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

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…

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

TRANSCRIPT, July 14, 20188:22 AM ET, Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
NPR's Renee Montagne speaks with Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center about Nevada's attempt to use fentanyl for an execution.


States around the country have been struggling to acquire drugs for lethal injections. As the state's supplies have run out, many pharmaceutical companies have balked at having their products used for executions. The state of Nevada this week was forced to postpone the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. That's because the manufacture of midazolam, one of the drugs in the lethal cocktail, sued the state and a judge disallowed its use. What stands out about this postponed execution is that Nevada had hoped to become the first state to use the opioid fentanyl in a lethal injection. Robert Dunham is with the Death Penalty Information Center, which takes on the issue of how the death penalty is administered. Thank you for joining u…

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Two Indonesian gay men were caned in public last week despite the government’s pledge that such barbaric punishment would not be continued. 
The men were whipped 80 times each with a rattan cane as onlookers hurled abuse and insults.
15 people were caned outside of a mosque in the country’s conservative Aceh province for offenses like drinking or selling alcohol and showing affection in public. It is the only region in Indonesia that imposes Islamic sharia law.
The unidentified couple were pulled out of a beauty salon earlier this year by a vigilante mob who accused them of having sex. 
The country has been cracking down on gay men and flogging or humiliating them with the government’s permission.
Police in Jakarta arrested over 140 men at a sauna popular with gay men in May 2017 and another 51 men in a raid of a different sauna in October. 
Police said the men were detained on suspicion of violating Indonesia’s pornography law.
In May 2017, two gay men were publicly caned after vigil…

Japan: Court orders retrial of deceased man convicted in 1984 murder over forced confession

OTSU, Shiga -- A court has ordered a retrial for a deceased man who was convicted of murdering a 69-year-old woman in 1984 in western Japan, endorsing new evidence and suspecting that he was forced into confession after being beaten by police officers.
The decision by the Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture on Wednesday quashed the Osaka High Court's ruling in 2011 that dismissed Hiromu Sakahara's plea for a retrial. Sakahara died the same year, and in 2012, his family filed a second retrial petition with the district court.
It is believed to the first time a Japanese court has ordered a retrial sought by the family of a deceased convict.
Sakahara was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on charges he killed Hatsu Ikemoto, a liquor store manager in Hino, Shiga, and seized her cash box.
After being arrested and indicted in 1988, Sakahara argued that his original confession during the investigation was made under coercion. The focal point of the trial was the method…

Arkansas teenager charged in infant's death; he tried to revive daughter by shocking her with extension cord, police say

A 19-year-old man is scheduled to go before a Crawford County circuit judge today, charged with smothering his infant daughter then trying to revive her by shocking her with a live extension cord.
Tyler Buchanan was charged Monday with capital murder in the June 12 death of his 2-month-old baby whom he was trying to stop from screaming so he could sleep, according to court documents.
If convicted of capital murder, Buchanan could face the death penalty or life in prison.
Buchanan remained in the Crawford County jail Tuesday in lieu of $1 million bond. Court records show a public defender was appointed to represent him.
Court records show Buchanan also was charged in December with possession of drug paraphernalia, six counts of theft of property by credit or debit card, breaking or entering and theft of property.
Police were called to 1112 Baldwin St. in Van Buren on the morning of June 12 about a report of an unconscious baby. 
Medical personnel transported the child to Sparks Hospit…

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Today, July 13, 2018, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, by a vote of xxx, rejected Christopher Anthony Young’s application for clemency. 
Young faces execution by the State of Texas on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Earlier this year, the Board unanimously recommended clemency for Thomas Whitaker, a white man convicted of masterminding the murders of his mother and brother.  His father, Kent, was also shot in the ambush but survived and forgave his son, pleading for his life.
Chris Young is African-American.  The son of the man he killed opposes his execution.
Governor Abbott has the authority to grant a one-time, 30-day reprieve.
Statement from David Dow and Jeff Newberry, attorneys for Chris Young:
“We are devastated that the members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles failed to recognize what we know to be true: The man the State of Texas seeks to execute – our client, Christopher Anthony Young – is not the same reckless young man who took the life of Hasmukh Patel in San Anto…