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Death Penalty Information

Monday, July 31, 2006

Death Penalty Information - Blogs - Amnesty International
Death Penalty Information - Blogs - Amnesty International

JORDAN - Positive steps towards abolition of the death penalty

Government reconsidering death penalty — Judeh
By Rana Husseini
AMMAN — The government said it is planning to reconsider capital punishment in Jordan by limiting the cases to which the death penalty is applied, official sources said.
Government Spokesperson Nasser Judeh told reporters late Saturday night following the weekly Cabinet meeting that a legal committee headed by the minister of justice will review all the articles related to death penalty.
"The committee will examine all the clauses and attempt to restrict imposing the death penalty to certain crimes," Judeh told reporters.
There are currently 16 crimes punishable by the death penalty in Jordan.
His Majesty King Abdullah told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Nov. 16, 2005, that "in coordination with the European Union we would like to modify our penal code. Jordan could soon become the first country in the Middle East without capital punishment."
Minister of Justice Abed Shakhanbeh had also told a human rights delegation that was visiting the country two weeks ago that Jordan was considering abolishing several articles concerning the death penalty in the Jordanian Penal Code.
Human rights watchdogs such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have urged the Kingdom to abolish the death penalty.
AI frequently expressed its unconditional opposition to the death penalty, which it said "has never been shown to have a unique different effect and which is brutalising to all involved in its application."
The organisation further urged that no more executions be carried out in Jordan.
Meanwhile, HRW sent a letter to Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit in recent months asking him to abolish the death penalty in Jordan.
"Jordan should abolish the death penalty. HRW opposes the infliction of capital punishment in all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty," the letter read.
In addition, the inherent fallibility of the criminal justice system assures that even when full due process of law is respected innocent persons are sometimes executed, HRW letter added.
In December 2005, the Jordan Bar Association (JBA) criticised the two international human rights organisations’ call to abolish the death penalty in Jordan, describing the request as "interfering" in the country’s internal affairs.
"Capital punishment is applied in many countries including the US and the death penalty is known to be a major factor in preventing crimes and protecting society," JBA President Saleh Armouti said.
Crimes that are punishable by death include acts of treason and terrorism, the instigation of civil war, and attacks against the life of the King.
Premeditated murder and the rape of females under the age of 15 are also subject to capital punishment.
Monday, July 24, 2006
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