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Showing posts from May, 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

Idaho | Execution of terminally ill prisoner on death row serves vengeance, not justice

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Despite the horrific nature of his crimes, Gerald Ross Pizzuto Jr. should be allowed to die a natural death rather than be executed by the state of Idaho. Pizzuto, 65, has terminal bladder cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and is in a wheelchair, according to The Associated Press. He’s been on hospice care since 2019, when doctors said he likely wouldn’t survive for another year. Pizzuto’s attorneys filed a clemency petition on his behalf to the Idaho Pardons & Parole Commission. The commission should grant that request, and members should do it quickly. Pizzuto is scheduled for execution on June 2. We recognize and acknowledge the atrocity of Pizzuto’s crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1985 killings of Berta Herndon, 58, and her nephew Del Herndon, 37, at a remote Idaho County cabin. Armed with a .22 caliber rifle, Pizzuto tied the victims’ wrists behind their backs and bound their legs to steal their money. He bludgeoned them both, and Del Herndon was also

Nevada | Final blow to death penalty abolition legislation

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A three-part cocktail sealed the fate of death penalty abolition this session: a district attorney association that was staunchly against the bill, state Senators who also work as prosecutors who refused to give the legislation a hearing, and finally a Democratic governor who was opposed. After saying for months he didn’t support a complete abolition of the death penalty, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Thursday there was “no path forward,” on Assembly Bill 395, which would have eliminated capital punishment in Nevada.   “I’ve been clear on my position that capital punishment should be sought and used less often, but I believe there are severe situations that warrant it,” he said in a statement. “I understand there are those who will be disappointed by this outcome, however the process of determining which crimes are severe enough to warrant this punishment deserves thoughtful consideration.”  Sisolak said he believed the discussion “requires robust communication and input so that the voi

Iran | Alireza Monfared Beheaded By His Family for Being Gay

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His name was Alireza Fazeli Monfared and he was only 20 years old. Fazeli Monfared was homosexual and due to the difficulties he faced because of his sexual orientation, was about to flee his native Iran for Turkey. But he was reportedly killed by his family members before he could leave the southwestern province of Khuzestan after they accused him of dishonoring the family. Fazeli Monfared's killing has put the plight of Iran's LGBT community in the spotlight amid concerns that this will not be the last suspected case of so-called honor killings of homosexuals in the Islamic republic. "There's no guarantee that this won't happen again until our society becomes educated and informed," Arsham Parsi, a Toronto-based, Iranian gay-rights activist and head of the International Railroad for Queer Refugees, told RFE/RL. Killed For Being Gay Fazeli Monfared was reportedly killed on May 4 by his half-brother and cousins who, according to some reports, beheaded him and

Zambia | High Court Sentences 3 to Death

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The Chipata High Court has sentenced three people to death by hanging, in two different cases, the Mast reported on 12 May 2021. A 32-year-old man of Sinda district was sentenced to death for killing his mother and a 56-year-old woman and her 28-year-old daughter have been slapped with the same sentence for murdering their daughter in-law. Lusaka High Court judge Sharon Newa, sitting in the Chipata High Court, jailed John Daka who murdered his mother Faidess Phiri on 21 June 2019 at her garden near the Zambia/Mozambique border. The court heard that Daka hit his mother on the forehead and mouth with a pounding stick after obtaining charms from Malawi in the hope of becoming rich.  Daka’s grandmother, Violet Phiri, told the court that her daughter was killed at her garden in Sokosi village in chieftainess Nyanje’s area on the Zambia- Mozambique border. Judge Newa sentenced Daka to death by hanging until pronounced dead after convicting him of the offence. She also sentenced Joyce Nyasulu

Kuwait | Death Penalty Sought As Suspect Says Did Not Kidnap, Kill Woman

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KUWAIT CITY, May 12: About 21 days after the heinous crime that shook the Kuwaiti street and left great reverberations in the Arab street, the Criminal Court held the first trial session in the case related to the gruesome crime that took place in Sabah Al-Salem area where the victim, Farah Akbar, was murdered in front of her daughter during day time in the holy month of Ramadan, reports Al-Qabas daily.  At the start of the trial, the defendant accused of murdering Farah Akbar denied the charges leveled against him of the kidnapping and murder of the victim. Responding to the charges, he said, “I work in the Army Intelligence, and I study psychology. I did not kidnap, kill, or threaten anyone.”  The Criminal Court decided to adjourn the trial to May 25 in order to summon the incident officer.  The legal team representing the accused requested for an urgent defense.  The legal counsel representing the victim Lawyer Abdul Mohsen Al-Qattan submitted a request for civil temporary compensat

