Archive for the ‘Death Penalty’ Category

Where McCain, Obama stand on the issues

October 13, 2008

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer 

A look at where Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain stand on a selection of issues:


McCain: Opposes abortion rights. Has voted for abortion restrictions permissible under Roe v. Wade, and now says he would seek to overturn that guarantee of abortion rights. Would not seek constitutional amendment to ban abortion.

Obama: Favors abortion rights.


McCain: Favors unspecified boost in U.S. forces.

Obama: Would add about 7,000 troops to the U.S. force of 36,000, bringing the reinforcements from Iraq. Has threatened unilateral attack on high-value terrorist targets in Pakistan as they become exposed, “if Pakistan cannot or will not act” against them.

Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (L) ...
Above: Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stand together onstage after the first U.S. presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi in this September 26, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Bourg


McCain: The co-author of McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is running his general campaign with public money and within its spending limits. He urged Obama to do the same. He applied for federal matching funds for primaries but later turned them down so he could spend more than the limits. The Federal Election Commission belatedly approved his decision to bypass the primary funds, but rejected McCain’s claim that he needed no such approval. He raised more than $160 million before having to stop to accept the $84 million in public money for the fall. McCain accepted primary campaign contributions from lobbyists.

Obama: The presidential campaign’s fundraising champion has brought in more than $450 million. He is raising private money for his general election, despite his proposal last year to accept public financing and its spending limits if the Republican nominee does, too. Obama refuses to accept money from federal lobbyists and has instructed the Democratic National Committee to do the same for its joint victory fund, an account that would benefit the nominee. Obama does accept money from state lobbyists and from family members of federal lobbyists.


McCain: Ease restrictions on Cuba once U.S. is “confident that the transition to a free and open democracy is being made.”

Obama: Ease restrictions on family-related travel and on money Cuban-Americans want to send to their families in Cuba. Open to meeting new Cuban leader Raul Castro without preconditions. Ease trade embargo if Havana “begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change.”


McCain: Has supported expansion of the federal death penalty and limits on appeals.

Obama: Supports death penalty for crimes for which the “community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage.” As Illinois lawmaker, wrote bill mandating videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases and sought other changes in system that had produced wrongful convictions.

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Vietnam sentences Australian heroin trafficker to death

March 19, 2008

HANOI (AFP) – An appeal court in Vietnam has sentenced an Vietnamese-Australian woman to death for heroin trafficking after prosecutors appealed against her original life sentence, a court clerk said Wednesday.
A policeman guards Ho Chi Minh City courthouse, seen in 2003. ... 
A policeman guards Ho Chi Minh City courthouse, seen in 2003. An appeal court in the city has sentenced an Vietnamese-Australian woman to death for heroin trafficking on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Jasmine Luong, 34, was handed the death penalty on Tuesday by the court in Ho Chi Minh City, he said on condition of anonymity.

Luong, who was born in Vietnam, was arrested at Tan Son Nhat airport outside Ho Chi Minh City in February last year as she preparing to fly to Sydney with nearly 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of heroin, according to a police source.

“She had been hired to transport those heroin packs, hidden in her luggage and shoes,” the source said.

Several Australians of Vietnamese origin have been arrested over the past few years for trafficking heroin from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia. Of those, some were given life imprisonment or the death penalty.

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North Korea Executes 15 People

March 5, 2008

(Seoul, South Korea) (AP) — North Korea publicly executed 15 people who attempted to flee the country or helped others escape, a warning aimed at stemming the growing flow of refugees to China, an aid group said Wednesday.

The two men and 13 women were executed Feb. 20 by firing squad on a bridge in Onseong, a northeastern town on the border with China and Russia, the Good Friends private aid organization said in its regular newsletter.

Read the rest:,8599,1719620,00.

China Says Death Penalty for Damage to Electric Grid

August 21, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 21, 2007

My Dad used to say that the gangs in his neighborhood when he was a lad would “steal anything that wasn’t bolted down.”

In China, that adage doesn’t apply. Somebody will likely steal the bolts.

In fact, young teenage boys have been arrested on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities because they were selling the large bolts that help hold together high tension power structures.

Today the communist government of President Hu Jintao announced that anyone who steals or destroys parts of the electrical system will face the death penalty.

When we checked with our team around the world, we quickly found some interesting theories. Most “China watchers” believe the problem stems from a combination of poverty and lawlessness.

“You get a ways out of the big cities and the rule of law doesn’t have the same value you might find in the U.S. or Europe,” one of our “watchers” who lives in China told us. “Who is to know if a gang of teenagers unbolts these big towers in the dark of night?”

In the Philippines, after the United States turned over to the Philippine government the former bases at Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Bay Navy Base, poverty and lawlessness crashed together to create this very problem. Even underground electrical cables were unearthed to capture their copper which had a high dollar value in the Philippines.

And just this past June, on the 26th, Vietnam decided the death penalty was in order for Vietnamese fishermen who made off with tons of fiber optic cable from the sea bed. The fishermen claimed they though the cable was left over from the war in Vietnam that ended in 1975.  That copper cable is fair game for salvage.

The charge that makes one eligible for the death penalty in Vietnam is similar to that in China: “destroying major public national security projects.”

In the Vietnamese fiber optic caper, Deputy Minister of Posts and Telematics Tran Duc Lai said that no country in the world had ever suffered such a massive theft of fiber optic cable.  

So what is the root cause of China’s problems with the electric grid?   One China watcher said, “The Beijing government cannot ensure law and order thoughout China. This meants infrastructure like the power grid can come under attack. But if you venture into the cities to sell the fruits of lawlessness, we will kill you. That is the message Beijing wants to send.”Why is disruption of the electrical system grounds for the death penalty?

The answer is simple: the communist government of China doesn’t want one day or one minute of manufacturing and money making lost for any reason.

“Theft of a sufficient amount of fuel oil will also earn you the death penalty,” we were told.

Another China watcher wanted to emphasize that it is not just disruption of manufacturing that is the worry of the communist government.

“There are scores of money making ventures that need electric power. China’s organ transplant empire services rich Hong Kong tycoons that fall ill. In fact, people come to China from all over the world seeking medical attention often of a dubious nature. You must think of this as a state industry.”

Chinese courts are believed to order about 80 percent of the world’s court-ordered executions — at least 1,770 people in 2005 and possibly many more.

Our sources in China have reason to believe that the 1,770 number was “minimized so as not to alarm human rights groups and other international bodies.”

China to apply death penalty to destroyers of power facilities

August 21, 2007

August 21, 2007

China will apply death penalty to those who damaged electric power facilities, resulting in serious consequences, according to a new judicial interpretation which takes effect on Tuesday.

Anyone who damaged electric power facilities and caused following four types of serious consequences will be sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years, life imprisonment and even death penalty, according to the judicial interpretation issued by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) of China on Monday.

In line with article 119 of China’s criminal law, the four kinds of grave consequences brought about by the destruction of electric power facilities are as follows:

— killing one or more people, seriously injuring at least three people, or slightly injuring 10 people or more;

— causing power cut for six hours or longer which affects the life of 10,000 households or industrial production;

— leaving direct economic losses of over 1 million yuan (131,500 U.S. dollars) and

— causing other serious consequences that endangered public security.

The interpretation said those who negligently sabotaged electric power facilities but caused serious consequences will also be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from three to seven years.

Source: Xinhua