Wednesday, August 27, 2003

2fer Tuesday, uh, Wednesday from Nigeria...

Bury them up to their neck and stone them!

First....Sentenced Nigerian Woman Appears in Court

KATSINA, Nigeria - Lawyers argued Wednesday for the life of a single mother sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, as the woman cuddled and nursed her toddler in the Islamic appeals court deciding her fate.

Lawal, a divorced woman, was convicted of adultery in March 2002 by an Islamic court following the birth of her girl, Wasila, out of wedlock.

Acting on the Islamic law, or Shariah, adopted in a dozen predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian states, judges ordered Lawal buried up to her neck in sand and then stoned to death.

While her appeals continue, judges have ordered Lawal's execution postponed until she weans the child born of her extramarital affair.

Aminu Musa Yawuri, one of the defense lawyers, told the court that Lawal should be acquitted, arguing that an earlier confession was invalid because no one had explained to her the nature of the offense or the punishment.

Yawuri also said that under some legal interpretations of Shariah law, babies can remain in gestation in their mother's womb for up to five years, making it legally possible — although biologically unlikely — that her ex-husband could have fathered the child.

Second...Islamic Nigerian Court Halts Stonings

DUTSE, Nigeria - An Islamic court on Tuesday suspended what would have been Nigeria's first execution by stoning, ordering the defendant — convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl — into a psychiatric hospital instead.

Family members had sought clemency for Sarimu Mohammed Baranda, 54, saying he was mentally ill.

A court earlier ordered that Baranda be buried up to the neck and stoned to death, the penalty for adultery under the strict Islamic legal code adopted by 12 states in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north.

Baranda had confessed in his May 2002 trial. His family appealed the following month.

Baranda stared into space while the judgment was being read, shaking his head at times.

The adoption of strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria has heightened tensions with the mainly Christian south.


In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to sentence someone to death who had not committed a murder.

Louisiana doesn't.

The highlights:

Convicted child rapist sentenced to death in Jefferson Parish

A man convicted of raping an 8-year-old relative became the first person in Louisiana given a death sentence under a 1995 law that allows the death penalty for a crime other than murder.

Under the Louisiana law, the death penalty can be sought for aggravated rape if the victim is under the age of 12. The other penalty is a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

The Louisiana law conflicts with a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to sentence someone to death who had not committed a murder. Until now, no one has been given a death sentence for a crime other than murder, said Nick Trenticosta, a New Orleans lawyer who's handled many death row cases.

"There is no doubt in my mind this man's conviction will be overturned," he said.

Louisiana's death row has seven people who have raped children, but they were also convicted of first degree murder, said Burl Cain, warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Dateline...South Africa

Dining coming to South Africa??

The highlights....

The savage rape and murder of three generations of a family during a carjacking in which a baby was executed in front of her mother has led to widespread calls for the return of the death penalty in South Africa.

During the ordeal, one of the victims, the baby's 24-year-old mother Janine Drennen, managed to send two desperate text messages to her fiance, Clifford Rawstone. "Hijack", read the first. The second one pleaded: "Call cops".

The police, who describe the murders late last month as the "most gruesome" they have ever experienced, believe that the gunmen caught Miss Drennen sending the messages, prompting the vengeful killing spree.

South Africans have grown wearily accustomed to violent crime since the end of apartheid in 1994, but the depravity of this attack has focused attention on the government's failure to deal with the crime epidemic. The government, which has suppressed the publication of crime statistics for two years, said last week it was satisfied that crime levels were "stabilising" - a claim met with disbelief by lawyers in South Africa who say that fewer than one in 10 violent crimes ever result in conviction owing to poor policing methods.

More than 20,000 cars are hijacked in South Africa each year, often at gunpoint, but few attacks end in such extreme violence. The incident prompted 8,000 people to e-mail the Justice Department on one day alone, calling for the death penalty - which was abolished in 1995 by the African National Congress - to be reintroduced.

...Though the government refuses to release crime statistics, research conducted for the country's Law Commission and seen by The Telegraph shows that for every 100 violent crimes reported to the police, only six alleged perpetrators were convicted after more than two years. Convictions were obtained in only 10 per cent or murder cases and in less than one in 20 cases of adult rape or aggravated robbery.

The return of reader's last meals....finally...

julie of san bernardino, calif.

Crab cakes with mango salsa, good bread and oleo, Chicken satay, with extra peanut butter sauce and fresh cucumber pickle, a nap....then Lamb Korma, a piece of garlic Nan, with rice and cilantro on the side from some great Indian Restaurant, chai latte a really cute, hot and sexy latin lover man for about an hour cold lemonaide, freshly squeezed six freshly baked, gooey in the center white chocolate macademia cookies, fresh blackberries, with whipped cream

a guy with a Flip Wilson in his e-mail from parts unknown

steak, mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits,carrot cake, coke

myriam r. from parts unknown

1 whole a-la-portuguese grilled chicken (garlic, pimentos, olive oil)--just great on sundays (which is the "death row" of week days), french fries with mayo and ketchup, 6 pack of canned coke (classic, please sir), old cheddar, a few brownies, a pack of marlboros and coffee...all right you can have me now

amy w., from akron, ohio

a salad with just lettuce cheese and crutons with italian dressing, 16 oz filet mignon medium, baked potato with just butter, fresh bread with real butter, strawberry daquiri, a piece of cheesecake and a fried cheesecake sundae with vanilla ice cream and caramel.

