Showing posts from January, 2020


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

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…

Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court rejects death row convict’s plea claiming juvenility

Gupta moved the apex court on January 17 challenging the High Court's order that dismissed his claim of being a juvenile in December 2012
The Supreme Court of India (SC), on January 20, rejected a petition filed by Pawan Gupta, a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
Gupta moved the apex court on January 17 challenging the High Court's order that dismissed his claim of being a juvenile in December 2012.
The top court said that the plea had already been rejected by subordinate courts and that Gupta cannot raise it repeatedly.
The plea was heard by a bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna.
The convict had also sought a direction to restrain authorities from executing the death penalty that had been scheduled for February 1.
Gupta’s lawyer AP Singh had alleged that the Delhi Police deliberately concealed documents pertaining to his client’s date of birth. He further said his school certificates were also concealed by the police on purpo…

Texas | Man faces capital murder charge after ‘cramming’ baby into backpack and leaving her for 5 hours

A Texas man has been charged with capital murder after allegedly cramming his partner’s 10-month-old daughter into a backpack and leaving her alone in his car for five hours, where she subsequently died.
Trevor Marquis Rowe, 27, was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Lubbock, Texas, by officers responding to reports of an unwell child. 
According to Lubbock Police Department, Rowe was looking after 10-month-old Marion Jester-Montoya after collecting the baby from her mother’s home.
Rowe ‘crammed’ Jester-Montoya inside a rucksack and ‘placed her in the front passenger floorboard of his car where he left her for several hours, checking on her periodically’ a police statement said. 
It also revealed he put her back in the bag after she managed to climb out, before returning to work. 
During his lunch break, investigators claimed Rowe returned to his car where he observed the baby ‘lightly crying but breathing’, and then moved Marion Jester-Montoya to the boot of his car…

Death penalty awaits Kuwaiti man for killing cousin with cleaver

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: The Forensic report shows the young Kuwaiti was killed by his cousin by stabbing him in the head, reports Al-Anba daily. 
The Forensics has carried out an analysis of the accused person to determine the type of substance he consumed before committing the crime which rendered him uncontrollable.
A security source said the suspect will be investigated by the Ahmadi Investigation team and said the death penalty awaits the suspect for what he has done. 
The source pointed out the Public Prosecution has asked the Al-Ahmadi Investigator to re-interrogate the accused to know the motives for the crime. 
According to the source the suspect is facing a pre-meditated murder charge since the victim was ‘butchered’ using a cleaver, which the suspect had hidden inside his tent.
The source pointed out the Public Prosecution will take the suspect to the scene of the murder and ask him to re-enact the crime. 
The victim was killed in Mina Abdullah inside one of the camps and the …

Tunisian court sentences eight to death over bombing that killed 12 presidential guards

Twenty other guards were injured in suicide bombing of their bus in Tunis in 2015 in attack claimed by Islamic State
A Tunisian court on Friday sentenced eight people to death over a suicide bombing that targeted a presidential security bus in the capital Tunis in November 2015.
The attack, claimed by Islamic State (IS), killed 12 presidential guards and injured another 20. 
Deputy public prosecutor Mohsen el Daly said the fifth chamber of the Tunis Court of First Instance - which specialises in terrorism crimes - handed down eight death sentences, one life imprisonment and one 10-year jail sentence.
The defendants were found guilty of "voluntary murder and belonging to terrorist groups," Daly said, adding that only four of the men were present during the trial. 
The rest were sentenced in absentia, he told the Tunisian news agency TAP. 
The court also issued a decision to compensate the families of those killed and injured in the attack.
Tunisia has not carried out capital …

India | Impending mass execution

4 Nirbhaya case convicts to be hanged on Feb. 1
The President had rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh, one of the convicts, on Friday.
On a day President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea of death row convict Mukesh Singh in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case, a Delhi court on Friday issued a fresh death warrant to hang all 4 convicts in Tihar jail at 6 a.m. on February 1.
Mukesh had submitted a mercy petition to the President earlier this week. He had followed this up with a petition at the Delhi court seeking postponement of his execution.
Judge’s query
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, who had previously ordered execution of all 4 convicts for January 22, questioned why the other three convicts had not yet appealed against the death warrant or exhausted their legal remedies.
“Would it not be delaying tactics? How far can it be stretched,” the judge asked.
The Delhi Prison Rule states that, “If the sentence of death has been passed on more than 1 person in the same cas…

