Posts

Showing posts from November, 2019

FEATURED POST

Texas | A Dangerous Man. At 18, Billy Joe Wardlow took a man’s life. Nearly 30 years later, the state still wants his.

Image
Like any place humans gather, death row has a culture. Billy Wardlow says it's different in many ways from general population. One is in how new inmates are treated. "In [general population], the guys around you would try to find some way to exploit you," Wardlow said. "Death row, with a few exceptions, will often extend a hand of friendship to the 'new boot' so they can get on their feet ... Most of us get together and let each other know what we can send to the new guy."
One of the cherished myths of those who support the death penalty is that it is reserved for the “worst of the worst,” those beyond redemption.
Wardlow typically sends writing materials, food, clothes, and hygiene products. Recently, after receiving some of these items, a new inmate asked Wardlow what he owed him. "I told him to remember how guys helped him when he saw someone else new," Wardlow said. "Pay it forward, as the saying goes."
Sending gifts is one thin…

Oklahoma DOC offers no timeline for resuming executions

Image
Department of Corrections officials Wednesday declined to provide specific details about when they expect to finish the new death penalty protocol necessary to resume executions after a nearly 5-year hiatus.
Executions, meanwhile, have been on hold since 2015, and state officials said this week 24 death row inmates have exhausted all appeals and are awaiting execution dates.
"The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is working with the Governor's Office and Attorney General's Office on a protocol for executions," said Matt Elliott, a spokesman for the agency, in an email.
He wrote that the agency plans to complete the protocol "as soon as we can."
Corrections officials would not say if there was a date when executions are expected to resume or answer why it is taking so long to develop the new protocol.
In March 2018, Attorney General Mike Hunter and former DOC Director Joe Allbaugh announced they were planning to implement a 2015 law that allows executions …

Former Brigadier Hanged In Pakistan For Spying, Claims Social Media Reports

Image
According to unverified reports emanating from Pakistani social media, Pakistan Army on Saturday (23 November) hanged Brigadier Raja Rizwan (retd) for acting as a spy for a foreign intelligence agency, report The Print.
No independent or official confirmation of the hanging is available in the official forum and mainstream media has not reported about the incident. Journalists in Pakistan are still waiting for the official word from ISPR.
In May this year, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which is Pakistani military’s information agency, had issued a statement saying Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had endorsed the death sentence.
In June Brigadier Rizwan, who was once Pakistani defence attaché in Germany and had retired in 2014, along with Pakistan’s former Director General of Military Operations, Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal (Retd) were accused of spying for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Brigadier Rizwan and Wasim Akram, a civilian doctor employe…

European Bar Associations Award 2019 Human Rights Prize to four Iranian Lawyers

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHR); November 29, 2019: The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) on Thursday, November 29, 2019, announced that its human rights award for 2019 goes to the four Iranian lawyers Abdolfattah Soltani, Amirsalar Davoudi, Mohammad Najafi and Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Lawyers Nasrin Sotudeh, Mohammad Najafi and Amirsalar Davoudi are imprisoned in Iran solely for expressing their opinion and for defending their clients, including civil activists, human rights defenders and ethnic minorities. 
Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani was released from prison last year after almost a decade of imprisonment.
“I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected as the winners of the CCBE Human Rights Award 2019 for your outstanding and tireless commitment in favour of human rights in Iran.  The CCBE believes that your courage, determination and commitment to defending human rights in Iran - where all forms of opposition, be it ideological or political, are not tolerated - deserv…

Thailand: Two Australian men could face death penalty after being arrested during drug raid

Image
Two Australian men could face the death penalty in Thailand after they were among a group arrested during a drug raid.
Steven Brett Hovi, 58, and Jamie Robert Hansom, 46 were arrested after heavily armed officers entered a home in Oattaya at 5.30pm on Thursday.
The two men could face the death penalty if convicted, The Herald Sun reported. 
Thai police said at a press conference they were pursuing a network of drug dealers from the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang suspected of selling drugs to foreign tourists, local media reported.
Police said they seized 1.2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice, in clear plastic bags, ice-taking devices and guns including a Smith & Wesson revolver.
They also found six mobile phones, 12 debit cards spanning seven bank accounts, bank books, transfer slips, 12 cash tablets and a gray Toyota Vios sedan, local media reported. 
Thai police said the arrests were a significant move against a global drug cartel. 
Among those arrested in…

