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‘A Short Film About Killing’: The movie that brought an end to the Polish death penalty

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The most intellectually challenging film I have ever seen about capital punishment. Definitely a must-see. DPN review and YouTube trailer available in our 'Films & Documentaries' section — DPN editor As far as European cinema goes, there are few figures quite admired in critical circles as the inimitable Krzysztof Kieślowski. Known for his Dekalog series of 1989, as well as The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colours trilogy, Kieślowski embodied everything so extraordinary about the power of European cinema and that of his native Poland in turn.

Inside Saudi Arabia's 'relentless killing spree' of medieval-style executions under Crown Prince MBS

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Brutal executions are on the rise in Saudi Arabia under the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with human rights activists calling the score of beheadings and crucifixions a 'relentless killing spree'. The Saudi authorities have killed hundreds in capital punishments since the Crown Prince's tenure started in 2015, hitting a new milestone that Amnesty International said reveals the kingdom's 'chilling disregard for the right to life'. 

Taiwan | Nantou mass shooter awaits death penalty ruling as life sentence upheld

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Taipei, March 1 (CNA) The Taiwan Supreme Court on Friday upheld a life sentence given to a mass shooter who killed four people in Nantou, pending a ruling on the constitutionality of the death penalty. Lee Hung-yuan (李鴻淵) was originally sentenced to death by the Nantou District Court for severely injuring and killing the brother and daughter of Kang Jian Biotech Chairman Lai Min-nan (賴敏男) as well as two of the company's employees surnamed Chang (張) and Liu (劉) on July 14, 2022.

Georgia sets March execution date for man who killed ex-girlfriend 30 years ago

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ATLANTA — A man who killed his former girlfriend three decades ago is set to be put to death in March in what would be Georgia's first execution in more than four years. A judge on Thursday signed the order for the execution of Willie James Pye, who was convicted of murder and other crimes in the November 1993 killing of Alicia Lynn Yarbrough.  The execution is scheduled for March 20 at 7 p.m., after the judge set an execution window between noon that day and noon on March 27.

Louisiana will join Alabama in adding nitrogen suffocation as option for killing prisoners

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Louisiana is on the cusp of resuming death penalty executions for the first time in more than a decade after the Legislature gave final passage Thursday to a bill adding electrocution and nitrogen gas suffocation as legal options to kill condemned prisoners. Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, who made ending the unofficial moratorium on executions a priority in his legislative Special Session agenda, will sign House Bill 6 by Republican Hammond Rep. Nicholas Muscarello.

Singapore | Court upholds death penalty, rejects heroin trafficker’s claim he thought it was cannabis

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SINGAPORE – The Court of Appeal has upheld the death sentence imposed on a 33-year-old Singaporean man who was found guilty of heroin trafficking in 2022. A total of 25 packets of drugs were found in a drawer in Shen Hanjie’s bedroom on Nov 20, 2018, containing 34.94g of pure heroin. The apex court rejected his claim that he believed the drug bundles contained cannabis because “Alan”, his supplier, had said it was “shao de” – “hot” in Chinese.

Somali Military Court Sentences Six Moroccans to Death for Terrorism

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A military court in northern Somalia has sentenced six Moroccan nationals to death on terrorism charges, prosecutors and court officials tell VOA. A judge at the court in the town of Bossaso handed down sentences Thursday to nine suspects, including seven foreigners. “Six Moroccans, convicted of being members of Islamic State militants, will face the death penalty, Colonel Ali Ibrahim Osman, the deputy chairman of the court, told VOA Somali. He said an Ethiopian and a Somali each received 10-year jail terms, while the court found another Somali defendant not guilty.

Nebraska | Opponents of death penalty decry proposal to use nitrogen gas for executions

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They claim it’s ‘untested, dangerous and inhumane,’ while a proponent calls it ‘painless’ and not subject to shortages LINCOLN — A proposal to use nitrogen gas to carry out executions in Nebraska brought out a parade of opponents to capital punishment on Wednesday. Opponents, ranging from the ACLU of Nebraska to the Nebraska Nurses Association, called using suffocation via nitrogen gas “untested, dangerous and explicitly inhumane” during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Christian minister says nitrogen execution he witnessed is slow, ‘spiritually violent’ torture

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As the Rev. Jeff Hood was leaving for work one day back in January, his children begged him for one thing: to come back alive. “The kids would cry and say they didn’t want me to die,” Rev. Hood told OSV News. The plea was well-founded: Rev. Hood, ordained in the Old Catholic Church (which separated from Rome after the First Vatican Council), was heading to the Jan. 25 execution of Alabama inmate Kenneth Smith — and the nitrogen gas by which Smith would be put to death entailed the possibility that Rev. Hood and the other witnesses could be at risk.

