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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…

Accused N.Y. attacker Sayfullo Saipov says U.S. court's judgement 'not important'

Sayfullo Saipov
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Uzbek national accused of killing eight people by driving a speeding truck along a New York City bike path last October spoke of a “war” led by Islamic State at a pre-trial hearing on Friday and dismissed the court’s judgement as not important.

The statement by Sayfullo Saipov, a legal permanent resident of the United States, came at the end of a hearing at which U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick set an Oct. 7, 2019, trial date in the case.

“The judgements that are made here are not important for me,” Saipov, 30, said through an interpreter. “They are not Allah’s judgements.”

Saipov continued speaking even after Broderick interrupted to remind him that anything he said could be used against him.

“The Islamic State, in order to impose sharia (Islamic law) on Earth, is leading a war,” Saipov said. He had previously told law enforcement that he was inspired by the militant group.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Saipov. Saipov’s lawyers have proposed a plea deal in which he would accept life in prison to avoid the death penalty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Houle said at Friday’s hearing that Saipov’s attorneys are scheduled to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice on July 23 as part of the decision-making process on the death penalty. A final decision is expected by September, she said.

Saipov was arrested immediately after police said he ploughed a truck down a bike lane on Manhattan’s West Side. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the deadliest assault on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.

On Nov. 21, Saipov was charged in an indictment with eight counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder, one count of providing material support to Islamic State and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle resulting in death. He pleaded not guilty on Nov. 28.

On Tuesday, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment adding six charges of attempted murder and charges of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. Saipov pleaded not guilty to those charges at Friday’s hearing.

Following the attack, Saipov told investigators he was inspired by watching Islamic State videos and began planning the attack a year earlier, according to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors the day after the attack.

Source: Reuters, Brendan Pierson, June 22, 2018


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

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