Posts Tagged ‘Death penalty’

China Executes Mentally Ill Man

December 29, 2009 1 comment

China has been roundly criticised for executing Akmal Shaikh, a 53 year old British national with a proven mental illness, at 2.30am GMT this morning.

Mr. Shaikh was convicted of smuggling 4kg of heroin into China in September 2007. It is understood that he believed that he was travelling to China to record a hit single that would usher in world peace and was duped into carrying a suitcase packed with heroin by his “producer” (who was working for a criminal gang) on a flight from Tajikistan to the remote city of Urumqi in Northern China. Mr Shaikh had no experience of singing in public. Mr. Shaikh’s brother, Akbar Shaikh, stated that during his thirty minute trial his brother insisted on holding his own defence and was adamant that neither he nor his family had a history of mental illness. Witnesses say that his testimony was at times “so absurd” that even the judges were laughing. Read more…

The Death Penalty and Ireland

November 17, 2009 3 comments

The former President of the High Court, Mr. Justice Richard Johnson has called for the Irish constitutional ban on the death penalty to be “reconsidered”. This follows on from recent debate in the U.K. (See Pádraig’s post on this here) and also from Channel 4’s recent documentary, The Execution of Gary Glitter. Article 15.5.2 of Bunreacht na hEireann prohibits the Irish parliament from “…enacting any law providing for the imposition of the death penalty.” No person has been judicially executed since 1954 (see here), although it was possible for executions to take place for certain offences until 1990, and a number of persons had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment. Read more…