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Showing posts from May, 2019

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Arizona: Execution witnesses have First Amendment right to hear entire process, 9th Circuit rules

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A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that witnesses to Arizona executions have a First Amendment right to hear the entire execution process to help determine if executions are done “in a humane and lawful manner.”
The ruling comes 5 years after the last execution in Arizona ended up with the condemned inmate, Joseph Wood, gasping for almost two hours and in apparent agony behind soundproof glass.
A 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the claim, by seven death-row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, that the ability to hear what’s happening in the execution room will foster a heightened level of transparency around the death penalty.

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“People might say, ‘That sounds so gory, why do you want to hear what’s happening in there?'” said Morgan Loew, an investigative reporter with CBS 5 in Arizona and the president of the First Amendment Coalition. “What we’re doing is fighting for more access to probably the most …

North Korea Executed and Purged Top Nuclear Negotiators, South Korean Report Says

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has executed its special envoy to the United States on spying charges, as its leader, Kim Jong-un, has engineered a sweeping purge of the country’s top nuclear negotiators after the breakdown of his second summit meeting with President Trump, a major South Korean daily reported on Friday.
Kim Hyok-chol, the envoy, was executed by firing squad in March at the Mirim airfield in a suburb of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest daily, reported on Friday, citing an anonymous source. Mr. Kim faced the charge that he was “won over by the American imperialists to betray the supreme leader,” the newspaper said.
Four officials of the North Korean Foreign Ministry were also executed, the South Korean daily reported, without providing any hint of who its source might be or how it obtained the information.
South Korean officials could not confirm the Chosun Ilbo report. North Korea has not reported any execution or purge of top o…

Iran: Juvenile Offender Danial Zeinolabedini in Danger of Post-Ramadan Execution

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According to information received by IHR, the death row juvenile offender Danial Zeinolabedini might be in danger of execution. 
Unofficial sources have told Danial's family that he will be executed after Ramadan, Muslims’ month of fasting, which ends in the first week of June. 
Danial Zeinolabedini is a juvenile offender whose death sentence has been upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court. 
Danial was born on August 9, 2000. He allegedly committed murder on September 22, 2017, when he was 17 years old. 
According to his relatives, he did not commit the murder and is innocent.
According to IHR sources, Danial Zeinolabedini is scheduled to be executed after Ramadan, Muslims’ month of fasting, which ends in the 1st week of June. 
Danial was along with 3 others charged with murdering a man identified as Sadegh Barmaki. 
Forensics announced that Mr Barmaki had died as a result of burn injuries. Danial has repeatedly said that he did not play a role in causing the burn injuries. However,…

UK: Pierrepoint's execution ledger goes under the hammer

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A MACABRE but important piece of British Indian history comes up for auction on June 5 – the leather-bound personal notebook of Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s most prolific executioner, who hanged Udham Singh at Pentonville Prison in London on July 31, 1940. 
There have been many mentions of Singh this year since April 13, 1919 marked the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in which up to a thousand people were shot dead in Amritsar on the orders of Brig-Gen Reginald Dyer. His actions were endorsed by the military governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, who was shot dead by Singh at a public meeting in Caxton Hall in Westminster on March 13, 1940. 
On April 1, 1940, Singh was formally charged with murder and remanded in custody at Brixton prison where he was force fed after going on a 42-day hunger strike. He also insisted on giving his name as “Ram Mohammad Singh Azad” to emphasise India’s religious plurality. 
He was tried at the Old Bailey where the judge, Mr Justice At…

HRW condemns France 'outsourcing' of IS trials to Iraq

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Some of the views expressed in the following piece do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor of Death Penalty News.
Baghdad (AFP) -- Human Rights Watch on Friday condemned France's "outsourcing" of trials of Islamic State group suspects held in Iraq where seven of its nationals have this week been sentenced to death.
Two of them have "alleged that they were tortured or coerced to confess", the New York-based watchdog said in a statement.
"France and other countries should not be outsourcing management of their terrorism suspects to abusive justice systems," said HRW's acting Middle East director, Lama Fakih.
"These countries should not be sitting idly by while their citizens are transferred to a country where their right to a fair trial and protection from torture are undermined."
A Baghdad court on Wednesday sentenced a Frenchman to death for joining IS, bringing to seven the number of French jihadists on death row in Iraq.
Yas…

Alabama executes Christopher Lee Price

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Hours before Alabama death row inmate Christopher Price was executed Thursday for the slaying of a minister 28 years ago, he apologized for that horrific crime in a statement to AL.com through his attorney.
“I’m terribly sorry for the victim of my crime and his family. Neither he nor his family deserve what happened to him. No one deserves that,” Price said.
Price, 46, was pronounced dead at 7:31 p.m. after being executed by lethal injection at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. 
Price was initially set to die by lethal injection on April 11, but the execution was called off just before midnight because the state said it didn’t have time to start the procedure before the death warrant expired. 
The Alabama Supreme Court set Thursday as a new execution date for Price in late April.
Price was convicted in the 1991 robbery and slaying of Fayette County minister Bill Lynn, who was slain with a sword and dagger just days before Christmas that year, while he was wrapping pr…

France Hands ISIS Suspects to Iraq, Which Sentences Them to Hang

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The 7 French citizens, wearing sandals and yellow jumpsuits, were brought before an Iraqi judge in a Baghdad courtroom this week to answer for their offense: joining the Islamic State.
Each admitted to having thrown in his lot with the militants, working as tax collector, Arabic teacher, military trainer, chicken seller, medical aide or fighter.
If there was evidence that any had committed a violent crime, it was never presented. Most had not even seen a lawyer until moments before being escorted into the courtroom.
And yet after 7 trials over 4 days, Judge Ahmed Mohamed Ali delivered 7 identical sentences: death by hanging.
The Frenchmen were among the roughly 4,000 foreigners captured in Syria and Iraq after the rout of ISIS, and they pose an international dilemma: Most of their home countries don’t want them back.
The trials have drawn world attention as a test of whether Iraqi courts can meet international standards for a fair trial, and provide a just solution to one of the most…

New Hampshire abolishes death penalty after lawmakers override governor

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Lawmakers in New Hampshire voted Thursday to abolish the death penalty, overriding a veto from the state’s Republican governor and making it the 21st state to abandon capital punishment.
The vote by the New Hampshire Senate capped months of uncertainty about what would happen to capital punishment in the state, the last in New England to still have the death penalty.
This debate has been largely symbolic, because New Hampshire has neither an active death penalty system nor any executions on the horizon. The state has only one person on death row — Michael Addison, who was sentenced to death more than a decade ago for killing Michael Briggs, a Manchester police officer — and last carried out an execution in 1939.
Addison also does not face imminent execution, as corrections officials have said they do not have any lethal injection drugs or any plan to get them. The bill debated Thursday was not retroactive, leaving Addison’s sentence in place regardless of what happened.
But with capi…