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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

Ohio death-row inmate Patrick Leonard commits suicide

Patrick Leonard
Patrick Leonard
An Ohio man condemned to die for the slaying of his former girlfriend has killed himself on death row, the state prisons agency said Monday.

Inmate Patrick Leonard died Sunday night of an apparent suicide on death row in Chillicothe, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in an email to The Associated Press.

Leonard was sentenced to death for the 2000 killing of his ex-girlfriend, 23-year-old Dawn Flick, in Hamilton County.

The 47-year-old Leonard was angry at Flick for ending their relationship and refusing to reconcile, according to court records.

Records say Leonard handcuffed Flick, tried to rape her and shot her three times.

Leonard was unusual among death row inmates in that he did not have a previous criminal record.

“Prior to this incident, Leonard was not considered violent and had not been in trouble with police,” the Ohio Supreme Court noted in a 2004 ruling upholding his death sentence. “The fact that Leonard had committed these crimes was described as shocking and extremely out of character.”

Leonard didn’t have a scheduled execution date.

The last death row suicide in Ohio was in 2013, when Billy Slagle hanged himself just days before his scheduled execution. Slagle used a belt in his cell on death row, also at Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

In a note, Slagle called his nearly three decades in prison torture and said he was taking his destiny into his own hands, according to a State Highway Patrol report.

Three years after the execution of convicted killer Dennis McGuire made international news, Ohio is once again delaying carrying out the death penalty as it deals with legal hurdles.

Ohio is appealing the ruling that U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Merz in Dayton issued in December that put an indefinite hold on three scheduled executions. 

In the meantime, Gov. John Kasich, who supports capital punishment, pushed back execution dates for two inmates: Ronald Phillips and Raymond Tibbetts.

Phillips, Tibbetts and other Death Row inmates are challenging a new Ohio law that keeps secret the source of lethal injection drugs. Their attorneys argue that they can’t adequately challenge the use of the drugs without access to the information.

Ohio has 32 executions scheduled between 2017 and 2021.

Ohio has 138 inmates on Death Row.

Source: Associated Press, March 6, 2017

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