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Showing posts from December, 2022

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Trump’s Killing Spree: The Inside Story of His Race to Execute Every Prisoner He Could

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Before 2020, there had been three federal executions in 60 years. Then Trump put 13 people to death in six months IN THE FINAL moments of Brandon Bernard’s life, before he was executed by lethal injection at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Dec. 10, 2020, President Donald Trump picked up the phone to entertain a final plea for mercy on Bernard’s behalf. The call was not with Bernard’s family or his attorneys. Nor was it with representatives from the Justice Department’s Pardon Attorney office, who had recommended just days earlier that Trump spare Bernard’s life.

North Carolina's middle ground: Death penalty is legal, but no one has been executed since 2006

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North Carolina hasn't executed anyone since 2006, when lawsuits put executions here on hold. In close to half of the states in the United States, the death penalty is written into law. So it came as a surprise to some when the man accused of shooting a child in the head accepted a plea that sentenced him to life in prison without parole. In fact, North Carolina hasn't executed anyone since 2006, when lawsuits put executions here on hold.

Iranian author sentenced to death after urging peace in Israel TV interview

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Opposition-affiliated media says Mehdi Bahman convicted of ‘espionage’ after speaking to Channel 13 earlier in the year, denouncing regime, calling for normalization with Israel Iran has sentenced a dissident author to death on “espionage” charges after he gave an interview earlier in the year to an Israeli television channel, opposition-affiliated media reported Thursday.

Iran | Actor, doctor, engineer: stories of Iranians sentenced to death over killing at protest

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Five men apparently unknown to each other were probably forced to give false confessions An actor, a radiologist, a poultry business employee, a karate champion, an engineer – these are five men sentenced to death in Iran for alleged crimes linked to anti-regime protests. The charges raised against them included murder. With court hearings held largely in secret, their trials have been widely condemned as a sham.

Where does Missouri get the drugs it uses to execute prisoners? The supplier is a secret

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For the first time since 2015, Missouri has returned to executing multiple people on death row per year — two in 2022 and two scheduled so far for 2023 — but details about the process remain shrouded in secrecy. Nineteen prisoners have capital sentences, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. The Missouri Supreme Court has issued death warrants for two of them: Amber McLaughlin is scheduled to die Jan. 3 and Leonard Taylor’s execution date is Feb. 7. The state of Missouri uses pentobarbital, a drug commonly used in animal euthanasia. 

Iran | 4 Executed for Drug Charges in Karaj, Man Executed for Murder in Shiraz, Man Executed for Murder in Isfahan, Man Executed in Iranshahr

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); December 29, 2022: Davoud Yousefi and Ebrahim Ajali, two men sentenced to death for drug-related charges, were executed in Karaj Penitentiary. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Karaj Penitentiary on December 28. Their identities have been established as 42-year-old Davoud Yousefi and 33-year-old Ebrahim Ajali.

Tennessee failed to follow its own execution protocols since 2018, new report finds

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Gov. Bill Lee ordered the independent review. He released it Wednesday and outlined a series of next steps, including revising the lethal injection protocol. The Tennessee Department of Correction failed to follow its own lethal injection protocol since it was introduced in 2018, according to the findings of an independent probe into the state's execution procedures released Wednesday. The probe, led by former U.S Attorney Edward Stanton, found that the three drugs used in Tennessee's lethal injection protocol were not properly tested for endotoxins, a type of contaminant. This oversight was caused in part by a lack of communication: TDOC never gave its lethal injection protocol to the Texas pharmacy contracted to oversee the procurement and testing of the deadly drugs, the probe found.

Alabama faces uncertainty in 2023 after year of death penalty troubles

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When the clock struck midnight on Sept. 22 and again on Nov. 17, everything changed for the future of executions in Alabama. The midnight mark came after prison workers couldn’t start intravenous lines for the two men who were set to die on those nights. Those issues followed two other controversial executions the state carried out earlier in the year. This year was a tumultuous one for the death penalty in Alabama for several reasons: For the national attention the state received after the two started-but-not-completed executions, for Alabama’s memorable trips before the U.S. Supreme Court, and for the governor ordering a temporary halt to all executions by lethal injection.

What is it like to survive an execution by lethal injection?

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Alabama’s corrections department has bungled the procedure on three recent occasions, with IV teams failing on hours at end, adding immense distress to a difficult situation On three occasions in the past four months, Alabama’s department of corrections has bungled its lethal injections procedure. At 7.57pm on 17 November, prison guards entered the “death cell” at Holman correctional facility in Atmore, south Alabama, where Kenneth Smith was awaiting execution by lethal injection for the 1988 murder-for-hire of a preacher’s wife.

