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Showing posts from October, 2019

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Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

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Stay of execution came just hours after parole board unanimously recommended 120-day reprieve
The Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution on Friday, 5 days before he was scheduled to be put to death for a murder he insists he did not commit.
The Texas court of criminal appeals blocked the execution indefinitely and sent the case back to the trial court in Bastrop county, where Reed was sentenced in 1998 for the murder of Stacey Stites two years earlier.
The court had previously rejected multiple appeals, but Reed’s lawyers argued that fresh evidence bolstered his claim of innocence. 
They said in a statement that they “are extremely relieved and thankful … this opportunity will allow for proper consideration of the powerful and mounting new evidence of Mr Reed’s innocence”.
Millions of people, including a clutch of celebrities, have rallied behind Reed’s cause, helping to generate momentum and public attention as the execution date of 20 November loomed an…

Georgia Supreme Court, Ohio Governor Provisionally Halt Three Executions

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Three U.S. executions were halted on October 30, 2019, as the Georgia Supreme Court issued a day-of-execution stay to Ray Jefferson Cromartie and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine granted warrants of reprieve to the next two death-row prisoners scheduled for execution in Ohio. 
The actions capped a tumultuous October in which nine of ten scheduled executions did not take place and federal courts stayed two other executions set for later in the year.
Shortly after noon on October 30, the Georgia Supreme Court provisionally called off Cromartie’s execution to consider improprieties in the issuance of the death warrant. 
The court’s stay order said that “it appears that the pending execution order may be void” because it was issued by the trial court at a time in which Cromartie’s appeal of an another order denying him DNA testing was pending before the state’s high court and the trial court lacked jurisdiction to take any action in the case. 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Geor…

ISIS Names New Leader and Confirms al-Baghdadi’s Death

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Almost nothing is known about the new leader of the Islamic State, including who he really is. The group’s announcement also warned America not to be happy.
Days after the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his heir apparent were killed in back-to-back attacks by United States forces in northern Syria, the group broke its silence on Thursday to confirm their deaths, announce a new leader and warn America: “Do not be happy.”
In an audio recording uploaded on the Telegram app, the Islamic State mourned the loss of Mr. al-Baghdadi, who led the organization for nearly a decade, and its spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, who was killed a day after Mr. al-Baghdadi and who had widely been considered a potential successor.
The audio recording was the first word from the Islamic State confirming the death of its leader, which President Trump triumphantly announced on Sunday as a huge blow to the world’s most fearsome terrorist group.  
Mr. Trump and Pentagon officials said Mr. al…

Florida: Death Penalty Sought In Case Of Boca Raton Woman Beat, Set On Fire

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PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for a man accused in the murder of a Boca Raton woman.
Last August Police arrested Jorge Lachazo, 21, after he reportedly beat 75-year-old Evelyn Smith Udell in her home before dousing her with a liquid and setting her on fire.
Lachazo and another man were in Udell’s home delivering a washer and dryer. 
After installing the appliances, the other man went outside and heard screams minutes later. 
He raced back inside and found Udell on the floor. He then called 911.
Lachazo drove off in the delivery truck but was stopped by a police officer responding to the 911 call.
Udell was taken to the hospital where she died.
Lachazo is charged with first-degree murder, arson, and armed burglary. 
He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police have not said what motivated the attack.
Source:miami.cbslocal.com, Staff, October 30, 2019


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Thailand: Prayer ceremony held for Win and Zaw

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A prayer ceremony was held in Yangon on the evening of October 25 for Myanmar citizens Win Zaw Tun and Zaw Linn, who have been sentenced to death for murdering British couple on Koh Tao Island in Thailand.
U Htoo Chit, executive director of Foundation for Education and Development (FED) who took part in the prayer ceremony, said that they believed that the punishment for Win and Zaw will be reduced.
“We are expecting a lot for them. According to our experience, they won’t be released completely from their sentence as some people misunderstand. But we believe that the sentence will be reduced from a death sentence to a long term prison sentence,” he said.
The Lawyers Council of Thailand and parents of Win and Zaw submitted an appeal letter to the King of Thailand for Win and Zaw on October 24 to reduce the sentence from the death penalty.
“If things don’t happen as we expect, we will consult with our lawyers what to do next depending on the current political situation. What we like to…

South Carolina's taxpayers paid $648,000 for Tim Jones' death penalty trial

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Tim Jones Jr. is sitting on death row for murdering his 5 children. 
SC taxpayers paid nearly $648,000 for his death penalty trial.
Final numbers released by Lexington County officials show South Carolina taxpayers forked over $648,000 to pay for the 2-month-long death penalty trial of Tim Jones Jr.
In June, Jones was convicted of 5 counts of murder in the deaths of his 5 children, Merah; 8, Elias; 7, Nahtahn; 6, Gabriel; 2 and Abigail; 1. 
During the sentencing phase, the jury took only a few hours to sentence Jones to death. He currently sits on death row at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia.
According to the county, the Lexington County Clerk of Court’s Office spent $39,612.05 on expenses related to renting a van to transport jurors, food, and meals for the jury and juror pay. 
The 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office accrued expenses of $34,725.49, used to pay for their travel, transcripts and travel expenses for witnesses and experts.
The state’s public defender office…

