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Oklahoma | Richard Glossip v. the Death Machine

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Glossip has been on death row for 25 years for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Now, he’s not only trying to save himself, but all Oklahoma Death Row inmates from what they deem inhumane executions When you’re executed in Oklahoma, the process begins 35 days before your death, according to inmate Richard Glossip. First, they take your belongings, then they transfer you to a block of four cells called Death Watch. If you’re the only one on the block, they put you in the first cell, where you’ll stay for a week. Then they’ll move you one cell over, and so on until you’re closest to the execution chamber. There’s a camera and a guard for each cell, bright lights are on day and night, and the only thing you’re allowed to bring is a Bible, family photos, and a pen and paper. Some days, there’s nothing; others, you’ll watch as another inmate goes off to die. Glossip has found himself on Death Watch three times over the last 25 years. He’s had three last meals, the same four items every tim

France | Robert Badinter: Fighting to end death penalty worldwide 40 years after its abolition in France

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Former French Justice Minister Robert Badinter, who was instrumental in France's banning of the death penalty, has made it his life's mission to see capital punishment abolished globally. 40 years after giving a speech that lead to the end of the death penalty in France, former Justice minister Robert Badinter continues to fight for the abolition of capital punishment around the world. "I am certain that the movement towards abolition will continue. Sooner or later it will win,” said Badinter Wednesday at a seminar organized by the French National Assembly to mark the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty. Badinter, 93, who served as Justice Minister under Socialist president Francois Mitterrand, fought to end capital punishment at a time when most of the French public supported the practice. On 17 September 1981, Badinter gave a historic, two-hour speech to members of parliament, in which he argued that only totalitarian regimes had the death penalty. “In

Missouri | No use even asking Gov. Parson not to execute Ernest Johnson because he’s disabled

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Missouri cannot legally execute 61-year-old Ernest Lee Johnson on October 5. Because the Supreme Court has consistently found that to kill someone so cognitively impaired would violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last month that Johnson, who had part of his brain removed along with a tumor in 2008, can’t be that disabled because he planned the 1994 closing-time murder of three Columbia convenience store workers — Mary Bratcher, Mable Scruggs and Fred Jones. But former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff has spoken out against this decision: “Mr. Johnson is a person with intellectual deficits so significant that a reasonable jury would not have recommended execution. Under constitutional standards, his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution as interpreted for decades in U.S. Supreme Court decisions.” Because we’ve met Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who has spent much of

Head of Islamic State in Sahara killed by French troops

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The head of the Islamic State group in the Sahara has been killed by French troops, President Emmanuel Macron has said. Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi formed Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) in 2015. The group is blamed for many attacks in the region, including the targeted killing of French aid workers in 2020. Mr Macron called Sahrawi's death "another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel". The Sahel is a vast, three million sq km (1.16 million sq miles) area that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara desert, from Senegal in the west to Eritrea in the east. Mr Macron did not disclose the location or any details of the operation. French Defence Minister Florence Parly tweeted that Sahrawi died after a strike by France's Operation Barkhane force, which fights Islamist militants in the Sahel, mostly in Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. She added that it was "a decisive blow against this terrorist group", and that the &

Iran | Inmate Executed in Qom

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 15, 2021: Hossein Gholampour who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, has been executed in Qom Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed on murder charges in Qom Central Prison on the morning of September 13.  His identity has been established as Hossein Gholampour, who was arrested around four years ago. At the time of writing, his execution has not been announced by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty, at least 211 of the 267 people executed in 2020 were sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for "premeditated murder."  One case of qassameh was recorded by IHR in 2020. As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of the intent and

Japan | Ex-cop's death penalty upheld over murder of wife, children

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A high court denied Wednesday an appeal lodged by the defense of a former policeman who a lower court ruled should be put to death for the murder of his wife and 2 children at their southwestern Japan home in June 2017. The Fukuoka High Court rejected an appeal by Mitsuru Nakata, 43, saying the district court was correct in its findings and decision to impose the death penalty given the seriousness of the crime.  Nakata's lawyers had argued his innocence during the appeal. In the absence of witness accounts or a confession, the Fukuoka District Court found in December 2019 that Nakata was guilty of the murders, ruling out the possibility an intruder was responsible based on the police investigation and other evidence including security camera footage from near their home. His defense team had claimed that the 3 could have died after Nakata went to work in the morning, saying the possibility the crime was committed by an outsider cannot be ruled out. Presiding high court Judge Yasuo

