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U.S. To Continue Executions Through Transition In Break

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The Justice Department is proceeding with plans for more federal executions in the closing days of President Trump's administration, including two scheduled shortly before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Attorney General William Barr announced the moves, connected with what he called "staggeringly brutal murders," in a statement late Friday. The Justice Department said the directives amounted to a continuation of its policy since last year when it relaunched federal executions after an informal moratorium that had been in place for 17 years. If the Justice Department plan moves forward, 13 people will have faced death by lethal injection during the Trump administration. Legal experts who follow capital punishment said that would be the most since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served 12 years in office before his death in 1945. RELATED |  U.S.: Barr's Justice Department Prepares To End Trump's Term With an Execution Spree Robert Du

New Taipei woman receives death penalty for strangling her 2 kids

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A New Taipei woman was sentenced to death on Wednesday (Nov. 25) for murdering her two young children, prompting her attorney to criticize the court's decision as being "cold-blooded" and pledge to file an appeal. Earlier this year, the 30-year-old single mother, surnamed Wu (吳), who was struggling financially drugged her 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter and then strangled them to death. The New Taipei District Court on Wednesday ruled that as the defendant had not shown any remorse for her "abominable and inhumane acts," it was sentencing her to death for homicide, reported CNA. According to prosecutors, Wu moved in with her brother's family in 2019 after getting divorced and losing her job. On Feb. 13 of this year, she became involved in a heated argument with her brother and sister-in-law, reported TVBS. That night, she checked into a hotel and tried to smother her children using pillows, but because they struggled, she was un

Florida | Blackwater inmate who 'volunteered' for death penalty sentenced to death for 2018 murder

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A man who killed his prison cellmate at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility in 2018 has been sentenced to death by a Santa Rosa County judge. State Attorney Bill Eddins announced in a press release Wednesday that Circuit Judge Scott Duncan ordered Thomas Fletcher, 53, be sentenced to the death penalty for the Sept. 22, 2018, murder of his cellmate. According to court documents, Fletcher killed 33-year-old Kenneth Jeff Davis by choking him from behind inside their cell. Fletcher confessed to the crime and admitted that he murdered Davis in order to be sentenced to death. According to Duncan's sentencing order, in court proceedings Fletcher waived his right to a jury trial, never challenged the death penalty and refused to offer mitigation factors that could have reduced his sentence.  The unusual moves were “a position that he has consistently maintained throughout these proceedings,” the judge noted. At the time of the murder, Fletcher was serving a life sentence for 1994 Br

Florida High Court Won't Reinstate Vacated Death Sentences

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The Florida Supreme Court has ruled it cannot reinstate death sentences for 2 convicted killers who previously had those sentences vacated by the justices. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Wednesday it cannot reinstate death sentences for 2 convicted killers who previously had those sentences vacated by the justices in a ruling that could ultimately affect dozens of cases. Instead, the justices determined that new sentencing hearings must be held for this pair of inmates. They are among more than 100 murderers who had death sentences vacated over the issue of whether juries had to unanimously recommend capital punishment. “We realize that resentencing in a capital case is time-consuming and costly, all at the public’s expense. These considerations, however compelling, do not give us license to exceed the legal constraints on our authority,” the court ruled in one of the cases. The decisions are the latest twist in the Florida Supreme Court's effort to decide whether juries must unan

Iran | Prisoner Executed in Qom Prison

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Iran Human Rights Organization; November 25, 2020: A prisoner sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, has been executed at Qom Central Prison. According to Iran Human Rights, a male prisoner was executed in Qom Prison on the morning of Monday, November 23.  The prisoner who has only been identified by his first name, Hossein, was known as “Hossein Qomi” and had been sentenced to qisas on murder charges. An informed source told IHR: “Everyone knew him as Hossein Qomi and though he was in prison for four years, nobody remembers what his real surname was.” At the time of publication, the execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder." As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term

Letter to EU by International Organisations: Save Ahmadreza Djalali

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In a joint letter to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, ten international rights organisations demand immediate action to save the life of Ahmadreza Djalali. The full text of the letter and list of signatories are as follows: H. E. Josep Borrell High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200 – 1049 Brussels Rome, 25/11/2020 Dear HR/VP Josep Borrell, We are writing to you to express our deep concern for Ahmadreza Djalali’s case . We have just learned that Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali had been transferred to solitary confinement and he will be soon transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison where his death sentence is to be carried out. Dr. Djalali is an Iranian-Swedish researcher affiliated with Sweden’s Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and Italy’s University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara, where he carried out research on improving hospitals’ emergency respo

Japan | Death penalty demanded for man charged with 9 murders

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Japanese prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for a 30-year-old man charged with murdering nine people at his apartment in the city of Zama, near Tokyo. Prosecutors demanded the death sentence for Shiraishi Takahiro at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court on Thursday. Shiraishi is charged with killing 1 man and 8 women, aged 15 to 26, whose remains were found at his apartment in October 2017. Shiraishi is charged with killing the victims, stealing their belongings and abandoning their remains in coolers.  He is also charged with sexually assaulting the female victims. He has pleaded guilty to the charges. RELATED |  Suspected killer of 9 people defies lawyers, says he will plead guilty However, his defense team has argued that the victims had agreed to be killed. RELATED |  'Twitter killer' victims consented to death, lawyers argue In demanding the death penalty on Thursday, prosecutors said all the victims fiercely resisted when Shiraishi strangled them, and

USA | DOJ set to execute 5 federal prisoners before Inauguration Day

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(CNN) -- With fewer than 60 days until President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the Trump administration has set an unprecedented record of scheduling the most federal inmates for execution during the last leg of a presidential term. Attorney General William Barr resumed federal executions in July 2019 after a 17-year hiatus to bring "justice to victims of the most horrific crimes." Despite legal attempts for extensions to complete clemency petitions; requests for reprieve, commutation or clemency; and appeals to the Supreme Court, eight federal inmates have been put to death so far this year. Five more are scheduled to be executed, two within days of Biden's swearing-in ceremony. If all the executions are carried out, the federal government would have authorized the executions of 13 federal death row inmates in six months. "What is clear is that this administration wants these prisoners dead before Joe Biden takes office," Executive Director of the Death Penalty

The Trump administration is trying to bring back firing squads and electrocutions for some federal executions

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ProPublica reported that the lame-duck administration was rushing to finalize this regulatory change, but it is unlikely to affect any executions. The Trump administration is rushing to finalize a number of regulatory changes before President Donald Trump leaves office next month, including one that could reauthorize the use of firing squads and electrocutions in federal executions, ProPublica reported . A proposed rule change entered by the Department of Justice into the Federal Register on August 5 would alter the method of execution for death-row prisoners.  As the proposal notes, the default method for federal executions is lethal injection, except if a judge explicitly orders otherwise. But many states with the death penalty permit executions to be carried out by other means, including by electrocution, a firing squad, and nitrogen hypoxia. Tennessee, for example, executed a death-row prisoner with electrocution in December . The amended rule would essentially allow federal execu

Iran | Fear of Imminent Execution of Scientist Ahmad Reza Jalali Charged with Espionage

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Iranian academic Ahmad Reza Jalali has been transferred out of Evin Prison and faces imminent execution, his wife has said. "Ahmad Reza said in a short phone call that he was to be transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison and that his sentence would be carried out,” Vida Mehran Nia reported. Amnesty International stated that he was being held in solitary confinement and that Iranian authorities planned to “implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.” “It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmad Reza Jalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Diana Eltahawy in a statement. “They must immediately halt any plans to execute Ahmad Reza Jalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life. A group of 149 Nobel Laureates has signed a letter to Supreme Leade