Amnesty International has released its 2011 death penalty report. In its report Amnesty crows that the Caribbean is what it calls an Execution free zone. At the same time Amnesty International is celebrating the fact that not one murderer has been executed in the entire carribean which is becoming a murder zone, it’s surrogate Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) held a rally denouncing the Jamaican Police for killing heavily armed criminals who confront them in violent encounters from day-to-day.
Death penalty 2011: Alarming levels of executions in the few countries that kill
Countries that carried out executions in 2011 did so at an alarming rate but those employing capital punishment have decreased by more than a third compared to a decade ago, Amnesty International found in its annual review of death sentences and executions.
Only 10 percent of countries in the world, 20 out of 198, carried out executions last year.
People were executed or sentenced to death for a range of offences including adultery and sodomy in Iran, blasphemy in Pakistan, sorcery in Saudi Arabia, the trafficking of human bones in the Republic of Congo, and drug offences in more than 10 countries.
Methods of execution in 2011 included beheading, hanging, lethal injection and shooting.
Some 18,750 people remained under sentence of death at the end of 2011 and at least 676 people were executed worldwide.
But these figures do not include the thousands of executions that Amnesty International believes were carried out in China, where the numbers are suppressed.
Nor do they account for the probable extent of Iran’s use of the death penalty – Amnesty International has had credible reports of substantial numbers of executions not officially acknowledged.
“The vast majority of countries have moved away from using the death penalty,” said Salil Shetty Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Our message to the leaders of the isolated minority of countries that continue to execute is clear: you are out of step with the rest of the world on this issue and it is time you took steps to end this most cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”
In the Middle East there has been a steep rise in recorded executions – up almost 50 per cent on the previous year.
This was due to four countries – Iraq (at least 68 executions), Iran (at least 360), Saudi Arabia (at least 82) and Yemen (at least 41) – which accounted for 99 per cent of all recorded executions in the Middle East and North Africa. The rise in Iran and Saudi Arabia alone accounted for the net increase in recorded executions across the world of 149, compared to 2010.
Thousands of people were executed in China in 2011, more than the rest of the world put together. Figures on the death penalty are a state secret. Amnesty International has stopped publishing figures it collects from public sources in China as these are likely to grossly underestimate the true number. The organization renewed its challenge to the Chinese authorities to publish data on those executed and sentenced to death, in order to confirm their claims that various changes in law and practice have led to a significant reduction in the use of the death penalty in the country over the last four years. In Iran, Amnesty International received credible reports of a large number of unconfirmed or even secret executions which would almost double the levels officially acknowledged. At least three people were executed in Iran for crimes that were committed when they were under 18 years of age, in violation of international law. A further four unconfirmed executions of juvenile offenders were reported there, and one in Saudi Arabia. The United States was again the only country in the Americas and the only member of the G8 group of leading economies to execute prisoners – 43 in 2011. Europe and former Soviet Union countries were capital punishment-free, apart from Belarus where two people were executed. The Pacific was death penalty-free except for five death sentences in Papua New Guinea. In Belarus and Vietnam, prisoners were not informed of their forthcoming execution, nor were their families or lawyers. Public judicial executions were known to have been carried out in North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, as well as in Iran. In the majority of countries where people were sentenced to death or executed, the trials did not meet international fair trial standards. In some, this involved the extraction of ‘confessions’ through torture or other duress including in China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Foreign nationals were disproportionately affected by the use of the death penalty, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
But even in those countries that continue to execute on a high level some progress was made in 2011.
In China, the government eliminated the death penalty for 13 mainly ‘white collar’ crimes, and measures were also put forward to the National People’s Congress to reduce the number of cases of torture in detention, strengthen the role of defence lawyers and ensure suspects in capital cases are represented by a lawyer. In the USA, the number of executions and new death sentences dropped dramatically from a decade ago. Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. A moratorium was announced in the state of Oregon. And victims of violent crimes spoke out against the death penalty “Even among the small group of countries that executed in 2011, we can see gradual progress. These are small steps but such incremental measures have been shown ultimately to lead to the end of the death penalty,” said Salil Shetty. “It is not going to happen overnight but we are determined that we will see the day when the death penalty is consigned to history.” Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Regional summaries The Americas The US was once again the only executioner in the Americas. A total of 43 executions were recorded in 13 of the 34 states that retain the death penalty, a drop by a third since 2001, and 78 new death sentences were recorded in 2011, a decrease by half since 2001.
