Showing posts from August, 2020


U.S. plans to carry out eighth federal execution this year in November

Under Trump, a Republican running for re-election in November, the Justice Department has already executed twice as many men this year as all of Trump’s predecessors combined going back to 1963. (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice plans to execute Orlando Hall, a convicted murderer, on Nov. 19, according to a notice filed with a federal judge overseeing challenges to the department’s lethal injection protocol.
The United States has already carried out seven executions this year after President Donald Trump’s administration revived the punishment in the summer, ending a 17-year hiatus.
Hall, 49, was a marijuana trafficker in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who in 1994, alongside accomplices, kidnapped, raped and murdered the 16-year-old sister of two Texas drug dealers he suspected had stolen money from him, according to court records.
He and three other men kidnapped Lisa Rene from the apartment she shared with her brothers in Arlington, Texas, in an act of revenge after they paid her brothe…

US Bishops to Trump Administration: ‘Stop These Executions!’

The U.S. bishops’ conference on Thursday criticized the federal government for its continued use of the death penalty, which the Justice Department resumed this summer after a 17-year moratorium on federal executions.
“The Church’s opposition to the death penalty is clear, and we have made many requests that the federal government should not resume these executions. Yet, not only has the government done so, they have scheduled even more executions. After the first 3 in July, there are 2 this week, and 2 more at the end of September,” the U.S. bishops said in an Aug. 27 statement.
“Remembering the Lord’s call for mercy, we renew our plea: stop these executions!”
The statement was signed by Archbishop Paul Coakley, chair of the bishops’ domestic policy committee, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the pro-life committee.
On Wednesday, the federal government executed a Navajo man convicted of a double murder, Lezmond Mitchell, despite the objections of the Navajo Nation, on whose t…

California | Scott Peterson's Family Wants Him Moved from San Quentin Amid COVID Outbreak

Scott Peterson's death penalty sentence may have been reversed, but the convicted murderer's family believes he could die in prison soon anyway due to COVID-19 and they're pushing for a transfer.
Peterson's attorney, Cliff Gardner, tells TMZ Scott's family is majorly concerned for his health following the widespread and deadly coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison.
Peterson's currently locked up at San Quentin, and in the last month, the prison reportedly saw cases surge with up to two-thirds of the prison getting infected. 
It currently leads California's prison system in infections and deaths.
With those grim numbers in mind, Gardner says his goal is to place Peterson in the safest possible prison permitted under California law to ensure his safety.
However, according to California prison officials, there's no plans to move him, and he'll be staying put at San Quentin for now.
As we reported, the California Supreme Court reversed Peter…

California lawmakers vote to expand ban on death penalty for the intellectually disabled

More people convicted of murder may receive death penalty exemptions under a measure California lawmakers approved Friday that would expand whom the courts can classify as intellectually disabled.
Under the legislation, the death penalty could not be sought against defendants if health experts determined there was evidence of an intellectual disability that began during their “developmental period” — the time in a person’s life when their brain is developing — as defined by mental health diagnosis standards.
Current California law prohibits intellectually disabled defendants from being sentenced to death if mental health experts determine that their impairment was evident before they were 18 years old. This legislation removes that age threshold.
“All we’re really doing is updating the state of the science used to determine intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities to what is currently being used,” said Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), who introduced the bill.…

Singapore | Chinese national, 24, charged in court for murder of wife at Boon Lay Place

He faces the death penalty or life imprisonment with caning if convicted. A man has been charged in court on Saturday (August 29) for the alleged murder of his wife on August 27, 2020, reported CNA.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old was arrested for his alleged involvement in her murder.
CNA reported that Chinese national Cui Huan has been charged for the murder of 26-year-old Liang Xueqiu, which happened at a footpath at 211 Boon Lay Place on Thursday evening.
According to CNA, Cui appeared in court via video-link and was remanded for further investigations.
The police said in a news release on Aug. 28 that they received a call for assistance at the void deck of 211 Boon Lay Place at around 6:30pm.
Upon arrival to the location, officers found Liang injured and lying motionless at the void deck.
Liang was unconscious when she was sent to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
She was pronounced dead at 9:58pm.
Cui faces life imprisonment with caning or the death penalty, if found guilty for the m…

Iran | Criminal Sentences of Death, Flogging, and Imprisonment for Three Brothers for Participating in the Kazerun and Shiraz Uprisings