Ohio | Mother who allegedly killed her 4-year-old faces the death penalty if convicted

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A 25-year-old woman in Ohio who has been charged with murder in the death of her 4-year-old daughter will face the death penalty if convicted, prosecutors said. Tianna Robinson allegedly beat and strangled her daughter, Nahla Miller, until her heart stopped, according to a statement on Monday from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters. Robinson was arrested on April 13 and is being held in a Hamilton County jail on a $2 million bond, according to jail records.  CNN has reached out to Robinson's attorney for comment but has not yet heard back. "Nahla was transported to [the] Children's Hospital where she remained until she was removed from life support on April 21," Deters' statement said. "Investigators believe Nahla had been abused for months," the prosecutor's statement said. "The Coroner's Office has ruled Nahla's death a homicide. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation and blunt force trauma, resulting in signifi

Sierra Leone government moves to abolish death penalty

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Freetown (AFP) -- Sierra Leone's government will move to abolish the death penalty in the West African state, deputy justice minister Umaru Napoleon Koroma said on Wednesday. No execution has taken place in the country since 1998, and death penalties are often commuted. Sierra Leone, which is still recovering after decades of civil war, has frequently come under fire from rights groups for keeping capital punishment on the books. "Once the legislation goes to parliament and gets approved, that ends the story of the death penalty," Koroma told AFP. He added that the cabinet of President Julius Maada Bio had decided to push to abolish capital punishment in order to "uphold the fundamental human rights of Sierra Leoneans". The date of the cabinet's decision is unclear. But the government announced the move on Wednesday during a review of Sierra Leone's human rights record at the United Nations, Koroma said. The European Union's ambassador to Sierra Leon

USA | Judge Finds Aggravating Factors In Chauvin Case, Paving Way For Longer Sentence

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A Minnesota judge has found aggravating factors in Derek Chauvin's murder of George Floyd — a finding that dramatically increases the likelihood of a longer sentence. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Judge Peter Cahill said in an order made public Wednesday that four aggravating factors are present in the case: Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority as a police officer, treated Floyd with "particular cruelty," committed the crime as part of a group with at least three other people, and that children were present during the commission of the offense. During the trial, a 9-year-old girl who had witnessed the incident testified that seeing it made her feel "sad and kinda mad." Chauvin was found guilty of all the counts against him, but in Minnesota, a person convicted of multiple crime

Rape Laws in The United Arab Emirates

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In the United Arab Emirates, there exists a different kind of punishments for crimes including capital punishments for the most heinous of crimes such as rape. Sexual assaults are heavily punished in Dubai and can often include death sentence, especially in instances of sexual assault of minors. The penal code of the UAE is promulgated under UAE Federal Law number 3 of 1987 and its amendments (the “UAE Penal Code”) which sets of the legal provisions that determine actions recognized as crimes under the penal code and also sets out the penalties incurred for such crimes. Article 354 of the UAE penal code defines ‘Rape’ as, ‘Without prejudice to the provisions of the Law on juvenile delinquents and displaced, death penalty shall be imposed on whoever used coercion in having sexual intercourse with a female or sodomy with a male. Coercion shall be considered committed if the victim is below fourteen years of age when the crime is perpetrated, or if the crime is committed against a person

North Korea | Kim Jong Un Had Conductor Executed By Firing Squad Following Celebration, South Korean Paper Says

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A recent report from a South Korean newspaper said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of a choir conductor, who was allegedly shot 90 times in front of members of the public. The report also said members of the choir were forced to march past the dead body. The stunning account comes from journalist Joo Seong-ha, who writes for the Dong-A Ilbo daily paper. The story was originally published on 29 April but has been shared online more widely since then. There is currently no independent corroboration of the story. Joo wrote that the story began on 16 February, which is Kim's birthday. North Korea celebrates that date as the Day of the Shining Star, and Kim and his wife appeared at the Mansudae Arts Theater in Pyongyang for a night of performances to mark the holiday. Joo wrote that one of the shows performed that night was called "Shadow Magic," which featured actors doing magic tricks behind screens as if they were literally shadows. Afterward, Kim