Things to know about Idaho's failed execution of serial killer Thomas Eugene Creech

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KUNA, Idaho (AP) — For nearly an hour, Thomas Eugene Creech lay strapped to a table in an Idaho execution chamber as medical team members poked and prodded at his arms and legs, hands and feet, trying to find a vein through which they could end his life. After eight attempts Wednesday, the prison warden told them to give up. Creech, a 73-year-old serial killer who has been in prison for half a century, was returned to his cell — for how much longer, no one knows.

Texas executes Ivan Cantu

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who had long claimed his conviction more than 20 years ago was based on false testimony and questionable evidence was executed Wednesday for fatally shooting two people, including his cousin. Ivan Cantu received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 6:47 p.m. at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the November 2000 fatal shooting of his cousin, James Mosqueda, 27, and his cousin’s girlfriend, Amy Kitchen, 22. In final words from the execution chamber, the 50-year-old inmate said several times that he was innocent.

Idaho | Thomas Creech's execution canceled, IV line couldn't be established

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The execution of Thomas Creech scheduled for Wednesday morning was canceled at 11 a.m. Idaho Department of Correction director Josh Tewalt determined the execution could not happen because the medical team could not establish an IV line. Creech will return to his cell and the death warrant will expire, according to a news release from IDOC. The Federal Defender Services of Idaho emailed the following statement after the execution was canceled:

Death and Texas: Documentary takes a personal look at capital punishment

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Texans have long taken pride in the fact that their state is “like a whole other country,” but the truth is, in many ways, it’s like a whole other Louisiana. Both are deep red states that share a border with one another. Both share an unflagging love for their distinct culture, their culinary traditions and their often-underachieving football teams. And now, with the ascent of Jeff Landry to the Louisiana Governor’s Office, both also have chief executives committed to capital punishment.

Singapore | Bangladeshi national executed for murder

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SINGAPORE - A man who strangled his former fiancee in a budget hotel in Geylang in 2018 was hanged on Feb 28. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said the capital sentence was carried out on Bangladeshi national Ahmed Salim, 35, who had petitioned to the President for clemency but was unsuccessful. This is the first judicial execution for murder in the Republic since 2019, a Singapore Prison Service (SPS) spokesman told The Straits Times on Feb 28, in response to queries. He added that it is the first execution in 2024.

USA | Biden backed off a pledge to abolish the federal death penalty. That’s left an opening for Trump

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As he prepared to take office three years ago, Joe Biden’s incoming administration considered a host of possible options to fulfill a campaign pledge to end the federal death penalty. One idea was an executive order, according to people familiar with the matter. But the White House did not issue one or push for legislation in Congress. Six months later, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal capital punishment to study the protocols used to execute people, a narrower action that has meant no executions under Biden. The Justice Department has since pushed for the death penalty against the suspects charged with mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Saudi Arabia puts 7 men to death in largest execution in years

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State media says men were convicted by court which has been criticised for punishing activists and protesters under guise of terrorism Saudi Arabia has executed 31 people so far in 2024. Seven Saudi men were executed on Tuesday, the highest number put to death in one day since 81 were killed in March 2022.

Singapore | 35 year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker faces execution at dawn on 28 February

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Ahmed Salim, a 35 year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker, faces execution at dawn on 28 February, in Singapore’s Changi Prison. This is the first execution in 2024, despite growing calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. Ahmed Salim was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty in 2021 after being convicted of murder under Section 300A of the penal code. The person he killed was Yati, an Indonesian domestic worker who was his ex-girlfriend.

