AG drafts bill outlining executing death sentence, favours lethal injection

Attorney General Azima Shukoor has drafted a bill outlining how the death sentence should be executed in the Maldives, with lethal injection being identified as the state’s preferred method of capital punishment.

Shukoor today held a press conference to provide local media with information about the bill, which is also to be opened for public comment.

The Attorney General’s Office has said that it has looked to procedures followed by Egypt, Malaysia and the US in carrying out the death sentence, while also obtaining the opinions of religious scholars and lawyers when drafting the bill.

With the bill favouring the use of lethal injection to execute suspected criminals, Shukoor said the proposals would be open for public comment for one month.

Court procedure

In the case of a suspected murder trial, the bill drafted by Shukoor obliges the accused to be represented by a lawyer during their trial.  In any case where the accused refuses to have a lawyer, the bill would require the state to provide legal representation for the respondent.

According to the new bill, when the Criminal Court proceeds with a murder case, it would need to have a bench consisting of three judges, one of whom has to have studied Islamic Sharia.

The bill would also oblige the High Court to have a panel of five judges overhearing murder cases, with the Supreme Court required to have a panel of seven judges.

According to the bill, any death sentence cannot be executed without the final judgement of the Supreme Court.

Photographing and filming of any execution carried out by the state would also be deemed unlawful under the attorney general’s proposals.

Should a suspect who is a minor, pregnant or in a critical medical condition be found guilty of murder, the bill states that the execution shall be delayed.

Shukoor also included an article concerning the authority currently given to the Head of State to commute death sentences to life sentences.  The bill noted that AG’s Office needed further time review the matter as the opinions of different experts were inconsistent on the president’s prerogative to commute sentences.

According to the bill, a suspect found guilty of murder would also be provided with the opportunity to meet his family on the day of execution and say their last words.

In October this year, the government has announced its intention to introduce a bill to the People’s Majlis in order to guide and govern the implementation of the death penalty in the country.

“It is currently a punishment passed by the judiciary and a form of punishment available within the penal system of the Maldives,” said Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed at the time.

“But for full guidance and matters governing the matter, legislation is required,” he added.

The last person to be judicially executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi, who was executed by firing squad in 1953 after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder using black magic.

Statistics show that from January 2001 to December 2010, a total of 14 people were sentenced to death by Maldivian courts.

However, in all cases, the acting president has commuted these verdicts to life sentences.

Judicial concerns

Speaking to Minivan News earlier this month, former Foreign Minister and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Dr Ahmed Shaheed identified the “pathetic state of the [Maldives] judiciary” as one of the key human rights concerns he believed needed to be addressed in the country.

“[The judiciary] is not only corrupt, but also coming under the influence of radical Islam, even to the extent of violating codified laws of the Maldives and clear international obligations,” Dr Shaheed claimed yesterday.

“Disregard for rule of law has also meant that a culture of impunity is deeply entrenched, rendering many of the human rights of the people meaningless.”


21 thoughts on “AG drafts bill outlining executing death sentence, favours lethal injection”

  1. Proven murderers must be executed. Bottom line.

    Fear of execution/death is enhanced by the method used. Progressively lethal injection, shooting, hanging, beheading, electrocution, stoning are different methods which would instill increased fear. That is, stoning to death would be a better deterrent than the cleaner lethal-injection.

    An execution will have to achieve 2 things. The person must die. It should also be a deterrent to others.

    So, we should opt for something that achieves both objectives.

  2. Do it the islamic way, then it will be fine. The system stinks because it has secular elements to it.
    Read this to see what PATHETIC REALLY IS:

    "The punishment for murder in America is not equal to the crime. Life is being devalued in this country, not only by light sentences for those that commit murder, but also by allowing abortions. In South Carolina recently, a man killed two women and burned their bodies and was only sentenced to 19 years in prison. Another man that killed two people received only 20 years. By comparison, a man that was convicted of fighting chickens was sentenced to 40 years and the public became furious that he might be released early for good behavior."

    Read more:

  3. The first person that we should nominate as a test case should be Azima Sukoor! Is this woman insane!? The world has moved and is continuing to move on without the death penalty and this bat is trying to bring it back?! Sheesh! Yeah...try her frist in the Kangaroo Court of Banana Republic and then hang her! See how her family thinks about that then.

  4. @Ali Musthafa on Thu, 20th Dec 2012 9:54 PM

    "That is, stoning to death would be a better deterrent than the cleaner lethal-injection."

    Your assumption that death by lethal-injection is "cleaner" than other forms is misguided, to say the least. I will explain why.

    By its very nature, the lethal injection is a cocktail of rather nasty chemicals, injected into the bloodstream of the recipient in stages. The cocktail is injected in this sequence (

    (1) Sodium thiopental or pentobarbital: ultra-short action barbiturate, an anesthetic agent capable of rendering the prisoner unconscious in a few seconds.

    (2) Pancuronium bromide: non-depolarizing muscle relaxant, causes complete, fast and sustained paralysis of the skeletal striated muscles, including the diaphragm and the rest of the respiratory muscles; this would eventually cause death by asphyxiation.

    (3) Potassium chloride: stops the heart, and thus causes death by cardiac arrest.

    Any of these stages can go horribly wrong, and there have been numerous cases of recipients suffering for prolonged periods before they are pronounced dead.

    Example ( On December 13, 2006, Angel Nieves Diaz was not executed successfully in Florida using a standard lethal injection dose. Diaz was 55 years old, and had been sentenced to death for murder. Diaz did not succumb to the lethal dose even after 35 minutes, necessitating a second dose of drugs to complete the execution.