Maryam Rajavi calls for an urgent national and international action to stop the death sentence of Navid Afkari The clerical regime’s judiciary has sentenced 3 brothers to death, imprisonment, and flogging for participating in the Kazerun and Shiraz uprisings.
Navid Afkari, a 27-year-old National wrestling champion was sentenced to 2 executions, in addition to 6 1/2 years in prison and 74 lashes. 
His brothers, Vahid Afkari, 35, and Habib Afkari, 29, were sentenced to 54.5 years in prison and 74 lashes, and 27 years and 3 months imprisonment and 74 lashes, respectively. They have been subjected to severe torture in prison since 2018.
The 3 brothers are accused of “membership in opposition groups,” “participation in dissident groups’ rallies and activities,” “writing slogans,” “propaganda activities” against the regime, “insulting the leader (Khamenei) and regime officials,” “encouraging people to revolt, rebellion, and to beat” regime agents, and engage in “Moharebeh” (waging war agai…

USA | Fifth federal inmate executed this summer at Terre Haute penitentiary

Keith Dwayne Nelson was executed by lethal injection at 4:32 p.m. today at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute. A Kansas girl's killer Friday became the fifth federal inmate put to death this year, an execution that went forward only after a higher court tossed a ruling that would have required the government to get a prescription for the drug used to kill him.
Questions about whether the drug pentobarbital causes pain prior to death had been a focus of appeals for Keith Nelson, 45, the second inmate executed this week in the Trump administration's resumption of federal executions this summer after a 17-year hiatus.
Nelson, who displayed no outward signs of pain or distress during the execution, was pronounced dead at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, at 4:32 p.m. EDT — about nine minutes after the execution began
Inside the execution room with Nelson, 45, were individuals identified as a U.S. Marshal, 2 Bureau of Prisons officials, and spiritual advisor Sister Barba…

Saudi Arabia, a world leader in executions, weighs ending capital punishment for drug crimes

Saudi Arabia is considering ending the use of the death penalty for drug-related offenses, a change that could spare the lives of dozens of prisoners in the kingdom every year, according to a Saudi official and human rights groups that monitor capital punishment in the country.
The initiative appeared aimed at countering outrage over the kingdom’s human rights record, including its mass executions. The consequences of removing drug offenses from the list of capital crimes could be significant: Nearly 40 percent of the roughly 800 executions carried out in Saudi Arabia over the past five years were for offenses such as narcotics trafficking, according to Reprieve, a human rights group that tracks the use of the death penalty in the kingdom.
A Saudi official said that the kingdom was in the process of revising penalties for drug-related crimes and that a decision to “abolish” capital punishment for drug offenses was “expected very soon.” The official spoke on the condition of anonymity…

Nigeria | Ganduje vows to sign "blasphemous" singer’s death warrant unless man appeals up to the Supreme Court and wins

The governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has vowed to sign the death warrant for the execution of a man convicted of blasphemy in the state.
Mr Ganduje said he will only fail to do so if the man appeals up to the Supreme Court and wins.
“I will not waste time in signing the warrant for the execution of the man who blasphemed our holy prophet of Islam,” the governor said Thursday during a meeting with clerics in Kano.
The Kano Upper Shari’a Court in Kano on August 10 sentenced Yahaya Sharif, a musician, to death for “blasphemy”.
The judge, Aliyu Kani, said the 22-year-old should die by hanging.
Mr Sharif, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing the offence in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.
In response, protesters in the highly conservative state torched the singer’s family home.
Many Nigerians, and rights groups, have criticised the ruling. Amnesty International urged the court to reverse its verdict.
In what appears to be his first…

Florida man serving life sentence for murder, rape cleared by DNA evidence over 30 years later

A Tampa man who was serving a life sentence after being accused of committing a murder and rape he wasn’t guilty of has been cleared by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project and the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.
Robert DuBoise spent 37 years in Florida State Prison for the death of Barbara Grams, a 19-year-old Tampa woman people found beaten to death behind a dental practice in 1983, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.
Articles from the time reported that hair, saliva, and blood samples from the scene were inclusive. 
However, a jury convicted DuBoise based on reconstructed bite marks that the prosecution argued matched his teeth, and the testimony of another state inmate.
The jury recommended a life sentence, but the judge, Harry Coe, overruled and gave Duboise the death penalty. 
A few years later, DuBoise appealed and his sentence was reduced back to life in prison.
DNA evidence that was thought to be “lost” was found during an 11 month review of DuBoise’s case. It fou…