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  • SAD: Man, 22, gets death sentence for killing 2 Americans in Akwamufie.

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    A High Court in Accra has sentenced a 22-year-old man, Yaw Anokye, to death by hanging for the gruesome murder of two African-American women at Akwamufie in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region, in May 2015.

    Yaw Anokye was found guilty by a seven-member jury after he had confessed to killing the two women in their 70s.

    Delivering her judgment, the Judge, Justice Merley Afua Wood, asked God to have mercy on the soul of the accused as he was about to face death.

    The two deceased persons, Mane Lena, 75, and 69-year-old Diop Nzanga, were kidnapped, murdered and buried in a shallow grave in 2015.

    Police in Akosombo found the bodies of the two after they were reported to have gone missing.

    Their bodies were exhumed after Acting President of the Akwamu Traditional Council dispatched over 70 people to complement a police search for the two when it became apparent they had gone missing.

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    About the two women

    The two, who dealt in batik and tie-dye, had lived in a small settlement near Akwamufie for more than 18 years.

    At the time, no reasons were assigned for the murder of the two expatriates, but some linked it to some community disagreement rooted in chieftaincy matters.

    The Omanhene of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, expressed shock at the murder of the two American women.

    He said Akwamus had over the years lived with many strangers and settlers, including foreigners, on their land, without any problem.

    Confession

    According to the Daily Graphic, during the committal proceedings at the Accra Central District Court, Frimpong confessed to single-handedly clubbing the two women to death.

    The five other accused persons were later discharged.

    Frimpong repeated his confession at the Accra High Court during the trial, but stated that it was never his intention to kill them but that his intention was to steal from them.

    According to him, he killed for fear of being exposed when they found him stealing in Madam Diop’s room.

    Per his testimony, Frimpong went to the apartment to steal, but in the course of the act, Madam Diop returned home and caught him in the act.

    Consequently, he struggled with her, overpowered her and tied her hands and also covered her mouth with a piece of cloth, after which he went home.

    But out of fear of being exposed by his victim, he returned to the house with a club with the intention of killing her and met Madam Jaana in the apartment.

    Frimpong told the court that he hit the two women repeatedly with the club and after killing them, and conveyed their bodies in a wheelbarrow to a nearby farm, dug a shallow grave and buried their bodies.

    After the act, he stole GH¢156 from Madam Diop’s room, went to town and drunk alcohol in order to forget about what had happened.

    Haunted

    After the jury’s verdict last Wednesday, Frimpong was given an opportunity to make a statement before the court delivered its sentence.

    He informed the court that he had committed other crimes which the police were currently investigating and said those crimes were haunting him.

    “These crimes are haunting me because I know I committed them,’’ he said.

    He prayed the court to have mercy on him because he had not intentionally killed the two women.

    On death penalty in Ghana

    The last time the Ghana recorded an execution of a convict, was in 1993, when then-president John Rawlings ordered the execution of 12 convicts via a firing squad.

    According to Amnesty International Ghana, as at September 2016, there were 137 prisoners on death row, who have not been executed. As a result, many have pushed for Ghana to do away with the death penalty from Ghana’s legal system since it is not enforced.

    Those opposed against the death penalty have argued that it is not the right punishment for a convicted murderer but retributive.

    Death penalty has been in the country’s statute books since the application of the English common law in 1874, but in practice, no execution has been recorded since July 1993.

    According to the proponents, much as the sentence may be seen in a wider sense as fairness, it doesn’t deter people from committing such crimes.

     

    Source: Citifmonline.com

     

  • Judge permanently blocks Trump sanctuary cities order.

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    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

    U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration’s argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

    The judge had previously made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The Trump administration has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law,” Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement late Monday. “The Justice Department will vindicate the President’s lawful authority to direct the executive branch.”

    Orrick’s ruling came in lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

    San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the ruling was “a victory for the American people and the rule of law.”

    “President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can’t grant himself new authority because he feels like it,” he said in a statement.

    A lawyer for the DOJ argued during a hearing before Orrick in April that the executive order applied to only a few grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

    But the judge disagreed, saying in his rulings that the order was written broadly to “reach all federal grants” and potentially jeopardized hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to San Francisco and Santa Clara.

    He cited comments by the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence that the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding. And he said the president himself had called it a “weapon” to use against recalcitrant cities.

    The Trump administration separately has also moved to withhold one particular law enforcement grant from sanctuary cities, prompting a new round of lawsuits that are pending.

     

    Source: Yahoo News

  • Greece unveils flood relief measures as death toll hits 20.

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    Athens (AFP) – Greece’s government on Monday announced relief measures for areas hit by flooding as the death toll rose to 20 with two more people missing.

    “All households (confirmed to) have sustained damage will receive an emergency benefit of 5,000 euros ($6,000),” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in a statement.

    The freak flood struck early on Wednesday in the towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Athens.

    The death toll rose to 20 on Sunday after a man’s body was recovered in Mandra.

    “We are still looking for two more people,” a fire department spokeswoman said.

    The waters have receded but the area is still full of debris, she added.

    Most of the victims were drowned, carried away by the floodwaters and mudslides, or trapped in flooded cars or basements. Several were found at sea.

    Tzanakopoulos said around 1,000 homes and properties in the area had been confirmed by inspection crews to have been damaged and their owners would be given state compensation.

    He said the relief fund would also apply to other areas hit by flooding last week, including the Aegean island of Symi and parts of central and northern Greece.

    Greece is also expected to request EU solidarity funds for stricken areas.

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