FEATURED POST

Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

Image
"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

Prosecutors to seek death penalty for kidnapping of Chinese scholar at U. of I.

Brendt Christensen, left, is charged in the kidnapping of visiting University of Illinois Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.
Federal prosecutors announced Friday they will seek the death penalty for a former University of Illinois graduate student accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing a visiting scholar from China in June.

In making the announcement, prosecutors alleged for the first time that Brendt Christensen “choked and sexually assaulted” another victim in 2013 in central Illinois. He also has claimed “additional victims” and expressed a “desire to be known as a killer,” according to prosecutors.

Christensen, 28, who is being held without bond, had tentatively been set to go to trial Feb. 27 in federal court in Urbana on a charge of kidnapping resulting in a death stemming from the disappearance of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, whose body has not been found.

The decision to seek the death penalty — which required the approval of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — means that the trial will likely be delayed for months.

The death penalty was abolished in Illinois state court in 2011 after years of allegations of deep flaws in the state’s justice system. In certain cases, though, it remains a tool for federal prosecutors, but its use in federal courts is still rare. It also can take years for an execution to actually be carried out.

The last person to be sentenced to death in a federal courtroom in Illinois was Dr. Ronald Mikos, who was convicted in 2005 in Chicago of murdering a former patient to keep her from testifying against him in a Medicare fraud trial.

Mikos, 69, whose appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied nearly a decade ago, is still awaiting execution in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., federal records show.

The announcement in Christensen’s case marks at least the third time in recent weeks that Sessions has opted to push for the death penalty. Earlier this month, it was revealed prosecutors would seek the death penalty against Billy Arnold, an alleged gang member accused of killing two rivals in Michigan. In December, Sessions greenlighted pursuit of the death penalty against Jarvis Wayne Madison, a Florida man who allegedly kidnapped and killed his estranged wife.

In their five-page motion Friday, prosecutors said the death penalty was warranted because Christensen “is likely to commit criminal acts of violence in the future that would constitute a continuing and serious threat to the lives and safety of others.”

No details of the alleged 2013 sexual assault by Christensen were provided other than the initials of the victim, “M.D.” The alleged assault occurred the year Christensen was admitted to the university’s highly competitive physics graduate program.

Four years later, Zhang's sudden disappearance rattled the U. of I. campus and sent shock waves throughout China.

Zhang, who began her research appointment last April, tried unsuccessfully to flag down a bus before walking to another stop the afternoon of June 9. Shortly after, federal authorities allege, Christensen approached Zhang in his black Saturn Astra sedan and lured her inside.

Surveillance video from a nearby parking garage captured the exchange in which Zhang could be seen speaking to the driver for several moments before getting into the front passenger seat.

The investigation focused on Christensen after police concluded his Saturn was the car seen in the video. He initially told the FBI he was home all day playing video games on the day Zhang disappeared.

➤ Click here to read the full article

Source: Chicago Tribune, Jason Meisner, January 19, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Belarus: I didn't know my country had the death penalty - until they executed my father

Tennessee: Zagorski Execution Explained: If, When And How He Could Be Executed

Malaysia: Minimum 30-years imprisonment to replace death penalty

Botswana using fellow prisoners as hangmen for death row inmates - Official

Tennessee prepares electric chair, execution date unconfirmed

Somalia's al Shabaab executes 5 men accused of spying

Pakistan: Zainab's killer Imran Ali to be hanged in Lahore on Wednesday

Arizona: Aussie mum who could face death penalty fronts court

Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

Appeals court stays execution of Tennessee death row inmate