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UNITED STATES. US DEATH PENALTY 'WOEFULLY SHORT OF JUSTICE', DEATH PENALTY INFORMATION CENTER

October 19, 2005: jurors in US death penalty cases are often excluded because of race and gender, are not shown critical evidence and tend to be conviction prone, the Death Penalty Information Center said in a report.
Of 37 people freed from death row since 2000, 23 had been convicted because of "misconduct in misinforming the juries," said the DPIC report, "Blind justice: Juries Deciding Life and Death With Only Half the Truth."
Described as "the first to focus on the problems of the death penalty from the perspective of jurors," the report found "disturbing" trends in how juries are chosen and treated during high-profile, life-and-death trials.
"Jurors' color and gender will often play a key role," said the report adding that in recent polls "far more blacks and women oppose the death penalty than white males," making their exclusion from capital juries more likely.
People with religious beliefs contrary to the taking of lives are equally excluded.
"A death-qualified jury is more likely to favor the prosecution's point of view," said the report, adding that studies have shown capital juries "more prone to convict than other jurors."
But even with the odds stacked in favor of the prosecution, juries are often "kept in the dark regarding key information about the case... evidence is chronically withheld, alternative suspects ignored, and questionable forensic evidence is presented as if it held scientific fact," the report said.
The problem, concluded the report, "is in the failed attempt to twist a system designed to identify the clearly guilty into a system for weighing life and death.
"The stakes in these cases encourages bending the truth and the elimination of jurors who might question the process."
As of October 1, the DPIC said 985 people had been executed in the United States since 1976 -- 58 percent were white, 34 percent were black.
Texas is the top executioner with 349 people put to death, followed by Virginia, with 94. In the 38 US states allowing the death penalty, 3,415 people are awaiting execution -- 46 percent are white, 42 percent are black and 10 percent are Hispanic and other ethnic groups.
A country of 296 million people, the US population is 80 percent white and 13 percent African American and four percent Asian. Fourteen percent are Hispanics, who may be of any race. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 18/10/2005)

INDIA. PAKISTANI SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR INDIA FORT ATTACK
BANGLADESH. 6 MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF CO-VILLAGER
SAUDI ARABIA. 14-YEAR-OLD BOY FACES EXECUTION
BANGLADESH. MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF WIFE
MISSOURI, USA. MARLIN GRAY PUT TO DEATH
AUSTRALIA. POLICE DEFEND TIP-OFF THAT LEFT 'BALI NINE' FACING EXECUTION
GHANA. A-G WANTS DEATH PENALTY ABOLISHED
RUSSIA. LIFE IMPRISONMENT MAY BE WORSE THAN DEATH - CHURCH OFFICIAL
OHIO, USA. OHIO EXECUTES WILLIAMS, CONVICTED OF KILLING DRUG DEALING RIVALS
AUSTRALIA. CANBERRA STEPS UP LAST-MINUTE APPEALS TO SINGAPORE OVER NATIONAL ON DEATH ROW
CALIFORNIA. EXECUTION ORDERED FOR CRIPS COFOUNDER
AUSTRALIA. NO HOPE FOR AUSTRALIAN FACING EXECUTION IN SINGAPORE: PM
IRAQ. FOURTEEN CONDEMNED INMATES ON DEATH ROW, PRIME MINISTER
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. DEATH SENTENCE IS COMMUTED
SRI LANKA. MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 4.6 GRAMS OF HEROIN
TEXAS, USA. LUIS RAMIREZ EXECUTED FOR 1998 MURDER PLOT
BANGLADESH. COUNTRY CRITICISED FOR "CHILD" DEATH SENTENCE
INDIA. KALAM'S MOVE BOOSTS CAMPAIGN AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
HOC. “DEATH PENALTY FOR SADDAM WOULD BE A RETURN TO THE PAST”
NEW YORK. PRESENTATION OF THE DEATH PENALTY WORLDWIDE 2005 REPORT
THAILAND. ITALIAN COULD FACE ON DRUG CHARGES
TENNESSEE, USA. SUPREME COURT REJECTS CLAIM ON LETHAL SHOT
UNITED STATES. BUSH URGES LIBYA TO FREE CONDEMNED BULGARIAN NURSES
LIBYA. TRIPOLI REJECTS US DEMAND TO FREE BULGARIAN NURSES
IRAN. WOMAN SENTENCED TO EXECUTION
IRAN. WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH BY STONING
JAPAN. TRIO CONVICTED OF MURDERING FOUR SENT TO GALLOWS
KYRGYZSTAN. PRESIDENT CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
CHINA. 8 GUN SMUGGLERS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN QINGHAI
EUROPEAN UNION. EU SAYS IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD DETERIORATING

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IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, THE HANGING OF THE PROTESTER MOSTAFA SALEHI IS A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC WORLD 
  USA: ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’, BUT IS IT ONLY RACISM?  
  IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME  
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
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