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Showing posts from October, 2021

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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty

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The following text is excerpted from  Death Row Diary , by William Van Poyck. William Van Poyck -- who maintained his innocence -- was executed by the state of Florida on June 12, 2013.  The 58-year-old, convicted of the 1987 murder of Glades Correctional Institution guard Fred Griffis outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office, offered his views on everything from prison food to movies to the blood lust of politicians who support the death penalty via letters he posted online with the help of his sister.  After his conviction, Van Poyck, with a reform school education, authored three books, one of which won first-place honors in the memoir category in Writer’s Digest 2004 Self-Published Book Awards.  Locked up with what the courts have deemed the worst of the worst, Van Poyck opened the doors to a secret world few can imagine... The following piece is excerpted from William Van Poyck’s dispatches written during the last two years prior to his own execution. "Robert Waterhouse was

Iran | Cousins Executed in Ahvaz, Man Executed for Drug Charges in Zahedan

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); October 25, 2021: Cousins Ali Mohammad Mohammadi and Eslam Mohammadi who were sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for “murder during a tribal clash” have been executed in Ahvaz Sepidar Prison.  Ali Mohammad’s mother died of a heart attack following her son’s execution. Their four co-defendants remain at risk of execution. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Ahvaz Sepidar Prison on October 19.  The identity of the men who were cousins and sentenced to qisas for “murder during a tribal clash” has been established as Ali Mohammad Mohammadi and Eslam Mohammadi. Informed sources told Iran Human Rights: “They were from the village of Potk Jalali in Ramhormoz and had committed the murder during a clash between the Mohammadi and Mousayi tribes.” “The two cousins were arrested and sentenced to death along with four other relatives after the clash between the Mousayi and Mohammadi tribes when several people were killed

It’s time for Oklahoma to get rid of the death penalty: Editorial

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Beginning this Thursday, the state of Oklahoma plans to kill 7 people over the next 5 months. The last few times Oklahoma attempted to execute death row inmates, it botched the procedures so badly — using the wrong drug and an improper IV setup, in separate cases — that the state stayed executions while a grand jury investigated the process. But it doesn’t actually matter how competent the killing process is — it’s wrong, even if it doesn’t suspend someone’s death for 43 minutes while they suffer on the gurney, as Clayton Lockett did in 2014. It’s time, for a number of reasons, for Oklahoma to change its stance on the death penalty. First, there’s the issue of the sanctity of human life, a topic Oklahoma talks about constantly in the context of abortion. In a story about incoming abortion restrictions published late last month, Gov. Kevin Stitt told The Frontier he would sign restrictive abortion bills that passed his desk, because he considers every pregnancy to be a life. The followi

Mississippi preps for 1st execution since 2012

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Mississippi prison employees will conduct once-a-week rehearsals as the state prepares for its 1st execution since 2012, Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain says. Cain told The Associated Press on Friday that the rehearsals for a lethal injection are usually done once a month at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, following a protocol that's about 20 pages long. “Very, very detailed,” Cain said. The Mississippi Supreme on Thursday set a Nov. 17 execution date for David Neal Cox, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to killing his wife, Kim, in 2010 in the northern Mississippi town of Shannon.  Cox withdrew his appeals and once filed court papers calling himself "worthy of death.” Mississippi has not had an execution since 2012, and it had 6 that year. Cain confirmed Mississippi has obtained lethal injection drugs, but he declined to say how. “I’m not supposed to talk about the drugs too much,” Cain said. Mississippi is still facing a lawsuit filed in 2015 by the Roderick &

Iran | At Least 141 Hanged Since Raisi’s Presidency; 31 in the Past 30 Days

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NCRI -- Terrified of the Iranian people’s rage and hatred, the mullahs’ criminal regime has stepped up repression, torture, and executions in a desperate attempt to terrorize the public and prevent the outbreak of protests and uprisings.  At least 31 prisoners have been hanged in various Iranian cities in the past 30 days alone, bringing to at least 141 the number of executions after Ebrahim Raisi and Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i became President and the Judiciary Chief, respectively on July 21, 2021. On October 19, Ali Mohammad Mohammadi, 45, and his brother, Eslam Mohammadi, 38, from Ramhormoz, were executed in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz. Shocked by their execution, their mother died of a heart attack.  The residents of Ramhormoz protested this criminal act but the repressive forces brutally attacked them, wounding and arresting a group of them. On October 20, in another criminal act, a Baluch prisoner was hanged in Zahedan Central Prison despite being 80% blind. The Iranian Resistance

Will Florida put Nikolas Cruz to death by lethal injection or commit him to live out his life in prison?