Missouri Set to Execute Amber McLaughlin on January 3 in First U.S. Execution of a Transgender Person

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On January 3, 2023, Missouri is set to execute Amber McLaughlin (pictured), the first transgender person scheduled to be put to death in the United States. Tried as Scott McLaughlin, her jury rejected three of the four aggravating circumstances advanced by St. Louis County prosecutors but split on its sentencing verdict. The vast majority of death-penalty states require a unanimous jury vote for death before the death penalty may be imposed. But under Missouri law, a nonunanimous jury vote is deemed a hung jury, triggering a statutory provision that allowed McLaughlin’s trial judge to independently impose sentence. McLaughlin’s trial judge then relied upon the aggravating circumstances rejected by the jury to sentence McLaughlin to death.

Iran | At Least 100 Protesters Facing Execution, Death Penalty Charges or Sentences; At Least 476 Protesters Killed

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); December 27, 2022: At least 476 people including 64 children and 34 women, have been killed by security forces in the current nationwide protests. The death toll increase relates to recently verified cases from the first two months of the protests. Furthermore, at least 100 protesters are currently at risk of execution, death penalty charges or sentences. This is a minimum as most families are under pressure to stay quiet, the real number is believed to be much higher. 

Iran Revolution Dawns and The Dusk of the Clerical Theocracy Falls

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Iran’s nationwide protests have persisted for 100 consecutive days, and with no socio-economic or political resolutions in sight, there is no easing of the upheaval in the forecast.   Initially sparked following the tragic death of Mahsa Amini in the morality police custody, protests soon morphed into what many consider a revolution, with people resisting the regime’s brutal oppression. 

Iran | Footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani among dozens facing execution over protests

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During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, members of Iran’s national soccer team showed their support for Iranian women and others protesting back home. While that was happening, another soccer player involved in those protests was putting himself in harm’s way in order to push back on the country’s draconian policies. Before Iran‘s first match of the World Cup against England, the entire team stayed silent, refusing to sing while the nation’s national anthem played in the stadium. There were assumptions that they would face harsh consequences upon their return to their country. Meanwhile, Amir Nasr-Azadani, an Iranian soccer player who last played for the Persian Gulf Pro League club Tractor, was among those protesting back home. And he’s now been sentenced to death because of those actions.

Iran’s Raisi vows ‘no mercy’ for ‘hostile’ protest movement sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death

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President Raisi accused ‘hypocrites, monarchists, all antirevolutionary currents’, saying ‘embrace of nation open to everyone but no mercy to those who are hostile’ President Ebrahim Raisi said Tuesday Iran would show “no mercy” towards “hostile” opponents of the Islamic republic, gripped by more than 100 days of protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death. The “riots”, as Tehran generally refers to them, were triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Iranian-Kurdish Amini, 22, after her arrest for an alleged breach of the strict dress code for women.

Iran hangs two in latest executions

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Iranian authorities have hanged two men convicted of murder in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province in the latest executions carried out by the Islamic republic, the judiciary said Monday. Elias Raisi was found guilty of murder in a family dispute in 2020, and Ayoub Rigi of a killing using a military weapon over “personal differences” with the victim, said the judiciary's Mizan Online news website. They were put to death Saturday after the victims' families refused to grant them clemency under Islamic law, the chief prosecutor in the provincial capital Zahedan, Mehdi Shamsabadi, was quoted as saying.

Celebrities In Iran Also Pay A Price For Supporting Protests

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Ashkan Khatibi, a popular TV and cinema actor in Iran who was detained three months ago for expressing solidarity with protesters, has spoken up about his ordeal. In a post Saturday, Khatibi, 43, said that in the past three months he has been living in hiding and fear. “I was arrested and questioned for allegations made against me 90 days ago, charged and my case was handed over to a judge,” he wrote in Persian in his post which also included a message in English. Khatibi said his “endless” interrogations came with verbal and physical violence and that after being freed he was assaulted in the street by plainclothes security forces who accused him of blasphemy. The actor said he received so many death threats by phone that he had to change his cellphone number. “I had to leave behind my career, my life, and everything that I had worked hard for all my life.”

Iran protests: 'No going back' as unrest hits 100 days

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A hundred days after they began, the longest running anti-government protests in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution have shaken the regime, but at a heavy cost to the people. More than 500 protesters, including 69 children, have been killed, according to the Human Rights Activists' News Agency (HRANA). Two protesters have been executed and at least 26 others face the same fate, after what Amnesty International calls "sham trials".

Hardliner Clerics In Iran Demand More Executions, Amputations

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An influential hardliner clerical group in addition to executions demands punishing Iranian protesters by cutting fingers and toes instead of just exiling them. In a statement Saturday, the Association of Qom Seminary Teachers urged the authorities to continue executions but use the amputation punishment to deter people from joining the protests instead of lenient punishments in the law such as exile. The association (Jame’e Moddaresin-e Howzeh Elmiye-ye Qom) suggested that anyone who “instigates fear in society” -- supposedly by participation in anti-government protests -- is belligerent (mohareb) which in Iran's Sharia-based laws is punishable by death, crucifixion, severance of limbs, and/or exile.