Iran | Two Hanged in Borujerd

Iran Human Rights (IHR); January 18, 2020: Two men were hanged on Thursday, January 16, at the central prison of Borujerd city, Lorestan province, Iran.
According to IHR sources, on the morning of Thursday, January 16, two men were hanged at the central prison of the Iranian city of Borujerd, Lorestan province. 
IHR can confirm the identity of one of the prisoners as Heshmat Sheikhani, 31. 
IHR will report about the second man’s identity as soon as the organization could confirm it. 
In 2019, most of the executions in Iran were carried out for murder charges. 
There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing a death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.
Source:Iran Human Rights, Staff, January 18, 2020

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Iran | Female prisoner hanged in Shiraz, 105 women executed under Rouhani

A woman named Maliheh Haji Hassani was laid to rest in Adelabad Prison, Shiraz Central Prison.
According to news reports, Maliheh Haji Hassani was executed in the central prison of Shiraz on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. 
Maliheh Haji Hassani was 29 years old. She was arrested in 2016 for the murder of her fiancé and has been in prison since.
The execution of this woman has not yet been officially announced by government media.
This is the 2nd execution of women that has taken place in January and in 2020, leaving the total number of women executed during Rouhani’s presidency at 105.
The 1st execution of women in 2020 was Sara M. in Mashhad Prison. 
The execution was announced in the state media on January 14, 2020. 
Sara M. was executed after spending 3 years in prison on death row. 
The official state media have not announced the exact date of the execution. (The state-run Rokna news agency – January 14, 2020)
In 2019, the mullahs’ regime hanged 16 women in tandem with increasing supp…

Nirbhaya case: SC to hear on Jan 20 convict's plea against HC order rejecting his juvenility claim

A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bushan and A S Bopanna will hear the plea of Pawan Kumar Gupta.
Gupta moved the apex court on Friday challenging the high court's order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile in December 2012.
Besides, the convict has sought a direction restraining the authorities from executing the death penalty, which has been scheduled for February 1.
He has challenged the high court's December 19 order by which it also deprecated the conduct of his advocate for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.
A Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts -- Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan (25) -- in the case.
Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh. The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing the mercy petitions.
The apex court had on January 14 dismissed the cur…

Japan government poll: 81% approve death penalty

A Japanese government survey shows about 80 percent of respondents support maintaining the death penalty.
The Cabinet Office conducted the survey on the country's use of capital punishment in November 2019, covering 3,000 people aged 18 or older. 1,572 people responded.
81 percent of the respondents said the nation should continue with the death penalty; 9 percent said capital punishment should be abolished.
Those who approved of using the death penalty were asked why they think so and were allowed to give multiple answers.
57 percent said the emotions of crime victims and their families cannot be healed by other punishments. 54 percent said criminals should pay for their heinous crimes with death.
The respondents were asked whether heinous crimes would increase if the death penalty was abolished. 58 percent said "yes," while 14 percent said "no."
The poll also asked whether the death penalty should be retained if the country introduces life imprisonment. 
52 …

Execution set for Georgia man convicted of double murder

A day after the state parole board spared the life of one condemned inmate, the state of Georgia announced the scheduled execution of another. 
Donnie Lance, 65, sentenced to death in 1999 for the murders of his his ex-wife and her boyfriend in Jackson County, is to be given a lethal injection of pentobarbital on Jan. 29. 
Jimmy Meders faced the same fate before his sentence was commuted to life without parole hours before his planned execution Thursday. 
The board said it changed Meders’ sentence to life without parole largely because the jury had expressed their desire for that sentence, but it wasn’t legally allowed at the time of the trial.
That sentence was a legal option when jurors sentenced Lance to die. His adult children recently called for new DNA testing on evidence in the case because they are close with their father and find it hard to believe he killed their mother. 
Joy Lance, 39, was beaten to death with the shotgun used to shoot her boyfriend Dwight “Butch” Wood, 33…