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Showing posts from April, 2021

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Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

Texas | Judge recommends new trial for Clinton Young

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29 April 2021 On Wednesday April 21, the closing arguments in Clinton’s case took place on Zoom and were live broadcasted on YouTube.  At the end of the hearing, the judge said that he would recommend a new trial, and yesterday he filed that recommendation! This recommendation will now be sent to the Court of Criminal Appeals who will make the final decision.  This is a major step towards justice!  We will have to wait for the CCA’s decision, but we are very grateful and happy about this outcome. Why a new trial? The prosecutor who worked on Clinton Young’s trial, Ralph Petty, was secretly working as a paid law clerk for two judges who presided over Clinton’s case.  In his capacity as a law clerk, Petty drafted rulings and advisory memos for the judges that were used for the judges’ orders and rulings in Clinton’s case.  To learn more, read this USA Today article . January hearing The hearing in January involved fact-finding around the issue of District Judge Hyde paying Mr. Ralph Pett

Florida | Tax dollars to help defend woman accused of drowning son

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MIAMI — Taxpayer dollars will help cover the defense costs for a Florida woman charged with first-degree murder in the drowning death of her autistic 9-year-old son. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Daryl Trawick ruled in an order released Thursday that Patricia Ripley, 46, is indigent for certain costs that include depositions, private investigators and experts who specialize in trying to keep defendants off Florida’s Death Row, the Miami Herald reported.  Similar death penalty cases have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in experts, investigators and other expenses. Prosecutors objected, pointing out that her family owns an expensive home in South Florida and land in the Dominican Republic . Ripley is still currently responsible for paying the $300,000 being charged by her private defense lawyers.  If the judge finds her indigent for attorney fees, she’ll be represented by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. Ripley is accused of the May 2020 death of Alejandro Ripley, who suffered f

‘Most infamous killer’ on Nevada’s death row dies

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LAS VEGAS — A man convicted of murder and sexual assault and who was incarcerated on death row in Nevada for most of his adult life has died after a series of heart attacks.  He was 74, prison officials said. The Clark County coroner's office said Patrick McKenna died of natural causes, KVVU-TV reported. McKenna was an inmate at High Desert State Prison and was awaiting capital punishment longer than almost anyone else in the state, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.  The Nevada Department of Corrections confirmed McKenna died at Spring Valley Hospital on April 19. "He's probably the most infamous killer on Nevada's death row," Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said. "And in my opinion, he didn't get what he deserved." McKenna, long considered Nevada's most dangerous prisoner, was sentenced to death in 1980 for first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery with a deadly weapon, authorities said. He strangled his cellm

At Biden’s 100-Day Mark, Catholics Push For Action On Death Penalty

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Through a national petition organized by Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), thousands of Catholics, Catholic organizations, and people of goodwill, including the Ignatian Solidarity Network, are calling on President Biden, as his administration hits its 100th day, to fulfill his campaign pledge to dismantle the federal death penalty. Biden, who is Catholic, is the first U.S. president to openly oppose capital punishment and to have campaigned on an explicitly anti-death penalty platform. “When President Biden took office 100 days ago, our country was in the aftermath of a horrific spree of federal executions ordered by the Trump administration,” commented Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of CMN. “Having seen the grave harm possible at the hands of an administration bent on taking lives, many Catholics were hopeful that President Biden would prioritize taking the steps within his power to dismantle the federal death penalty. But this has not yet been the case.” In the

California | Death row inmate Charles Edward Crawford dies of unknown causes at San Quentin State Prison

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An inmate on California’s death row died of unknown causes at San Quentin State Prison, corrections officials said Thursday. Charles Edward Crawford II, 46, was found unresponsive in his cell on Wednesday morning, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.  He was taken to a hospital where he pronounced dead 12 hours later. The Marin County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death. Crawford was sentenced to death in Alameda County on June 7, 2002, for killing a 16-year-old San Jose girl and a Fremont man. San Quentin, north of San Francisco, is California’s oldest prison.  It houses the state’s death row as well as general population inmates. Source:  The Associated Press, Staff, April 29, 2021 🚩 | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com . Opposed

South Carolina | With Spartanburg man out of appeals, electrocution, firing squad may end execution impasse

