Showing posts from September, 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…

Japan | 'Twitter killer' victims consented to death, lawyers argue

TOKYO (AFP): A Japanese man dubbed the "Twitter killer" for luring his victims on social media admitted in court Wednesday to murdering nine people, local media said.
But lawyers for Takahiro Shiraishi, 29, argued the charges should be reduced because the victims -- who had expressed suicidal thoughts -- gave their consent to be killed.
Shiraishi, who is also accused of dismembering his victims and storing body parts in coolboxes, did not contest nine counts of murder, saying they "are all correct", public broadcaster NHK reported.
He is also facing rape charges, according to media reports.
Shiraishi is accused of using Twitter to contact victims aged between 15 and 26 who posted online about taking their own lives, telling them he could help them in their plans -- or even die alongside them.
If convicted of murder, Shiraishi faces the death penalty, which is carried out by hanging in Japan.
But his lawyers want the charges against him reduced to "murder with consen…

Malaysia | Planter who killed man who tried to steal bananas from his orchard escapes death penalty

KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama): A banana planter on Wednesday (Sept 30), escaped the death penalty after the High Court here amended his murder charge to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed sentenced Ismail Mohd Don, 40, to 14 years in prison from the date of his arrest on Dec 3, 2018, after he was found guilty of causing the death of a man who tried to steal bananas from his orchard.
Wahab meted out the punishment to Ismail under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum jail term of 30 years and a fine on conviction.
Previously, Ismail was charged with the murder of Salahuddin Ismail, 46, outside a house in Kampung Tebakang Payong, Marang, at 3.15pm, on Dec 3, 2018.
The charge was framed under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder which carries a mandatory death sentence, if convicted.
During the judgment, Wahab said that based on the testimony of witnesses and the evidence presented, the victim was found to have provoked Ismail …

Iran | Prisoner Executed in Shiraz

Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 30, 2020: A prisoner sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, has been executed at Shiraz Central Prison. 
According to Iran Human Rights, on the morning of 27 September, a male prisoner was executed at Shiraz Central Prison (Adelabad). 
His identity has been established as Ali Ahmadi, a Kazeroud native who had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.
Ali Ahmadi was arrested for murder in 2018 and had remained behind bars until his execution.
At the time of publication, his execution has not been announced by domestic media or official sources in Iran.
According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder."
As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of intent and …

Assange may end up at Colorado Supermax jail, UK court told

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would have to be “almost dying” to get out of arguably the most notorious prison in the United States if convicted of espionage charges and sent there, a court at London's Old Bailey heard Tuesday.
Assange, who is fighting an extradition request from the U.S., would likely be sent to the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, if convicted, according to Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
U.S. prosecutors have indicted the 49-year-old Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Assange’s defense team says he is entitled to First Amendment protections for the publication of leaked documents that exposed U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have also said he is suffering from wide-ranging mental health issue…

Tunisia | Presidential statement in favour of death penalty is shocking

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced his position in favour of resuming executions during the National Security Council meeting on Monday, saying that “murder deserves the death penalty”. 
He made the remarks following the recent murder of a girl in Ain Zaghouan. 
Responding to the announcement, Amna Guellali, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:
“Tunisia has not carried out any execution since 1991. The President’s announcement in favour of the death penalty is shocking and contravenes the decades-long established practice of not carrying out executions. President Saied is the 1st president to ever announce intentions to implement death sentences in Tunisia.
“Resuming executions would be a slap in the face of all the human rights progress that the country has made so far. We urge the Tunisian President to immediately reverse his disturbing announcement which would take Tunisia’s human rights record backwards instead of forwar…

Iran Executed 108th Woman Under Rouhani

The Iranian regime executed a woman at dawn on Wednesday, September 23, bringing the total number of women executed there since supposed moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013 to at least 108
Mahtab Shafii, 32, was hanged in Gohardasht Prison (aka Rajaiishahr prison) in Karaj. She was detained for seven years in Qarchak Prison on murder charges, but even this is suspect due to the fact that the regime does not classify murder according to degrees.
As many Iranian women are subjected to domestic violence with no legal recourse to get their abuser arrested, have a restraining order, or even obtain a divorce, they risk losing everything, including their children, by leaving, or staying and possibly losing their lives. Thus, many Iranian women, suffering from battered person’s syndrome, kill their attackers in self-defense.
Political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee wrote in July 2019: “In meeting women convicted of murder, I learned that a large percentage of them had murdered…

USA | William Barr’s Exemplary Christ-Like Behavior

“A twisted halftime show between executions.” Barbara Koeppel reports on the outrage over this year’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast honoree. On Sept. 23, Attorney General William Barr was honored with the Christifideles Laici award at the 16th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB). To those not versed in Latin, it’s given “to highlight the good works and those who serve the Church so well.”
Many Catholics were outraged. Barr reinstated the death penalty for federal prisoners this past July. Until then, there were none for 17 years. Since July, there have been seven.
The award was squeezed between the sixth and seventh executions: One was on Sept. 22, the day before the breakfast, and the other was on Sept. 24, the day after.  The two men, William LeCroy and Christopher Vialva, who had been convicted of murder, had been imprisoned for 26 and 20 years.
The yearly breakfast is sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, which a 2019 NBC report described as an evangelical Christi…

Iran | Prisoner Executed at Gonbad Kavous Prison

Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 28, 2020: A prisoner sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, has been executed at Gonbad Kavous Prison.
According to the Iran newspaper website, on the morning of 28 September, a man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) was executed at Gonbad Kavous Prison. 
The prisoner, who is yet to be identified, had been accused of killing two teenagers when he was 21 years old.
According to the article, the executed death row inmate had "cited revenge as the motive for the murder and had said to have had an argument with Adnan, one of the two teenagers killed, over an issue," which they agreed to resolve on 28 July 2017, the day the teenagers went missing, outside the city. 
“But after not reaching an agreement, I killed him with a knife and fearing that I would be exposed, I killed Adnan’s friend who had witnessed the incident.”
According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged w…

Chinese teacher sentenced to death for poisoning nursery children

A Chinese court has sentenced a nursery teacher to death for poisoning 25 children, one of whom died.
Wang Yun was arrested last year after children at a kindergarten in Jiaozuo city were rushed to hospital after eating their morning porridge.
The court said she put sodium nitrite in the breakfast of her colleague's students for revenge after a fallout.
It described Ms Wang as "despicable and vicious".
The incident on 27 March last year shocked China and triggered global headlines.
At the time it was reported 23 children began vomiting and fainting after eating their breakfast. 
A police probe was triggered after allegations the teacher had poisoned them.
RELATED | China teacher held after children poisoned
On Monday a local court in Jiaozuo sentenced Ms Wang to death.
It said in a statement that she had put sodium nitrite into the porridge of the young students of another teacher in "revenge" after they had "argued over student management issues".
Sodium nitri…

Iran's Supreme Court Uphold Death Sentence Against Prisoner After 29 Years of Limbo

Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence against a prisoner who suffered almost 29 years on death row.
The prisoner, Moein Salavarzi has languished in a cruel limbo after being arrested and charged with murdering his brother in 1991.
In a phone call to his family last week, the 55-year-old said that his death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Judicial officials during the past years claimed that the prisoner’s case was missing and that they upheld the sentence due to the inquiries of the victim’s children.
Iran’s Islamic Penal Code allows the family of a murder victim to insist on execution or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation. 
The Iranian authorities contend that qisas – the sentence for convicted murderers – is not execution, even though people sentenced to qisas are put to death by the state. 
This contention is not accepted in international law.
Moein Salavarzi has been denied a lawyer during this period because he could not to pay for legal …