Malaysia: Study on alternative to mandatory death penalty ready next year: Ex-CJ

Image
KOTA BARU: The study on the alternative to the mandatory death sentence is expected to be ready by January next year at the latest.
Former Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who also headed the Special Committee on the Study on the Alternative to the Mandatory Death Sentence, said that so far there had been many findings on the matter from members of the public.
“If in Kota Kinabalu recently, we found many public opinions including some who felt that the penalty should be retained, while some felt that it should be abolished and replaced with another sentence,” he said.
He disclosed this to reporters after attending a Town Hall Session on The Study on The Proposed Alternative To The Mandatory Death Sentence at the Kota Darul Naim Complex, here, which was the last State to hold the Town Hall Session on the study.
He said the Special Committee must also make an analysis and justification on the alternative to replace the penalty before the Government makes a decision.
 “What is cl…

California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

Image
California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

Sydney woman Maria Exposto arrives home after escaping death penalty in Malaysia

Image
A Sydney grandmother has arrived in Sydney after she was cleared by Malaysia's highest court of drug trafficking charges and escaped the death penalty.
A Sydney woman who spent nearly 5 years in a Malaysian jail on drug trafficking charges, including 18 months on death row, has arrived in Australia.
Maria Exposto, 55, had been sentenced to death by hanging for trafficking more than 1 kilogram of the illicit drug crystal methamphetamine, but was acquitted by the Federal Appeal Court of Malaysia on Tuesday.
The judges agreed with her lawyers that she was the victim of an online romance scam and did not know the drugs were in her bag.
"I am very happy," she told reporters. "I'm going to sleep like an angel. Like a little baby."
She thanked her family for their support during her 5-year ordeal, adding that she planned to go straight to the cemetery to visit her mother's grave.
Her son Hugo earlier this week said his family was delighted with the decision an…

Bangladesh: 7 get death penalty in 2016 cafe attack

Image
Deadly attack in capital’s upscale district killed 22 people, including 17 foreigners
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A special court in Bangladesh on Wednesday sentenced seven people to death for their involvement in the 2016 terror attack at a cafe in the capital Dhaka, which left 22 people dead.
"An allegation of involvement in the 2016 terrorist attack against those seven people has undoubtedly been proven and court has served justice,” public prosecutor Abdullah Abu told reporters after the verdict was announced.
On July 1, 2016, an armed militant group stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in the upscale Gulshan district of Dhaka, killing 22 people -- including 17 foreign nationals and two police officers.
In July last year, police’s counter-terrorism unit had submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal a charge sheet against eight members of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
The court's Judge Md Majibur Rahman ordered death penalties for seven suspects and acquitted one…

Vietnam: 11 death sentences, 1 life sentence for drug dealers

Image
The People’s Court of the northern province of Lang Son handed out 11 death penalties and one life sentence to members of a heroin trafficking ring on November 27.
Twelve Vietnamese defendants were found guilty of trafficking thousands of heroin bricks. 
They are Vi Van The (born in 1971 and residing in Phu Loc 4 urban area, Lang Son city); Hoang Van Song (1957), Vi Van San (1981), Loc Van Ngan (1976), Hoang Van Phong (1972), Luu Tuan Hung (1974), Hoang Van Y (1977), Hoang Van Po (1977), Nong Van Hun (1990), and Lang Van Thuong (1971) - all residing in Cao Loc district; Ma Van Khanh (1977, residing in Van Quan district, Lang Son province); and Quach Thi Xiep (1962, residing in Moc Chau district, Son La province).
The, Song, Xiep, San, Ngan, Phong, Po, Y, Hun, Thuong and Khanh received the death penalty while Hung got a life sentence.
During the investigation, authorities found that The, the leader of the ring, had handled 112 kilogrammes of heroin. Ngan and Xiep traded a total 40.2 k…

Oklahoma: Man who killed girlfriend, infant loses final appeal

Image
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review the appeal of Oklahoma death row inmate Raymond Eugene Johnson, who was convicted of killing his girlfriend and her infant daughter in Tulsa County.
Johnson, 45, is the 24th death row inmate in the state who has exhausted his appeals and will be eligible for an execution date if the state resumes executions.
Johnson was given 2 death sentences for killing Brooke Whitaker, who was 24, and her 7-month-old daughter, Kya, in 2007.
Johnson hit his girlfriend several times with a hammer and then doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. The bodies of Whitaker and her daughter were found in the charred remains of their home.
Along with the death sentences, Johnson received a life sentence for arson.
Johnson's appeals in federal courts have focused on whether the judge in his case allowed enough mitigating evidence intended to spare Johnson from capital punishment and whether the judge properly informed the jury about mitigating evi…