    The chance of errors being made in lethal injection cases is far higher than, say, hanging, shooting or beheading. This is because, medical personnel cannot carry out what is essentially a medical procedure, since a medical doctor's oath prohibits him or her from wilfully taking another life.

    In fact, the person who actually invented the lethal injection cocktail went on record to say that his priority was not to consider so much the suffering of the recipient as much as ensuring timely death!

  5. Factors leading to wrongful convictions include:

    Inadequate legal representation
    Police and prosecutorial misconduct
    Perjured testimony and mistaken eyewitness testimony
    Racial prejudice
    Jailhouse "snitch" testimony
    Suppression and/or misinterpretation of mitigating evidence
    Community/political pressure to solve a case

  6. "The fear of death"
    Yes, that's why crime rates in the countries applying the death penalty are lower. (To be sure nobody misses the ironic tone: in fact the crime rates are higher in those countries)

    Does someone who is prepared to kill, value his/her own life a lot you think? Who is punished most by the death penalty? The relatives and friends left behind of course, those who don't deserve to be punished.

    Next to that the judiciary in The Maldives is incompetent and corrupt, and you can't bring innocents back to life.

    And of course someone has to be the murderer of the murderer.

    Another step back for The Maldives.

  7. Azimaa n the Dictator Gsyoom n the people involved in the coup feb 7 8 must be tried under the law first. It is a good thing cause the are digging their grave yard by them self.

  8. When lifting of the moratorium on the execution of the death penalty was first considered within the Government in the immediate aftermath of Dr. Afrasheem's death, I had asked the Government not to act on emotion alone. Then I had asked for the reason behind the proposed policy shift. After I had reasoned down every argument forwarded, I was finally told that the death penalty is an ELECTION WINNER. The Government admitted that it was capitalizing on the public sentiments following a number of murders including that of Dr. Afrasheem.

  9. Azima, i love the bill, cox it was copied from American consitution, if u see both u will see the different between both the bills. Why Asima was liying, there wasnt any relations with the Malaysia.

  10. the victims of the murderer also should have suffered much more than the murderer . So what ?

    The person who got murdered and their family also have the rights and feelings too. Why would one need to think about the killer ?

    If proven beyond the doubts, the killer must be killed.

  11. How much deeper can you fall baghee government??? You lack empathy, sympathy, imagination: the horror, the perversion of capital punishment for all concerned does in no way improve the present situatuin with violence become a matter of course...It simply adds in a most barbaric and uncivilized manner to it!!!

  12. Stop creating psychopaths by victimizing children in their childhood rather than start other series of killing. Maldives has favorable breeding ground for psychopaths, Adaatlath with Islamic extremism, the highest divorce rate in the world, indoctrination of children in the schools with extreme religious teaching, lack of education, poverty, homelessness, lack of empathy in the society due to Islamic extremism, Uncivilized culture where people don’t appreciate others, and have no sense of respect to fellow human being. If you start institutionalized killing, is adding another barbarisms to this vulnerable people.

  13. Fear of death may repress evil actions, ( I doubt it but for arguments sake lets say it does...) But FEAR will not create HARMONY, CARING, A DEMOCRATIC 'CULTURE...'

    the culture of hunger for power, prestige, wealth for the sake of these things is destroying genuine caring.

    ONLY the power of true caring for others - intense caring for others - which is IN TURN born from caring, can eradicate the attitudes of amorality, greed, vengeance, hunger for prestige and power at any cost and corruption which is making democracy FAIL in the MALDIVES.

    It matters not what you do, but the love with which you do it. SMALL THINGS DONE WITH GREAT LOVE ARE FAR GREATER TO God than great things done for selfish purposes. A Bangladeshi toilet cleaner who works with genuine caring for others and for what he is doing is more noble spiritually than a President who wants prestige for the sake of it.

  14. Two things stand out against this bill. One your country does not have a fair justice system to satisfy due process nor does your police force have the adequate resources to present clear forensic evidence to support a guilty verdict for the death penalty.

    What is also a fact from countries who apply the death penalty is that a criminal who commits a violent crime will be more inclined to commit murder to remove the chance of the victim indentifing them to the police. You will see a increase in murder, but a reduction in other crimes because the criminal mind will always beleive they will not get caught if there is no witness to testify.

    It's fair to say, your judges are not qualfied to pronouce sentence on traffic offences let alone pass the death sentence until they are removed from the political and religious influence that drags the Maldives back to the 15th Century.

  15. @Maldives politics on Sat, 22nd Dec 2012 5:55 PM

    "If you start institutionalized killing, is adding another barbarisms to this vulnerable people."

    True to some extent. With the rate of increase of the population of Maldesh, there should be no shortage of candidates on death row. Thanks to modern medicine and an unchecked and uncontrolled mass migration from Bangladesh, Maldives will no longer be recognisable in a couple of decades from now.

    It's barely recognisable from what it was two decades ago. The next two decades will seal its fate and my prediction is dire. It will be a filthy, over populated intolerant place where no sane person would want to go. Maldesh, here it comes...

  16. Well done! Waheed and Azima, You have put Maldives back in the 8th Century. I wonder what the implications from EU states will be. It is indeed a very sad day for this little struggling democracy. Maldives will surely loose its hard earned name as the Tropical Island Paradise

    Ali Mustapha... You are very much misinformed. In USA, the states that implement capital punishment have higher murder rates than the states that do not. Look it up!!


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