Pakistan has hanged 12 convicts, the largest number of people executed on the same day since the country overturned a ban on executions.
The men were terrorists, murderers or guilty of “heinous crimes”, an interior ministry spokesman said.
At least 27 convicts have been executed since the moratorium was lifted, most of them militants, Reuters reported.
It is estimated there are more than 8,000 Pakistanis on death row. Rights groups say many convictions are unsafe.
Human rights groups say that prisoners often do not receive a fair trial within Pakistan’s outdated criminal justice system and that poorly-trained police often use torture to force confessions.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that the latest executions took place in Multan, Karachi, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Jhang.
I’d like to be able to say that US death penalty cases at least got fair trials with no forcing of confessions, but I can’t. The Innocence Project has helped to make it unpleasantly clear that many convictions are not safe at all, including capital cases. Last December Ricky Dale Wyatt became the 325th person whose conviction was overturned via DNA testing. Douglas Starr’s 2013 New Yorker article Do police interrogation techniques produce false confessions? explained how behind other developed countries the US is in the way it trains cops to interrogate suspects. There’s a long ugly history of using arrest and conviction as a substitute for slavery.
But I guess we can be glad we don’t execute 15 people in one day.