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Death Penalty Information

Friday, January 12, 2007

Peru rejects the death penalty
Peruvian Congress shoots down death penalty proposal

The majority of the Peruvian Congress decided not to proceed with the
initiative designed to modify the Peruvian Penal Code and give authorities
the power to sentence convicted terrorists to death.
In a rapid and surprise vote, 49 congressmen and women voted against the
initiative while 26 where in favor of permitting executions to convicted
The bill was expected to be submitted to the Justice and Constitutional
Commissions for further evaluation and in depth debate before the
unexpected vote took place.
As a result of the lighting-fast decision, congressman Javier Velsquez
asked the Peruvian parliament to reconsider its vote. However Velsquez's
petition was also shot down by the majority of the Peruvian congress.
The president of the Constitutional Commission Aurelio Pastor, who comes
from the same political party as the Peruvian President and sponsor of the
bill APRA, lamented the hasty decision made by his colleagues.
Additionally, Peruvian Prime Minister Jorge Del Castillo declared that
congress's decision to stop the initiative is not a political loss for his
APRA party.
He indicated that President Garcia was elected for his views on the death
penalty and that Garcia did what he could to get the initiative passed.
"The President and his administration did not fail the people. The
majority of the parliament thought differently. We respect their
democratic decision. Those are the rules of a democracy, sometimes you win
and sometimes you lose," stated Del Castillo.
Though the initiative is not dead yet, it cannot be brought to the
Peruvian parliament until early next year, when, according to Aurelio
Pastor, it will be difficult to resurrect support for the bill.
(source: Living in Peru)
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