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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…

Virginia death row inmate Ivan Teleguz seeks stay of execution

Ivan Teleguz
Ivan Teleguz
RICHMOND—A Virginia death row inmate convicted of hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend has asked a federal appeals court to put his April execution on hold so the U.S. Supreme Court can review his appeal.

Attorneys for Ivan Teleguz filed a motion Tuesday asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay his scheduled execution so the nation’s highest court can hear arguments that he was denied the right to effective counsel.

Teleguz, who is from Ukraine, was sentenced to death in 2006 for hiring a man to kill Stephanie Sipe, the mother of his child. She was stabbed to death in her Harrisonburg apartment, and prosecutors said Teleguz wanted get out of paying child support.

He has maintained his innocence, and two key prosecution witnesses have recanted since his conviction.

An appeals court in 2012 ordered a hearing on his innocence claim, but a judge refused to overturn his conviction after one of the witnesses who recanted refused to testify and the other didn’t show up.

In October, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Teleguz, who argued that his 2006 trial attorneys were inadequate because they introduced testimony that Teleguz was involved in another killing that he says never happened.

His attorneys say the new appeal makes a different claim of ineffective counsel that’s never been heard by any court. It must be reviewed under a Supreme Court ruling issued in 2012 that requires federal courts to address claims such as Teleguz’s, they say.

Attorney General Mark Herring’s office said it will respond in a court filing.

Teleguz’s execution is scheduled for April 25.

Source: Associated Press, March 8, 2017

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