The Caribbean An execution-free area, with the number of countries imposing new death sentences appearing to be in decline. Only three countries are known to have handed down a total of six death sentences: Guyana, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Asia-Pacific Positive signs questioning the legitimacy of capital punishment were evident throughout the region in 2011. Not counting the thousands of executions that were believed to have taken place in China, at least 51 executions were reported to have been carried out in seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region. At least 833 new death sentences were known to have been imposed in 18 countries in the region. The Pacific sub-region was death penalty-free with the exception of five death sentences handed down in Papua New Guinea. No executions were recorded in Singapore and, for the first time in 19 years, Japan. The authorities in both countries have previously shown strong support for capital punishment. Sub-Saharan Africa Significant progress in 2011 – Benin adopted legislation to ratify the key UN treaty aimed at abolishing the death penalty. Sierra Leone declared, and Nigeria confirmed, official moratorium on executions. And the Constitutional Review Commission in Ghana recommended the abolition of the death penalty. There were at least 22 executions in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan. Only 14 of the 49 countries in the region are classified as retaining the death penalty. Middle East and North Africa At least 558 executions could be confirmed in eight countries. At least 750 death sentences imposed in 2011 could be confirmed in 15 countries. The continuing violence in countries such as Libya, Syria and Yemen made it particularly difficult to gather adequate information on the use of the death penalty in the region in 2011. No information was available about judicial executions in Libya, and no death sentences are known to have been imposed. Extrajudicial executions, torture and arbitrary detention were often resorted to instead. Four countries – Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen – accounted for 99 per cent of all recorded executions in the Middle East and North Africa.
The authorities of Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco/Western Sahara and Qatar imposed death sentences but continued to refrain from carrying out executions. Europe and Central Asia Belarus was the only country in Europe and the former Soviet Union, and apart from the USA the only one in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to have carried out executions in 2011, executing two men.[Amnesty International]
You will ask , and correctly so, why are you posting Amnesty International’s data on your blogs don’t they have their own website? Well yes they do and you are quite right in asking, but there is a reason that I do . I hope that you have read the entire report and as you do I ask that you look at crime statistics in countries like Jamaica Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. Then ask yourself what component is missing from this equation?
The component missing from the equation is any mention of the victims of crime!!!
Every year roughly 1600 people are confirmed murdered by criminals in the Island of Jamaica , in a county 4,411 square miles and a population of approximately 2.7 million these murder statistics are alarming. Even though Amnesty International’s numbers do reference the United States , of note is the fact that a large number of American States do utilize the death penalty. Most states of the united states are comparable and in many instances exceed the size , economy , and population of most nations in other parts of the world , and many of the 34 states that do retain the death penalty actually do execute murderers for their crimes.
The United states based on the aforementioned cannot be glossed over as a single nation , but has to be seen as 50 separate states with different sovereign governments, even so the Federal government do execute criminals whom are convicted and sentenced to death in federal courts. Despite arguments to the contrary States like Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida that has the death penalty do have fewer crimes than states like New york ,New Jersey, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia that defies the will of the majority and does not carry out the death penalty.
The United States has thousands of law enforcement agencies, police departments from Compton California to the south side of Chicago, from Little Rock Arkansas to New york city engage criminals every day. Police departments do not consult human rights agencies and lobby groups about how to do their jobs, many people are killed in violent confrontation with law enforcement each day in the United States.
Yet there are no dictates from Amnesty International to law enforcement. Why do I use the United States as reference? The United States is the nation most look to as the bastion of human rights and justice, the barometer by which others are judged. Yet despite money and other resources law enforcement agencies are forced to kill violent criminals every day. Are there instances where Jamaican cops are careless or have engaged in instances of extra-judicial killings we suspect that there may be evidence of that. We have no evidence of it, neither does JFJ and neither does Amnesty International.We do know that officers must do a better job with ensuring that no innocent person is injured at their hands.
