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All Rights Reserved © Specialized Journalistic Services Copyright 2007 Canada
Todos los Derechos Reservados © Seinforma Canada Copyright 2007
S e i n f o r m a
Specialized Journalistic Services (SJS)
Servicios Especializados de Información
°The Latin-Canadian Organization of Human Rights and Freedom of Expression
°Organización Latino-Canadiense de Derechos Humanos y Libertad de Expresión
Toronto marched against
the Death Penalty
Ronald Allen Smith is being held in jail in Montana, US, since 1982. A jury found him guilty of double first degree murder and he is facing a death penalty .
(Photos Gilberto Rogel/
The protest against the maximum punishment, that took place in the capital of Ontario, was summoned by Amnesty International within the framework of the world-wide campaign "Cities for Life". (Photos Gilberto Rogel/Seinforma Canada Correspondent)
...Their hands were tied with a white rope and the sinister executioner was walking at front, all dressed in black, but the most noticeable of all was his face, covered with a black hood...
By Gilberto Rogel / Seinforma Correspondent
Toronto. - The Toronto’s City Hall was not the same as usual, it looked different. Just next to the skating rink there were over 100 people that couldn’t care less about the low temperature (-12ºC) of the early coming winter, because they were all there for one reason, to join the initiative “CITIES FOR LIFE” saying NO to the death penalty.
The meeting location was “The Peace Garden” where this time an unknown and rather grotesque, but very illustrative, image was being shown. There were 6 young men dressed up with orange uniforms, similar to those used by the prisoners in the United States, including the Guantanamo ones.
Their hands were tied with a white rope and the sinister executioner was walking at front, all dressed in black, but the most noticeable of all was his face, covered with a black hood, just like the ones immortalized by the pictures from the Abu Grial camp in Iraq, after the entrance of the American troops.
The message was clear; the death penalty is maybe the biggest violation of human rights, which is why the assistants were carrying signs with the name of the countries were the death penalty is still standing, even though it is rejected by millions of people around the world.
The cold weather of that night couldn’t mar this significant activity that was open by a representative of the Toronto Mayor. Then a short march took place from the City Hall to the St. James Cathedral. On that short way people passing by and the audience in the vehicles were clapping the effort and confirming the commitment of this nation in favor of the elemental rights of every human being.
“How is it possible that this conservative government is facing back on so many years of democratic tradition by doing nothing for the fellow countryman that has a pending death penalty in Montana? It is something ironic when countries are being criticized and sanctioned but nothing is done with our South bound neighbor.” said Mary, an ESL teacher, retired years ago.
Ronald Allen Smith is being held in jail in Montana, United States, due to a doble crime ocurred in 1982. A jury found him guilty and he is facing a death penalty with an undefined date.
However, several organisms such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch asked for a clemency request, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a few weeks ago that his government will not take place in this business because he respects other nation decisions.
Amnesty International explains that ending 2007 only 64 countries have death penalty currently in force and from these countries 26 have executed at least 1,591 people and sentenced 3,861 human beings. The top places are for China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and the United States.
Canada abolished death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1976 and removed it completely with the National Defense Act of 1998. The last execution in Canada was done at the jail called “Don Jail”, located a few steps away from the St James Cathedral in Downtown Toronto.
Ottawa declined to make a clemency request.
SEINFORMA CONTEST: PROPOSE A NAME AND A DESIGN FOR THE NEW CURRENCY
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