of 1999, playing alongside Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Rob Bourdon, and Joe Hahn. They eventually took the name Linkin Park in honor of Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park.


The band were rejected by nearly all the major (and independent) labels until Blue, now with Warner Brothers, signed them and financed sessions to re-record nine songs off their 1999 demo tape. This formed the basis of their breakthrough smash, Hybrid Theory, which became the best selling album 2001 and ultimately was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Many of they lyrics on the album inspired by the tumultuous emotions swirling inside Bennington as a result of his tortured upbringing. “It’s easy to fall into that thing – ‘poor, poor me’, that’s where songs like ‘Crawling’ come from: I can’t take myself,” he told Rolling Stone in 2002. “But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t say ‘you’ at any point. It’s about how I’m the reason that I feel this way. There’s something inside me that pulls me down.” 
He leaves behind six children from his two marriages.

July 20, 2017

Chester Bennington of Linking Park, Dead at 41

Chester Bennington, the singer of Linkin Park, in June. CreditKiko Huesca/European Pressphoto Agency 

Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, has died. He was 41.
Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide. Mr. Elias said that law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific Time and were conducting a death investigation in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County.
Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The band’s most recent record, “One More Light” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was currently on tour and scheduled to play a concert Thursday night in Mansfield, Mass.
Mike Shinoda, one of the band’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band will be issuing a statement.
Mr. Bennington also performed in the side project Dead by Sunrise and joined Stone Temple Pilots as its lead singer after the band split with the singer Scott Weiland in 2013.
In May, he responded to the death by hanging of his friend, the singer Chris Cornell, in a note he shared on social media. “I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” he wrote. “I pray you find peace in the next life.”
The New York Times

April 19, 2017

Former NFL Tight End Aaron Hernandes Found Hanged to Death

Born on Nov. 6, 1989 in Bristol Connecticut 

Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell last night after apparently hanging himself, Massachusetts authorities say:
On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming his door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on the scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a friend who he had become suspicious of for reasons that have never been fully explained. However, he was acquitted last week for the July 2012 murders of two other men outside a nightclub, and per TMZ one of his lawyers in that case, Jose Baez, suspects foul play and has "launched an investigation" into what happened:
We're told Baez believes this could be a murder either by inmates or the folks who run the prison.
Baez says the family is "devastated" and does not believe Aaron was in a frame of mind to take his life.
Baez—who, incidentally, was one of Casey Anthony's lawyers and was accused by a private investigator of having allowed Anthony to pay him via sexual favors—said last week that he hoped to have the Lloyd conviction overturned. (Baez has denied that he had any sexual relationship with Anthony.)
Hernandez has maintained a relationship with his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, since his initial 2013 arrest, and she brought their 4-year-old daughter to his most recent trial. (Though Jernkins-Hernandez has taken Hernandez's name, they are not married.) 
Although he was acquitted of the most serious charges in the double-murder case, Hernandez is known to have been in the vicinity of its victims with a man named Alexander Bradley—who Hernandez's defense team says is the one who actually committed the killings—on the night of the crimes. Bradley, meanwhile, later accused Hernandez in a lawsuit of shooting him outside a strip club in Miami in Feb. 2013.
This page is from Slate and written bBen Mathis-Lilley

Aaron Hernandez’s life sentence for murder has come to an end.
The former Patriots tight end, who scored a legal victory last week, committed suicide in prison last night.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction issued a statement saying Hernandez was discovered hanging in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts around 3:05 a.m. this morning.
“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statement read. “Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”
He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Wednesday. State Police are investigating the incident.
Last week, Hernandez was acquitted of a double-murder charge, but was still serving life without parole for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013.

February 7, 2017

Syria is Hung Thousands at Saydnaya Prison

Undated aerial photograph of Saydnaya prison, north of Damascus, Syria

A new report by the human rights group alleges that mass hangings took place every week at Saydnaya prison between September 2011 and December 2015.
Amnesty says the alleged executions were authorised at the highest levels of the Syrian government.
The government has previously denied killing or mistreating detainees.
However, UN human rights experts said a year ago that witness accounts and documentary evidence strongly suggested that tens of thousands of people were being detained and that "deaths on a massive scale" were occurring in custody. 
Amnesty interviewed 84 people, including former guards, detainees and prison officials for its report.
It alleges that every week, and often twice a week, groups of between 20 and 50 people were executed in total secrecy at the facility, just north of Damascus.  Before their execution, detainees were brought before a "military field court" in the capital's Qaboun district for "trials" lasting between one and three minutes, the report says.
A former military court judge quoted by Amnesty said detainees would be asked if they had committed crimes alleged to have taken place. "Whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no', he will be convicted... This court has no relation with the rule of law," he said.
According to the report, detainees were told on the day of the hangings that they would be transferred to a civilian prison then taken to a basement cell and beaten over the course of two or three hours.

Map of Syria showing location of Saydnaya prison

Then in the middle of the night they were blindfolded and moved to another part of the prison, where they were taken into a room in the basement and told they had been sentenced to death just minutes before nooses were placed around their necks, the report adds.
The bodies of those killed were allegedly then loaded onto lorries, and transferred to Tishreen military hospital in Damascus for registration and burial in mass graves located on military land.
On the basis of evidence of the testimony of its witnesses, Amnesty estimates that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Saydnaya over five years.

