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Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

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For the past 3 months, Christopher Anthony Young has awoken in his 10-by-6 foot concrete cell on death row and had to remind himself: He's scheduled to die soon.
As the day crept closer, the thought became more constant for Young, who's sentenced to die for killing Hasmukh "Hash" Patel in 2004.
"What will it feel like to lay on the gurney?" he asks himself. "To feel the needle pierce my vein?"
Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when Young murdered his father, has anxiously anticipated those moments, as well. He wonders how he will feel when he files into the room adjacent to the death chamber and sees Young just feet away through a glass wall.
For years, Patel felt a deep hatred for Young. He wanted to see him die. Patel knew it wouldn't bring his father back. But it was part of the process that started 14 years ago when Young, then 21, gunned down Hash Patel during a robbery at Patel's convenience store on the Southeast Side of San Antonio.
3 mont…

Iran Publicly Flogs Young Man For Drinking Alcohol

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A young man was publicly flogged in eastern city of Kashmar, in Razavi Khorasan Province, the state-run Young Journalist Club website reported on Tuesday.
The young old victim, identified by the state media as M.R was sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking alcohol beverages 10 years ago at the age of 15 or 16, in a wedding party where he got engaged in a fight leading to the death of a 17 year old man.
The city’s prosecutor stated that M.R did not collaborate in murder and the sentence of the main murderer had been carried out before. But he was involved in the fight and his sentence will be carried out.
“The judiciary would seriously and decisively deal with those drink beverages or involve in fights, particularly in wedding praties,” he added.
Torture and merciless punishment have been institutionalized in the regime’s punishment laws and is sanctioned by the Judiciary as well as the regime officials.
Hadi Sadeghi, Deputy Chancellor of the Judiciary was quoted by the state-run ISNA ne…

Iran Hangs Five, Including Woman; Sentences Another To Death After Nine Years

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The General and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Mazandaran Province announced that a prisoner had been executed in Sari Prison, reported the state-run ILNA news agency on July 5, 2018.
Younes Hosseini Alami said that the convicted person, identified as L.M., was sentenced to death for murder, and was executed in the front yard of Sari Prison, in Mazandaran Province, north of Iran.
Earlier this month, the prosecutor of Sistan and Baluchestan Province announced the execution of Naeem Manduzehi, father of nine, on July 7, on charges of murder in the central prison of Zahedan, southeastern Iran.
In yet another case on Sunday, July 8, the sentences of three Sunni religious prisoners in Urmia Prison, which had remained in limbo since December 2009, were announced. 
Anwar Khezri and Khosrow Besharat were each sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for participating in a crime scene and Kamran Shikheh was sentenced to death. 
These prisoners, along with four other Sunni prisoners, have been in pris…

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

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Joseph Garcia is scheduled for execution in August.
Citing a court's clerical mistake, prosecutors this week asked for a new execution date for Texas 7 escapee Joseph Garcia.
The condemned Dallas County killer was scheduled to die on Aug. 30, but on Wednesday the court approved a new Dec. 4 date after the clerk failed to issue a death warrant in time.
"This statutory violation could result in a last-minute stay of execution," prosecutors wrote in a Tuesday court filing.
State law requires that the court issue a death warrant within 10 days of greenlighting the execution date. But in Garcia's case, a Dallas County judge set the date on May 24, and the warrant wasn't issued until June 6 - 3 days late.
Last February, a similar issue forced the state to grant a stay in the case of Tilon Carter, a Tarrant County death row prisoner. In that case, defense lawyers were notified a day late, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ended up calling off the execution four da…

Taiwan: Outgoing minister denies death penalty veto claims

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Outgoing Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san on his final day in office yesterday rejected a suggestion that he was forced out because he would not order executions.
At a farewell ceremony held by the ministry, Ciu was asked about his thoughts on the death penalty and his handling of several high-profile murder cases, which media reported was the reason for Chiu being forced out in the Cabinet reshuffle.
A number of heinous crimes were committed over the past few months, but it would not be right to rush to conclusions, Chiu said, implying that ordering executions would be the wrong response.
"Protecting social stability and public safety requires the establishment of a strong social safety net," he said. "The justice ministry has since last year been working with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to improve treatment for people with mental problems."
"Police have also taken measures to prevent heinous crimes. We have seen several serious cases lately, but it w…

Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission tells President to reconsider move on death penalty

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The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has written to President Maithripala Sirisena raising concerns over moves to implement the death penalty on convicts involved in drug trafficking.
Commission Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama said in the letter that the death penalty is a serious human rights violation.
Udagama said that the commission does not feel implementing the death penalty can address the issue of drug trafficking.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission also notes that implementing the death sentence will only contribute negatively to a society where the public have lost faith in the justice system.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission also reminded the President of a set of recommendations issued in 2016 which called for the abolition of the death penalty in Sri Lanka in keeping with Sri Lanka's commitment to a more humane society consonant with human rights principles and values.
ln terms of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act No. 2L of 1996, the Human Rights …

Iran: Website Manager Sentenced to Death

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Mohammad Hossein Maleki, the manager of Asre-Javan website and its Telegram channel, was sentenced to death on the charge of "corruption on earth."
According to a close source, Mohammad Hossein Maleki, 47, from Shahin Shahr in Isfahan, was arrested by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on March 1, 2017. Having been the manager of Asre-Javan website and Telegram channel before the arrest, he was in solitary confinement for 3 months.
A close source who spoke with IHR on condition of anonymity, told, "The website focused on different practical and cultural subjects, besides, there were some CCcam satellite TV accounts for sale which are the common accounts that are sold in Iran."
Mohammad Hossein Maleki was sentenced to "corruption on earth through organized activities regarding the sale of CCcam and several satellite accounts" at Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Isfahan.
In the early stages of the investigation, the interrogator had ordered f…

Sri Lanka: Society's approach to death penalty is a barometer of its humanity

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"I take upon myself the rule of training to abstain from taking the life of living beings." - The First Precept
My father, Mahanama Samaraweera MP, knew 2 people who were to be hanged for murder.
They were from Matara, his electorate. So, like everyone else in the district, he also knew something that most of the country didn't: these 2 individuals were convicted and sentenced on false evidence. They were to go to the gallows; to be hanged for crimes they had not committed.
The experience of his constituents despair, and the grave injustice inherent in putting to death the innocent, may have stirred him into championing, as Deputy Minister of Justice in the S.W.R.D. Banadaranaike's Cabinet, the abolition of the death penalty.
He was successful, to a point. When the Government came to power in 1956, Cabinet on its very first sitting, decided to do away with the death penalty.
A Commission of Inquiry and 2 years later, my father introduced the Capital Punishment Act N…

Texas: 'Very psychotic' Fort Worth killer who murdered bus rider gets November death date

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A Fort Worth killer once deemed too insane to execute now has a date with death.
Emanuel Kemp of Tarrant County is slated for execution on Nov. 7 in the Huntsville death chamber, according to prison spokesman Jeremy Desel.
The high-school dropout had been out of prison for just five days when he hijacked a public transit bus at knifepoint in 1987, forcing the driver to drive around town while he raped and murdered the only passenger, Johnnie Mae Gray.
The 34-year-old died from nine stab wounds to the chest and throat according to Texas prison records. The driver was stabbed in the neck but lived.
Kemp was arrested three days later, and sent to death row the following year after a whirlwind six-day trial.
In the years after his conviction, Kemp was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, according to his attorney, Greg Westfall.
"He has been very psychotic (...) out there since about 1990," Westfall said.
By the mid-90s, a court deemed Kemp incompetent for execution. After ye…

Tennessee Plans to Restart Executions By Killing a Man With Mental Illness

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Tennessee plans to kill Billy Ray Irick next month by lethal injection. If the execution goes through on August 9, a few weeks before his 60th birthday, he will be the 7th person put to death in the state since 2000, the year executions returned to Tennessee. On death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, a short drive from downtown Nashville, Irick has faced at least 3 previous execution dates, most recently in the fall of 2014. But there is an urgency this time, his longtime attorney, Gene Shiles, says. "This one feels much more ominous."
Irick was convicted in 1986 of raping and murdering a 7-year-old girl named Paula Dyer in Knoxville. He was arrested and confessed soon after the crime. Irick had stayed with the child's family for 2 years prior to the murder, according to court filings; defense attorneys "attempted to create reasonable doubt about the identity of the perpetrator" during the guilt phase of the trial, yet called "no witnesses.&…