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"There were explicit warnings. Two students told an assistant principal the year before the tragedy that Cruz might hurt others and even shoot up the school." The most vicious killer in South Florida history will spend the rest of his life in prison for the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. “You will not come out until you are no longer alive,” Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer told Nikolas Cruz Wednesday before accepting his guilty pleas at a hearing in Fort Lauderdale. The only remaining question is whether Florida will put him to death by lethal injection or commit him to live out his life in prison. The punishment will be for 12 jurors to decide next year, following the 34 guilty pleas Cruz entered — 17 for first-degree murder and 17 more for the attempted first-degree murder of victims who were shot but survived. RELATED |  Parkland Massacre Shooter Nikolas Cruz Pleads Guilty—But Could Still Get Death Penalty There are good reasons why the

‘Give him a way out’: Elderly parents plead for Hongkonger facing death penalty in China despite his history of mental illness

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A Hong Kong man with a history of mental illness may soon be executed in mainland China, where he was sentenced to death in 2017 for drug trafficking. His elderly parents are now in Shenzhen waiting for their first – and perhaps last – visit to him as they made a desperate appeal to the authorities to spare their son. Fifty-year-old Wu Chi-man has been on death row for almost five years, after he admitted dealing 15 kilograms of methamphetamine in Shenzhen in March 2016. He appealed against his sentence in late 2017 but it was upheld. Wu’s family had not seen him for years until they were notified by mainland authorities about three weeks ago that a meeting could be arranged next Thursday. Believing it may be the only chance to see him, Wu’s 80-year-old father and 78-year-old mother packed their bags quickly and brought along bottles of medication they needed for their indefinite trip to Shenzhen. “We are quite helpless and clueless, we don’t know what will happen. Everything is still

India | Rajasthan man given death penalty for rape, murder of minor within 30 days of crime commission

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Man awarded death penalty by a special POCSO court in Rajasthan for raping and killing a seven-year-old girl on September A 25-year-old man on Saturday was awarded death penalty by a special POCSO court in Merta city, Nagaur, for raping and killing a seven-year-old girl on September 20 this year in a village under the Padukalan police station in the district. Special Judge Rekha Rathore sentenced the convict, a maternal uncle of the victim, terming his offence as “the rarest of rare” after holding the trial continuously for 11 days, special public prosecutor Sumer Singh said. Earlier on October 5, a Jaipur court had sentenced a 25-year-old man to 20 years in jail for raping a 9-year-old girl, imposing the punishment within nine days of the commission of the crime. Setting a benchmark on the swiftness of the delivery of the verdict that, experts say, also enhances the deterrence value of the punishment, the special Jaipur POCSO court, had decided the case within five working days after

Does South Korea Have the Death Penalty? Why 'The Raincoat Killer' Case Sparked Debate

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The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea is Netflix's latest true-crime documentary that you don't want to miss. The gripping three-part series documents the crimes of Yoo Young-chul, who killed 20 people, many of whom were sex workers or elderly and wealthy. The documentary features new footage and features exclusive interviews with investigators and families of the victims to help catalog the crimes that rocked South Korea in the 2000s. On July 15, 2004, Yoo was arrested by Seoul police after several massage parlor employees and the police staged an impressive sting. He initially confessed to murdering 19 people between September 2003 and July 2004, but the true number of his victims was revealed to be 20. Yoo also admitted to committing acts of cannibalism. On December 13, 2004, Yoo received the death penalty. The last time the death penalty was carried out in South Korea was in 1997 and the sentence has sparked a debate over the death penalty in the country. In So

Oklahoma | Death row inmate Julius Jones seeks execution stay

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High-profile death row inmate Julius Jones on Wednesday asked an Oklahoma City federal judge for a temporary stay of his execution. Jones is set to be executed Nov. 18. Joining him in the emergency request were death row inmates John Marion Grant, Donald A. Grant and Gilbert Ray Postelle. U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot scheduled a hearing on the request for Monday morning, just three days before the 1st execution is set to be carried out. Jones claims that he is innocent, that the real killer framed him and that his trial was unfair. Millions signed a petition in his support after ABC in 2018 aired the documentary series, "The Last Defense," about his innocence claim. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in September set execution dates for 7 inmates at the request of the new attorney general. Jones and 5 of the inmates had been kicked out of a 2014 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the lethal injection procedure. The 7th inmate, Bigler Jobe Stouffer, was not

Iran | Fate of teen offender facing execution in Iran 'rests with victim's family'

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Arman Abdolali is on death row for killing his girlfriend when he was just 17 Rights groups have criticised Iran after a senior official said the fate of a condemned man convicted of a murder he committed at the age of 17 is in the hands of the victim’s family. Arman Abdolali, now 25, is facing the gallows for killing his girlfriend following a 2015 trial marred by confessions obtained under torture, according to Amnesty International. Iran has cancelled the planned execution on at least two occasions after international outcries. Abdolali has been moved in and out of solitary confinement at Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, on the outskirts of Tehran, over the last week in preparation for his execution. The UN said the hanging would breach international laws banning the death penalty for people who committed crimes while under the age of 18. A senior Iranian justice official has told Iran’s official news agency IRNA that the family of the dead woman could spare his life in return for bloo