Witness accounts

A former judge who saw the hangings:
"They kept them [hanging] there for 10 to 15 minutes. Some didn't die because they are light. For the young ones, their weight wouldn't kill them. The officers' assistants would pull them down and break their necks." 
'Hamid', a former military officer who was detained at Saydnaya:
"If you put your ears on the floor, you could hear the sound of a kind of gurgling. This would last around 10 minutes… We were sleeping on top of the sound of people choking to death. This was normal for me then."
Former detainee 'Sameer' describes alleged abuse:
"The beating was so intense. It was as if you had a nail, and you were trying again and again to beat it into a rock. It was impossible, but they just kept going. I was wishing they would just cut off my legs instead of beating them any more."
Source: Amnesty International

Although it does not have evidence of executions taking place since December 2015, the group says it has no reason to believe they have stopped and that thousands more were likely to have died.
Amnesty says these practices amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It also notes that death sentences have to be approved by the grand mufti and by either the defence minister or the army's chief of staff, who are deputised to act on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. 
The human rights group says it contacted the Syrian authorities about the allegations in early January but has received no response.
Last August, Amnesty reported that an estimated 17,723 people had died in custody as a result of torture and the deprivation of food, water and medical care between March 2011 - when the uprising against President Assad began - and December 2015. That figure did not include those allegedly hanged at Saydnaya.


February 6, 2017

Putin’s Ally Syria is Hanging Dissenters in Groups of 50

 King of Syria who together with Putin has killed more men, women and children than Isis or anyone else

They don't know they are to be hanged, not until the noose is placed around their necks. As they are moved in groups of up to 50 people, they are told they are being transferred to another prison. Some in the “execution room” may still harbor hopes they are to be released and freed from weeks of vicious beatings, sexual violence, starvation and humiliation. 
According to Amnesty International, week in, week out, a grotesque execution routine has been under way in the jail 30 kilometers from the capital Damascus, and has been since the earliest days of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The rights organization published a report Tuesday containing harrowing details on extrajudicial killings at Syria's Saydnaya prison.
'Human Slaughterhouse'
Amnesty calculates that from September 2011 to December 2015, between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Saydnaya. The number may well be higher, warn the researchers of the report, “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison.” The rights organization says it has no reason to believe the executions have ceased.
The 48-page report, which took a year to complete and is based on first-hand interviews with 84 witnesses, including former Saydnaya guards and officials, detainees, judges and lawyers, as well as national and international experts on detention in Syria, is the second study Amnesty has published about the prison.
In August 2016, Amnesty, in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, pieced together an interactive digital model of the prison, part of a wider study on the extrajudicial killings by the Syrian government.
“Saydnaya is the end of life, the end of humanity," a guard told Amnesty's researchers.
No response from Syria
The rights organization asked the Syrian government to respond to allegations contained in the report, but received no response. VOA also emailed the Syrian Foreign Ministry, but to no avail.
The report reveals a routine of mass extrajudicial executions by hanging. Detainees included doctors, lawyers, activists, engineers and humanitarian workers, says Amnesty.
Besides the hangings, Amnesty says, “Large numbers of detainees have also been killed as a result of the authorities' extermination policies, which include repeated torture and the systematic deprivation of food, water, medicine and medical care.” 
Judge interviewed
One of the judges interviewed by Amnesty recalled the actual killing process inside the “execution room” in the prison's “white building,” one of Saydnaya's two main blocks.
"They kept them there [hanging] for 10 to 15 minutes. Some didn't die because they are light. For the young ones, their weight wouldn't kill them. The officers' assistants would pull them down and break their necks,” he said.
Before detainees are hanged, they are condemned to death at the Military Field Court. The trials last between one and three minutes. On the day the prison authorities carry out the hangings, which they refer to as “the party,” they collect the victims from their cells in the prison's “red building.” The detainees are told that they will be transferred to a civilian prison.
“Instead, they are brought to a cell in the basement of the red building, where they are severely beaten over the course of two or three hours,” Amnesty claims.
In the middle of the night, they are blindfolded and transferred in delivery trucks or minibuses to the “white building.” This takes place once or twice a week, and on each occasion between 20 and 50 people are hanged to death,” Amnesty alleges.
Silence is enforced
The rights organization said prison inmates are regularly tortured, through severe beatings and sexual violence.
“They are denied adequate food, water, medicine, medical care and sanitation, which has led to the rampant spread of infection and disease. Silence is enforced, even during torture sessions. Many detainees develop serious mental illnesses such as psychosis,” the researchers say.
Omar, a high-school student when he was arrested, shared an experience with Amnesty, "The guard would ask everyone to take off all their clothes and go to the bathroom one by one... they would select one of the boys ...They would ask him to stand with his face to the door and close his eyes. They would then ask a bigger prisoner to rape him...No one will admit this happened to them, but it happened so often...Sometimes psychological pain is worse than physical pain, and the people who were forced to do this were never the same again."
'A monstrous campaign' 
“The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population,” said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty International's regional office in Beirut.
She added, “The upcoming Syria peace talks in Geneva cannot ignore these findings. Ending these atrocities in Syrian government prisons must be put on the agenda. The U.N. must immediately carry out an independent investigation into the crimes being committed at Saydnaya and demand access for independent monitors to all places of detention.”

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