Texas: Stop the execution of Patrick Murphy

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On November 13, 2019, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Patrick Murphy for the death of Officer Aubrey Hawkins. 
Hawkins was killed during the robbery of an Oshman’s sporting goods store in Irving in 2000. Although Murphy was on the other side of the building acting as a lookout when the shooting occurred, he was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 2003 under Texas’ law of parties, which holds a person criminally responsible for the actions of another if they are engaged in a conspiracy.
In December 2000, Murphy and 6 other inmates escaped from a maximum-security prison south of San Antonio, where he was serving a 50-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon. 
George Rivas, the ringleader who plotted the escape of the “Texas 7”, admitted to shooting Officer Hawkins. 5 guns played a role in the murder. According to his attorneys, Murphy did not want to take part in the robbery of Oshman’s and was waiting in front of the store in a park…

Belgium: Vlaams Belang abstains from EU vote against death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda

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2 Members of the European Parliament of the Flemish far-right political party Vlaams Belang abstained from voting for a resolution against capital punishment for LGBTQ people in Uganda.
The LGBTQ blog Be Out reported that not all Belgian MP voted in favour of the resolution, in which Europe expressed its concern about the Ugandan government’s “extremely homophobic rhetoric” and the intention “to reintroduce the law against homosexuality, including the death penalty for ‘severe forms of homosexuality'” of Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
The resolution was approved by all present Belgian Members of the European Parliament, except for Filip De Man and Tom Vandendriessche from the Vlaamse Belang party.
“We are against every form of violence or persecution of people of the LGBTQ community all over the world,” said Vlaams Belang in a reaction to the news on Twitter. “However, this resolution opposes the death penalty in general, a…

Sri Lanka: Supreme Court blocks death penalty

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President Sirisena hoped for the 1st hanging by the end of his term. The death penalty has been suspended for 43 years. 
The government has hired 2 executioners to hang drug pushers.
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has blocked President Maithripala Sirisena's attempt to resume death sentences for drug traffickers. 
The court composed of 3 judges has postponed the decision to when the hearings of all the applicants will be concluded, that is not before December 10 next.
The highest judicial body has thwarted Sirisena's objective of seeing the execution of at least one of the four drug dealers for whom he signed the death sentence before the expiry of its mandate. 
In fact, given that the major candidates in the upcoming November 16th elections did not address the issue, the death penalty remains suspended.
The death sentence is legal in Sri Lanka, but a moratorium has been in force since 1976. 
So far, death sentences for drug trafficking have been commuted to life sentences.
At…

The deadliest woman in the Netherlands: Goeie Mie

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Maria Swanenburg is arguably the greatest female serial killer of all time, so why isn’t she world famous? Here’s a look at a fearsome former Leidener, and a group of modern day residents who are keeping her macabre legend alive. 
How many people did Maria ‘Goeie Mie’ Swanenburg kill in Leiden during her murder spree in the 19th century? Teacher and author Stefan Glasbergen believes he found the answer while he was working on a new biography about her. 
‘The story of Goeie Mie is surrounded by myths,’ the lifelong Leiden resident said. ‘If you go to Wikipedia, for example, I could point out at least six or seven statements on the page that are just not true.’
Glasbergen’s book, titled Goeie Mie: Biografie van een seriemoordenares, will hit bookstore shelves on 1 November. It’s set to become the most definitive account of her life and crimes to date. 
Arsenic 
Best known by her nickname ‘Goeie Mie’, Swanenburg poisoned no less than 65 people by sneaking arsenic into their food and drin…

India: Nirbhaya gangrape convicts could be executed soon

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) - The death penalty to the four remaining convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case will soon be carried out if not challenged before the President within seven days, Tihar jail authorities said.
The Tihar Jail administration has issued a notice to the convicts in this regard.
"Three of the four convicts are lodged in Tihar jail while the fourth convict is in Mandoli''s jail number 14. The Delhi High Court as well as Supreme Court have upheld the death sentence slapped by the trail court," Sandeep Goel, Director General, Tihar Jail, told IANS.
The convicts could have filed a petition challenging the death penalty and also a review petition. However, all the convicts have not sought a review of the sentence.
They could have prayed for mercy from the President seeking commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.
"All the four convicts have not taken a step seeking a commutation of capital punishment into any other sentence. The jail h…