Bangladesh | From Gallows to Memoirs: Ex-Hangman's Redemption Journey Captivates Nation

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Delve into the extraordinary life of Shahjahan Bhuiyan, from executing death row convicts to penning his memoir 'How Was the Life of Hangman.' Explore his journey of redemption and reflection, challenging societal norms and sparking conversations on justice and rehabilitation. Imagine living a life bordered by the cold walls of a prison, where your job is to execute court orders, literally. This is not a storyline ripped from a grim novel, but the life of Shahjahan Bhuiyan, a former hangman turned author in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

A new Louisiana capital-punishment bill would fundamentally alter physician licensing

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After the recent nitrogen gas execution in Alabama of Kenneth Smith, state Attorney General Steve Marshall said that nitrogen gas “was intended to be — and has now proved to be — an effective and humane method of execution.” It is hard to imagine a statement so obviously disconnected from facts. Eyewitness accounts described Smith’s death as a harrowing experience of dry heaving, thrashing, straining against leather straps, seizures, and terror. It took about a half-hour for Smith to die, although the state had previously predicted it would be over in minutes.

Idaho | Local faith leaders rally against death penalty ahead of Thomas Creech execution

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BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's longest-serving death row inmate is scheduled to be executed this week. Thomas Creech, 73, was sentenced to death for killing a fellow inmate inside a state prison in 1981. He has been convicted of five murders from several decades ago. Ahead of Wednesday's execution, local faith leaders are protesting the death penalty, calling for Creech to live out the rest of his life in prison.

Afghanistan | Taliban carry out another public execution

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The man was shot five times in front of the family of his victim at a sports stadium today. KABUL: Taliban authorities publicly executed a convicted murderer by gunfire in a sports stadium today, officials said, the third death penalty carried out in Afghanistan in a matter of days. The man – found guilty of a January 2022 knife murder – was executed in northern Sheberghan city on a death warrant signed by Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Supreme Court statement said.

Iran | Man Executed in Hamedan over Drug Charges

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 22, 2024: Ahmad Esmaili, a man on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Hamedan Central Prison. According to Hrana news agency, a man was executed in Hamedan Central Prison on 21 February. His identity has been reported as Ahmad Esmaili. He was arrested around five years ago and sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Singapore | ‘Emotionally devastating’: Lawyers on the mental toll of defending those facing the death penalty

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SINGAPORE - Lawyer Too Xing Ji was in a taxi with a friend at dinnertime when he suddenly broke down in tears after sharing his experience of representing a prisoner on death row. This took place two weeks after Mr Too faced the Court of Appeal on May 23, 2019, and succeeded in getting a temporary reprieve for a drug courier on the eve of his scheduled execution.  The client is still on death row.

USA | Why an Emory physician built a second career as a death penalty expert

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After it intersected with his job as an anesthesiologist, Dr. Joel Zivot devoted years to studying the death penalty. Now, he's concerned about a new form of execution, nitrogen hypoxia, which was used in Alabama for the first time in January. Dr. Joel Zivot first began researching the death penalty 12 years ago when it suddenly affected his day job. As an anesthesiologist in the ICU at Emory University Hospital, Zivot frequently used the drug sodium thiopental. But in 2011, the drug disappeared from the market and caused a drastic shortage in ICUs across the country. When Zivot looked into the cause of the shortage, he found the drug was pulled by manufacturer Hospira after they couldn’t promise the European Union—who threatened to ban the export of lethal injection drugs—that sodium thiopental wasn’t used for executions. “I felt outraged that this drug I used to heal could also be involved in [lethal injection],” says Zivot.

Afghanistan | Taliban hold public execution for 2 men

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GHAZNI, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban carried out a double public execution Thursday at a stadium in the country’s southeast, where relatives of the victims of stabbing deaths fired guns at two convicted men while thousands of people watched. The Taliban’s Supreme Court ruled that the two men were responsible for the stabbing deaths of two victims in separate attacks, according to a court statement. It identified the two as Syed Jamal from central Wardak province and Gul Khan from Ghazni — though it was unclear who carried out the stabbings, the two convicted men or others.

Two people to be publicly executed by Taliban in eastern Afghanistan

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Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada last year ordered judges to fully implement all aspects of sharia -- including qisas punishment. GHAZNI: Two people were due to be publicly executed in a football stadium in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, provincial officials said, in the third and fourth death penalties carried out since the Taliban returned to power. The Ghazni province information and culture department said in a public notice that the execution was a qisas punishment -- equating to "an eye-for-an-eye" -- but did not initially provide details on the prisoners or their crimes.