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Showing posts from July, 2022

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USA | Parkland Case Challenges Us All to Figure Out What a Mass Murderer Deserves

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The ongoing sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the 23-year-old Florida man who in 2018 murdered fourteen students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, will test whether the seven men and five women on the jury hearing his case can hate the sin but muster the courage to spare the life of the sinner. That is exactly what his defense team is asking them to do as they sit in judgment of the person who perpetrated one of this country’s most brutal mass murders. Like many death penalty defense lawyers before them, Cruz’s lawyers, to their credit, have not downplayed the gravity of the horrors their client inflicted in Parkland, Florida. Instead, during the sentencing trial, or what the journalist Dahlia Lithwick once called a “trial of the heart,” they have focused their attention on who Cruz is and the factors that shaped his life. As the Supreme Court said more than fifty years ago, in capital cases those who impose the sentence must consider “

Egyptian court wants killer executed on live TV

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An Egyptian court has asked that the execution of a man who stabbed a student to death be broadcast on television. CAIRO — An Egyptian court has called for the execution of a young man to be broadcast live. The condemned was convicted of stabbing his classmate at Mansoura University to death. In a July 24 letter to the Egyptian Parliament, the Mansoura criminal court requested a legal amendment be made to allow the execution to be aired live on television. “A broadcast, even if only a part of the start of the proceedings, could achieve the goal of deterrence, which was not achieved by broadcasting the sentencing itself,” the letter read. On June 20, chilling video footage showed Mohamed Adel kill Naira Ashraf at their university campus. According to local reports, she had been about to sit for final exams when he stabbed her several times in front of onlookers. The crime shocked Egypt. The court’s request was met with mixed reactions in Egypt. Some observers have expressed support of t

Singapore accelerates pace of executions

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City-state’s liberal economy is a magnet for talent but critics say hangings expose regressive policies Kalwant Singh’s death sentence was settled on a Zoom call. The Malaysian watched from prison as his appeal was discussed virtually by three Singapore judges this month. For Singh, convicted of smuggling about 120g of heroin, it was his last chance of a reprieve after spending more than six years on death row. He listened silently as a translator interpreted the discussion. Despite agreeing to provide evidence to the police, Singh’s appeal was dismissed. He was hanged the following day.  After two years without any hangings, Singapore has carried out six executions in 2022, the highest level since 2018, including an intellectually disabled man who was hanged in April. At least another seven prisoners have received execution notices, according to anti-capital punishment activists in the city-state.   “Singapore is not giving us time to digest the previous execution. Suddenly the next

Alabama Execution of Joe Nathan James Marred by Failures to Set IV Line, Embarrassing Dress-Code Controversy, and Disrespect of Victim’s Family

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Alabama put Joe Nathan James, Jr. to death on July 28, 2022 against the wishes of his victim’s family in an execution marred by an hours-long failure to set a lethal-injection intravenous line and an embarrassing dress-code controversy in which a corrections official told a female reporter she would not be able to witness the execution because her skirt was too short and she was wearing open-toed shoes and subjected another female reporter to a clothing inspection. RELATED | Alabama executes Joe Nathan James Jr. The daughters and brother of Faith Hall had asked Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall to stop the execution , saying it would further victimize the family. When their request was denied, the Halls released a statement saying, “We pray that God allows us to find healing after today and that one day our criminal justice system will listen to the cries of families like ours even if it goes against what the state wishes. Our voices matter and so does the life of

Federal Appeals Court Finds South Carolina Judge Ignored Uncontested Evidence of Mental Illness, Reverses Death Sentence

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has overturned a South Carolina death-row prisoner’s death sentence after finding that the sentencing judge in his case had ignored uncontested evidence of the defendant’s mental illness and history of severe childhood abuse and neglect. In a 2-1 ruling on July 26, 2022, a panel of the Fourth Circuit vacated the death sentence imposed on Quincy Allen by Richland County Circuit Court Judge G. Thomas Cooper in March 2005 for the murders of Dale Hall and Jedediah Harr. Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory, joined by Judge Pamela Harris, wrote: “The sentencer in this case excluded, ignored, or overlooked Allen’s clear and undisputed mitigating evidence, thereby erecting a barrier to giving this evidence meaningful consideration and effect and eviscerating the well-established requirements of due process in deciding who shall live and who shall die.” In so doing, they wrote, Judge Cooper “violate[d] the Eighth Amendment’s guarant

Iran | Child bride who killed the man she was made to marry at 15 is among 3 women put to death in Iran for murdering their husbands

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Soheila Abadi, now 25, was hanged in prison for killing her husband A child bride who killed the man she was forced to marry when she was 15 is among 3 women executed in Iran for murdering their husbands this week. Soheila Abadi, now 25, was hanged in prison after she was convicted of killing her husband over 'family disputes' according to the sentencing courts. 2 other women executed on Wednesday were also convicted of murdering their husbands, Human Rights Watch said. Activists claim that most incidents of wives killing their husbands are sparked by domestic violence but the Iranian courts do not take this into account. The trio are among 32 people hanged in the country in just the past week. It comes amid a surge in executions across the country, with at least 251 people killed by the state killed in the first 6 months of the year, Amnesty International reported. The figure is more than double the number executed over the same period last year. The charity accused Iran of ca

Singapore | Over 6kg of drugs worth $313k seized in Sentosa hotel room, Shenton Way residence

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2 Singaporeans were arrested for suspected drug trafficking activities during an operation by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) on Wednesday (July 27), with more than 6kg of controlled drugs seized. The street value of all the drugs seized - 1,893g of heroin, 270g of Ice or crystal methamphetamine, 4,193g of cannabis and seven bottles of methadone - was estimated to be about $313,000. The amount of heroin seized could feed about 900 abusers for a week, said CNB, while the amount of cannabis found could feed the addiction of some 600 abusers for a week. On Wednesday evening, CNB officers arrested the two Singaporeans - a 41-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman - in a hotel room in Sentosa. There, 1,849g of heroin, 269g of Ice, 663g of cannabis and six bottles of methadone were found. They were then taken to their hideout at a private residential enclave in the vicinity of Shenton Way early Thursday morning. There, 44g of heroin, 1g of Ice, 3,530g of cannabis and one bottle of methadone

Iran | Man Executed for Murder in Bam, 2 Executed for Murder in Sanandaj, Man Executed for Murder in Rasht

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 28, 2022: Mohammadreza Arjmandi, a Baluch man sentenced to qisas for murder, was executed in Bam Prison. According to Hal Vash, a Baluch man was executed in Bam Prison on July 27. His identity has been reported as Mohammadreza Arjmandi (Sheikihi) who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021. Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness. Payam Yazdani and Heyva Ahmadi Executed for Murder in Sanandaj Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 28, 2022: Co-defendants Payam Y

Iran | 72-year-old Man Executed After 14 Years on Death Row

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 28, 2022: Abdollah Rahimi has been confirmed to have been executed with Soheila Abedi, Payam Yazdani and Heyva Ahmadi in Sanandaj Central Prison on July 27. According to newly confirmed information, a third man was executed in Sanandaj Central Prison on July 27.  His identity has been established as Abdollah Rahimi who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. Abdollah Rahimi was 72 years old and had spent 14 years on death row according to Hengaw which first reported news of his execution. At the time of writing, none of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021.  Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law.  Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family ar