As I write this blog there is yet to be an arrest made in the killing of 17 years old Trayvon Martin of Sanford Florida. Young Trayvon was gunned down over a month ago by a vigilante for no other reason other than the color of his skin. There was the case of Sean Bell killed by NYC police officers , Bell was out celebrating his bachelor party the night before he was to get married. The cases of police abuse and other atrocities committed against blacks in the United States is mind-blowing, yet Amnesty has never made one single solitary statement about the rights of those victims.
What we are saying to the people at Amnesty International is this poor disadvantaged people are the same irrespective of where they live. If you don’t find abuse of the innocent objectionable in America , Canada, and Britain , then you have no credibility to point out any perceived injustice in Jamaica or any other developing country. Thanks but no thanks .
We refuse to let the argument of extra-judicial killings be dominated by those whose motives are demonstrably in the interest of criminals.
As we have articulated those who talk about extra-judicial killings have zero evidence of what they speak, their only metric is numbers , which is absolutely not a means of making those determinations. One has to be eye-witness to a killing to make that determination and just being a witness does not qualify one unless he/she puts himself in the shoe of a police officer tasked with making those decisions of using lethal force.
There is a reason crime weary Jamaicans have simply tuned out Carolyn Gomes and the other far left bleeding hearts. That is the reason almost no one turned out for their carnival act, it was a sick circus and the Jamaican people treated it as such , this side=show was timed to coincide with Amnesty’s report and it ended up being a colossal flop.
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY
Jamaicans for justice issued a statement to the press claiming that they were intimidated because of the presence of the police at the event armed with rifles>>>>>>>> Not all of the attention seekers aligned to that groups was as outrageous with their claims. The officers were there for their protection of the same people who are persecuting them, such is the job of police officers.
This ludicrous statement bared the soul of the leadership of JFJ as a psychotic desperado group that the majority of fair and balanced Jamaicans finally and correctly already tuned out.
Courtesy of the Jamaica daily Gleaner:
As I have stated categorically, Jamaicans do not hate police officers. Our people are warm receptive and engaging , even those people without the benefit of formal education are deceptively intellectual with incredible reasoning power. They demand fidelity and honesty from their public officials, public officials including politicians and police. We have a population of 2.7 million people most officers are children of decent rural working people. The attitudes of people outside the corporate area of Kingston and Saint Andrew are vastly different from those who reside in those areas.
My point in all of this is that our people want to support their law enforcement officers, I have been away from law enforcement for 20 years but I still marvel at the level of support I received when I served. Support which resulted in the removal of many weapons and criminals from the streets and in other cases may have protected my life from those who wished me harm for no other reason other than the fact that I was a law enforcement officer.
What the Jamaican people are not going to tolerate is any group destroying one of their institutions which is populated by their children. They know that like their children who go astray and require guidance, sometimes they have to hold their police feet to the fire. What they will not have, are foreign funded groups telling them their children are no good and should be discarded. Jamaicans are traumatized by crime, they need results, they will not have anyone destroy those who stand between them and those who sow death and destruction.
Officers have a duty to uphold the fidelity of their office,they have a duty to the oath they took, they have a duty to themselves , their country and their colleagues to bring back respectability to the JCF. As we charge them to respect the rights of each and every individual, I challenge them to refrain from brute force but to use their powers of arrest to make the statement they chose to make. You do not need to beat someone senseless if he commits an offense, briskly apply handcuffs inform them of their rights and cart them off to jail. No one wants to be in jail. Use your powers of arrest on all who break the laws, without fear or favor, but before you do that officers , please know what the laws are!!!!! I urge my fellow Jamaicans to respect the rule of law, support your law enforcement officers, if you see something say something, the life you save may be your own.With that said send a strong message to the foreign interlopers that Jamaicans are quite capable of governing themselves, we will enact the laws we see fit and we will treat criminals the way we see fit.