India | ‘Brought shame to humanity’: Man sentenced to death for rape, murder of 3-year-old

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A Chhattisgarh judge ruled that there was no possibility of any reformation and rehabilitation of the 28-year-old man convicted for rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl A Chhattisgarh fast track special court awarded death penalty to a man convicted for raping and killing a 3 1/2-year-old girl in Rajnandgaon district last year, a crime that the judge said had brought ‘shame to humanity’. Additional sessions judge Shailesh Sharma convicted Shekhar Korram (28) under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, special public prosecutor Parvez Akhtar said. The special court, notified under the POCSO Act, delivered its verdict on Monday. Its details were, however, made available on Tuesday. Apart from the death penalty, the court also sentenced the 28-year-old to rigorous imprisonment for seven years each under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping) and 201 (causing disappearance of the offence), and 10 years under IPC

Sudan | Prisoners convicted as children await execution or a miracle

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"The Sudan Child Act 2010 stipulated in Article 4 that the age of [adult responsibility] is 18 years old. [However], the Supreme Court has decided in recent precedents that an adult as defined by Article 3 of the 1991 Criminal Act is in fact the accurate definition which must be adhered to considering that the Criminal Act is based on Islamic sharia provisions which rely on the appearance of characteristics or signs of puberty when determining the age of the person." In mid-2017, Abbas Nur called his father, Mohammed, and said: "Dad, the prison administration has started the procedures for my execution. They measured the size of my neck and my weight. They will execute Fadl Al-Mawla tomorrow, and afterwards, I will be executed." In mid-2021 Nur and three of his fellow inmates are still awaiting execution for "crimes" committed and for which they were convicted when they were under 18 years old; when they were legally children. The death sentence remains in

USA | Ex-cops accused of violating Floyd's rights plead not guilty

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the federal charges against them. A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority on May 25, 2020, as Floyd, 46, was held face-down, handcuffed and not resisting in a restraint that was captured on bystander video. His death led to worldwide protests and calls for change in policing. All four of the men appeared at the hearing remotely via videoconference. Chauvin appeared from a room in the state's maximum security prison, where he is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for murder in Floyd's death. The other three men appeared remotely alongside their attorneys.  Prosecutors and attorneys for the former officers are also arguing their positions on about 40 pretrial motions Tuesday.  Among them, Kueng and Thao have asked

USA | Damon Thibodeaux escaped death row for a crime he didn't commit, but died of COVID-19

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Damon Thibodeaux escaped death row when DNA helped exonerate him of a murder he didn't commit. Then COVID-19 killed him. "It's so unfair," said Steve Kaplan, a retired Minneapolis attorney who helped free Thibodeaux after he spent 16 years behind bars, 15 of them on death row in Louisiana. "I'm struggling to make peace with it, but you can't." Thibodeaux, who moved to Minnesota to restart his life and eventually settled with his family in Texas, died Sept. 2 of complications from COVID-19. He was 47, but 1/3 of those years were spent behind bars for his wrongful conviction. Thibodeaux, who became a long-haul trucker after restarting his life, was on the road in early August when he landed in a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital with COVID. After 3 weeks in and out of intensive care, he was expecting to be released. "Bro, I'm ready to get out of this place and come home," he told his younger brother, David Thibodeaux, on the evening of Sept. 2

UAE | Drug addict, who stabbed father 36 times, gets death sentence

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An Emirati drug addict in Al Ain has been sentenced to death for killing his father after the victim allegedly refused to give him money to buy drugs. The young man had stabbed his father 36 times in different parts of the body using a blunt object which caused his death. The incident took place after Taraweeh prayer during Ramadan this year. The Al Ain Criminal Court of First Instance has handed down the death sentence to the killer after he was found guilty of premeditated murder. The victim’s aggrieved family had refused to pardon the killer in return for blood money and insisted on retribution. Police investigations showed that the Emirati would routinely ask his father for money. Sometimes, his father would grant the request and sometimes, he would refuse, knowing that his son would use it to buy psychoactive substances. Eyewitnesses told authorities that the accused used to beat his father whenever he refused to give him the money he needed to buy drugs. The young man, who was an