Monday, 15 September 2008

Another Chapter in the Kindler Saga

Those who follow issues of human rights and the death penalty will know the name Joseph Kindler. He was convicted of murder in the United States and sentenced to death but managed to escape and flee to Canada. He unsuccessfully challenged his extradition before the Supreme Court of Canada, on the grounds that Canada could not extradite someone to a country where they would be subject to the death penalty. Then, he subsequently fought his case before the Human Rights Committee, but failed to convince its members that Canada would be breaching international law by extraditing him to the United States where he would face the death penalty.
Kindler has been back in the United States since 1991, but he is still fighting. He just won a ruling reversing his death sentence and calling for either a new sentencing hearing or commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment:
And in the meantime, both the Supreme Court of Canada (Burns and Rafay, 2001) and the Human Rights Committee (Judge, 2003) have reversed their case law. I hope that Kindler's decision is upheld, and that he lives to see the abolition of the death penalty in the United States, something that will happen sooner, rather than later, and probably faster than it took the Supreme Court of Canada and the Human Rights Committee to change their minds.
Thanks to Mark Warren.

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