Sunday, August 24, 2003


The highlights....

After Paul Hill is executed in Florida's death chamber next week, one aspect of his life likely won't be buried with him: the movement to kill doctors who perform abortions.

Hill, 49, and a small group of activists helped give birth to the movement in the early 1990s after growing disenchanted with traditional means of protest. Despite years of picketing and blockading what they called ''abortuaries,'' abortion was still legal.

So, Hill said, God called him to kill.

The Pensacola preacher obeyed in July 1994, shotgunning a hometown doctor and his bodyguard. Hill didn't run away. He didn't plead innocent. And he didn't appeal his death sentence.

If carried out Sept. 3, it will make him the first killer of an abortion doctor to be executed in the country.

But rather than close a violent chapter in the struggle over abortion, Hill's execution threatens to resurrect the radical movement, which has lain dormant. Most of its bombers and shooters have been locked up and muted in prison, robbing the movement of its essential elements: publicity and symbolism.

....Like pilgrims traveling to a revival, people who espouse extreme antiabortion views plan to go to Starke to protest the execution and talk about getting their movement back on track. They'll be joined by antideath penalty protesters who last week urged Gov. Jeb Bush to halt Hill's execution because it would beget more violence.

As if in fulfillment of their warnings, four anonymous death-threat letters -- each containing a rifle bullet -- were sent to Florida officials last week to protest Hill's execution.


Like a bust-out gambler at the race track, the profilers never let their setbacks stop them. After the Washington sniper and the Louisiana serial killer debacles, you think they might be a little hesitate to venture forth. That is not the case.

So without further ado, the West Virginia sniper profile....

The highlights....

Analysts develop profile of sniper
An intelligent loner who's thriving on terror he's brought to W.Va. capital

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- He's intelligent, but he may not have done well in school, and he's mentally unbalanced.

Most people view him as a loner or a loser, and he lacks self-esteem.

At some point, he may have been, or wanted to be, a soldier or police officer, and he still yearns to meet the standards of that kind of fraternal organization.

He may not be a "he" at all, but a "they" -- one man to fire the small-caliber rifle that has killed three people outside three convenience stores here, and a partner to drive the getaway vehicle.

That's the consensus of investigators and academics who've spent years studying serial killings and the people who carry them out. They're not involved with the Charleston shootings, but they're experienced with the process now being used by the task force of federal, state and local officers working to solve those cases.

"In some of these cases, there is nothing to go on [at first]. So you rely on historical profile, where there's a good possibility of these demographics existing, to help figure out who this person is," said Gregory S. Esslinger, a former FBI agent.

Profiles are not foolproof, and Esslinger and others cautioned that police should not become so wedded to finding someone whose characteristics fit a profile that they rule out other potential suspects.

But as a guide, a profile can be a helpful tool for officers who face the overwhelming task of combing a metropolitan community for a suspect or suspects who've already proven to be adept at disappearing after committing crimes.

Investigators in Charleston are seeking a white, heavyset man with dark, mullet-styled hair, long sideburns and a goatee. He was driving a black or dark-colored Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck with gold trim, an extended cab and tinted windows.

They suspect the shooter is a mentally ill copycat who craves the kind of notoriety generated by the Washington sniper suspects, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

"David Berkowitz told me the most esteem he ever felt was when the New York papers published his letters. Infamy is attractive to people like this," Ressler said.

"Muhammad and Malvo were big losers, but the biggest losers in the world were getting headlines. Now you may have someone who's turned on to the media attention the original sniper case got."


You need to read the whole article just for the composite shot....

The highlights....

FBI: 'We need the public's help'

If you have information on the shootings, call the task force at:
Kanawha County, West Virginia, Sheriff's Department
(304) 357-0169
West Virginia Watch
(866) 989-2824

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (CNN) -- Investigators said Friday that they have received more than 600 leads but appealed for even more in their quest to find the shooter or shooters responsible for the recent killings of three people outside area convenience stores.

"We need the public's help," said Ken McCabe, special agent in charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, division, which includes West Virginia.

...Authorities released a composite sketch Thursday night of a heavyset, goateed man who was reportedly seen behind the wheel of a dark pickup truck in the vicinity one of the August 14 shootings.

....Authorities also want to talk with a tall, thin person "with what were described as hairy, white legs" who might have information regarding one of the August 14 shootings, McCabe said.

....McCabe gave little weight to suggestions by the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department that the killings might be connected to the drug trade.