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South Carolina House members may soon debate whether to restart the state’s stalled death penalty with the electric chair and whether to add a firing squad to the execution methods. The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would let condemned inmates choose death by being shot in the heart by several sharpshooters. That bill has already passed the Senate and Gov. Henry McMaster has said he would sign whatever reaches his desk. The latest bill heads to the House floor to join another bill that would force death row inmates into the electric chair because South Carolina can no longer obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections. That lack of drugs has prevented South Carolina from killing an inmate for 10 years. From 2000 to 2010, the state averaged just under two executions a year. Death row inmates in South Carolina get to decide how they die. They choose lethal injection since it can’t be done. Both bills soon to be on the House floor require the state to use the el

Egypt executes 17 prisoners including 80-year-old Quran teacher

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17 Egyptian prisoners, including Sheikh Abdel Halim Gabreel, an 80-year-old Qur'an teacher, were executed yesterday, on fabricated charges in the case known in the media as the "Kerdasa massacre". Regime authorities carried out the death sentences at dawn in Wadi Al-Natrun Prison in complete secrecy and without prior notification to the families. The 16 other prisoners that were executed were: Walid Saad Abu Omaira, Mohamed Rizk Abuel Soud, Ashraf Sayed Rizk, Ahmed Owes Hussein, Essam Abdel Moety, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, Badr Abdel Nabi, Qutb Sayed Qutb, Omar Mohamed El-Sayed, Izzat Al-Attar, Ali El-Sayed Kenawy, Abdullah Saeed, Mohamed Yousef Al-Seidi, Ahmed Abdel Salam, Arafat Abdel Latif, Mustafa El-Sayed El-Kerfesh. All 17 men were convicted of killing 13 policemen during a 2013 attack on a police station in the Giza suburb of Kerdasa in 2013. However serious questions marks were raised over their conviction. Arab Organisation for Human Rights UK (AOHR) confirmed that the i

California | Scott Peterson appears in court seeking retrial in murders of his wife and unborn son

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A judge granted Scott Peterson's attorneys 60 days for discovery for a potential retrial of the death penalty phase of his 2004 conviction for killing his wife and unborn son. Seventeen years after Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his wife, Laci, and unborn son, a judge has allowed his attorneys more time for discovery relating to issues connected to a possible retrial of the death penalty phase of his sentence. Peterson, 48, appeared on a Zoom call from San Quentin State Prison in California on Tuesday for a pair of hearings tied to his 2004 conviction. A judge granted his lawyers 60 days to provide a discovery request to the San Mateo District Attorney, according to NBC affiliate KCRA. His attorneys have until June 28 to get a waiver for a retrial for the death penalty phase or a new jury, which comes after the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson's death sentence last year, citing problems with jury selection during his trial. The California Supreme Court uphe

Georgia | Feds charge 3 men with hate crimes in death of Ahmaud Arbery

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department brought federal hate crimes charges Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, charging a father and son who armed themselves, chased and fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man after spotting him running in their Georgia neighborhood. Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory, were charged along with a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, with one count of interference with civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The case is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department and comes as federal officials have moved quickly to open sweeping investigations into troubled police departments as civil rights takes center stage among the department’s priorities. The indictment charges that the McMichaels “armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck and chased Arbery through the public streets

Malawi scraps ‘unconstitutional’ death penalty

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Malawi’s highest court on Wednesday outlawed the death penalty and ordered the re-sentencing of all convicts facing execution. Capital punishment has long been mandatory in Malawi for prisoners convicted of murder or treason, and optional for rape. Violent robberies, house break-ins and burglaries could also be punishable by death or life imprisonment. Executions have however not been carried out since Malawi’s first democratically elected president, Bakili Muluzi, opposed the punishment when he took office in 1994. In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, Supreme Court judges hearing an appeal by a murder convict declared the death penalty “unconstitutional”, de facto abolishing the punishment. “The death penalty… is tainted by the unconstitutionality discussed,” the judgment said. Malawi last executed around two dozen prisoners in 1992, according to Amnesty International. More than 30 countries in Africa still have the death penalty on their books, but just under half have carried out exec