Cherie Blair has renewed her attack on America's use of the death penalty. In a book review in the Catholic journal The Tablet, under her maiden name Cherie Booth, she says: "Capital cases are uniquely prone to error and thus call into question whether we can ever be really sure of obtaining the just result.
"The reality is that too many people - innocent people - are executed for the system to be able to claim a just precision." The newspaper asked Mrs Blair, a Catholic, to review Ultimate Punishment, a book by Scott Turow, the American lawyer and novelist.
Mrs Blair uses it as a platform to push her views about the death penalty, which is used in 38 US states. She begins the article suggesting that Americans are more aggressive than their European counterparts. "The observation 'Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus' is illustrated by the two nations' differing reactions to use of the death penalty," she writes. "For many Americans there can only be proper retribution for the victim's family if the murderer too loses his life."
It is not the first time that Mrs Blair has courted controversy with her outspoken views on the death penalty. According to a biography of Mr Blair by Philip Stephens, published last month, the, [war criminal], Prime Minister is reported to have "squirmed" when his wife challenged, [war criminal], George W. Bush, the US president, over his support for the death penalty, during a dinner intended to bolster the "special relationship" between the US and Britain.
Bush signed more than 150 death warrants when he was governor of Texas. But Mrs Blair, who is, [allegedly], a human rights lawyer, [with a war criminal husband], bluntly told him that such executions were immoral and a violation of human rights.
Robert Marshall-Andrews, the Labour MP, yesterday defended Mrs Blair's right to write the review for The Tablet. "Mrs Blair has taken no vow of silence," he said. "She is speaking as a human being with a conscience and I think she should only be silent about parliamentary matters in which her husband is involved - and this is not one that is being debated here."
A leading Tory, however, disagreed. Ann Widdecombe, the former Home Office minister and also a Catholic, said last night: "I'm surprised the Prime Minister's wife is writing political articles in The Tablet.
It seems an extraordinary thing to do. She has never understood that the role of the Prime Minister's wife is not to publicly interfere in political matters in this way. Secondly, I think that what she has written is wrong. The people of Europe - as opposed to its leaders - probably do believe in the death penalty as a method of deterrence."
By Catherine Milner posted 11 February 04
Insane prisoner granted stay in the USA
The case of a condemned killer with a history of paranoid delusions and violent outbursts raises questions about executing the mentally ill.
OHIO: Judges join dissent on execution delay
Lewis Williams - his attorneys argued that he was mentally retarded, was executed by lethal injection on Jan. 14 2004 in Lucasville, Ohio at age 45.
Mexico Awaits Hague Ruling on Citizens on U.S. Death Row
Sbaldo Torres, a convicted murderer on death row in Oklahoma, should have been dead by now, his appeals exhausted, his time up. But because 15 judges in The Hague, acting at the request of the government of Mexico, have forbidden his execution for now, he is alive in a cell in McAlester, awaiting the next move from the Netherlands.
Jury Passes On Business Of Killing
US: This drives the death penalty crowd in the legislature nuts. Yet another jury - another 12 men and women, tried and true, who had all attested to their belief in the death penalty - has refused to join in the killing business.
Ultimate Punishment: Dealing With the Death Penalty
Scott Turow has long juggled two careers‹that of a novelist and that of a lawyer. He wrote much of his first and best known legal thriller, Presumed Innocent, on the commuter train to and from work during the eight years he spent as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, and he has churned out another blockbuster every third year since joining the firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal in 1986.
Are you sane enough to be executed?
New York: The US Supreme Court has let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court in February that officials in the state of Arkansas had the right to force a convicted murderer to take drug treatment to make him sane enough to be executed.
Amnesty steps up campaign to abolish death penalty
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International is urging people around the world to pressure countries to abolish the death penalty. Amnesty director Irene Khan has released a statement, which raps governments for carrying out "executions".
Port Lincoln Mayor has lost the plot!
Controversial Port Lincoln Mayor Peter Davis has called for drug addicts to be given a lethal injection to cut rising illicit drug use on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.
'LAND OF THE FREE' SET TO EXECUTE TWO PRISONERS BY FIRING SQUAD: Wanted: Willing executioners for two convicted murderers. Must be psychologically sound and familiar with .30-calibre rifles. No victims' relatives need apply.
There has been some debate whether: 'Capital punishment should be re-instated in Australia, since the terrible events that took place in Bali' In all democratic nations, every human being is considered innocent of any alleged crime, until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a court of law. For this reason, certain safeguards must be used for capital punishment cases.
TEXAS EXECUTES 300th PRISONER
Keith Clay was executed tonight, becoming the 300th prisoner in Texas to die by lethal injection since the rogue state resumed the death penalty 20 years ago.
AUSTRALIAN COALITION AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
" ... Our nation was built on a promise of life and liberty for all citizens. Guided by a deep respect for human dignity, our Founding Fathers worked to secure these rights for future generations, and today we continue to seek to fulfil their promise in our laws and our society.
Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Please note the following article carefully.....it shows clearly the hateful, uncaring and anti-human rights attitude as reflected by the Governor of Texas (and most other elected Texas officials).
Supreme Court Justice Blocks Execution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens blocked Indiana from putting to death its oldest death row inmate Tuesday to give the 71-year-old prisoner, who is partially deaf and blind, extra time to file federal appeals.
Stephen Romei: Death knell sounds for US capital law
GEORGE RYAN, outgoing governor of the US state of Illinois a republican who leaves office today, has put US capital punishment on the road to oblivion by commuting the sentences of all 167 of the state's death row inmates. Three were re-sentenced to 40 years' jail and the remaining 164 got life without parole.
Amnesty urges Bush to shut death row
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged US President George W. Bush to take a "moral stand" and abolish the death penalty after the Illinois Governor dramatically emptied that state's death row.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago