A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh
advertisement

Pakistan top court approves execution of man with schizophrenia

[JURIST] A Pakistani man who was convicted of killing a cleric in 2002 can be executed [judgment, PDF], according to the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Friday, despite having been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The court stayed the execution [press release] of Imdad Ali last October as his wife, Safia Bano, appealed the conviction on the grounds that he required treatment in order to be mentally competent and prepare a will before his execution. Relying on precedent from a 1988 ruling [judgment] of the Supreme Court in neighboring India, the Pakistani court determined that schizophrenia "was not a permanent mental disorder." Four experts from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] urged [statement] Pakistani authorities not to execute Ali, and to retry him "in compliance with international standards" regarding mental illness.

Human rights and mental health activists have followed this case [JURIST report] closely, noting that Ali could be executed by hanging at anytime unless his case is retried. Capital punishment [JURIST op-ed] remains a controversial issue in Pakistan as well as worldwide. In October the US Supreme Court vacated [JURIST report] the death sentence of an Oklahoma man convicted of killing his girlfriend and her two children in a case where the trial judge permitted family members to recommend the sentence to the jury. Earlier that month, a group of UN human rights experts spoke on the subject of the death penalty and terrorism, calling the death penalty ineffective [JURIST report], and often times illegal, in deterring to terrorism.

Corrections
1
A previous version incorrectly indicated that Ali was insane at the time of the killing.
February 8, 2017 2:11 PM

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.