Zambia: Amnesty International welcomes the abolishment of the death penalty

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Responding to an announcement by Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema on Friday 23 December 2022, that he had assented to a law banning the death penalty and the offence of criminal defamation of the president, Tigere Chagutah Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa said: “Amnesty International welcomes the announcement by President Hichilema that the death penalty has been abolished in Zambia. This is a good and progressive move that shows the country’s commitment to protecting the right to life.

Iran | Man Executed for Drug Charges in Shiraz, Three Men Executed for Rape in Shiraz

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); December 23, 2022: Abdollah Shahuzehi, a Baluch man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was executed in Shiraz Central Prison. According to Hal Vash, a Baluch man was executed in Shiraz Central Prison on December 21. His identity has been reported as 35-year-old Abdollah Shahuzehi who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court. He was arrested around two years ago. It has been tragically reported that his family who were en route from Zahedan for their last visit, were involved in a road accident and are currently hospitalised in Zahedan.

Iran | 3 Men Including Afghan National Executed in Karaj, Man Secretly Executed for Drug Charges in Zahedan, Man Secretly Executed for Drug Charges in Zabol

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); December 20, 2022: Three men including an Afghan National were executed for murder and drug-related charges in Karaj Penitentiary. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, three men were executed in Karaj Penitentiary on December 20. The identity of one of the men has been established as Mehdi Kamranifar who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges. His co-defendant’s identity has not been established at the time of writing.

California | Scott Peterson's ex-girlfriend Amber Frey speaks out after retrial decision

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Amber Frey, the ex-girlfriend of Scott Peterson who later testified against him, is speaking out exclusively to Fox News Digital after a judge denied his bid for a new trial , saying among other things: "The truth doesn't change over time." Just one day after California Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo announced that she was not granting Peterson a new trial in the murders of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner, Frey, who was revealed to have had an extramarital affair with Peterson, is breaking her silence. "It's relieving to hear Scott Peterson will not get a new trial," she said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital by her longtime attorney, Gloria Allred. "I would have been willing to testify again. However, I am relieved that my testimony will not be necessary. If I were called to testify, I would give truthful testimony again, for the truth doesn't change over time."

Majority of Iranians oppose the death penalty

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Despite criticism at home and abroad, the Iranian government continues to hold firm on Revolutionary Courts and death sentences. So far, the Iranian regime has carried out two death sentences, one week apart, imposed on people who had participated in nationwide anti-government protests. The demonstrations are taking place in different parts of the country, with varying intensity, and are now in their fourth month.

Iranian Director, Actor Openly Criticize Government For Brutal Crackdown On Protests

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A well-known Iranian director and a prominent Iranian actor have openly criticized the government for cracking down on protests triggered by the September death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi expressed his criticism in a video message on December 19 addressed to Iran’s minister of Islamic guidance. "You cannot keep someone's head under water and call his struggle to save his life 'disruption,'” Haghighi said in the video. "We are currently burying our loved ones; we don't have time to dance for you," the 53-year-old Iranian director added, referring to a request from the minister of Islamic guidance for artists to return to the stage. Most artists have canceled performances as a show of support for protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Amini. Security forces have met the demonstrators with brutal, and sometimes deadly force. Meanwhile, Iranian actor Shahab Hosseini addressed the authorities of the Islamic republ

California | Scott Peterson will not be granted new murder trial, judge rules

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Scott Peterson, who was convicted by a California jury of killing his pregnant wife Laci Peterson in 2002, has been denied a new trial.  The 50-year-old Peterson and his legal team argued that a juror in his 2004 murder trial committed misconduct and he deserved a new trial. However, on Tuesday a San Mateo County Superior Court judge ruled she had not. In a statement to CBS News, Peterson's attorney, Pat Harris, said they were "disappointed" by the ruling, but that "this case is not over," adding that they had new evidence that supposedly proves Peterson did not murder his wife. Laci's disappearance in 2002, and Peterson's subsequent murder conviction, gained widespread media attention. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder of his 27-year-old wife, as well as second-degree murder of their unborn son they had planned to name Conner. Prosecutors said that Peterson dumped Laci's body into San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve of 2002.  Jurors imposed

Irmgard Furchner: Nazi typist guilty of complicity in 10,500 murders

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A former secretary who worked for the commander of a Nazi concentration camp has been convicted of complicity in the murders of more than 10,500 people. Irmgard Furchner, 97, was taken on as a teenaged shorthand typist at Stutthof and worked there from 1943 to 1945. Furchner, the first woman to be tried for Nazi crimes in decades, was given a two-year suspended jail term. Although she was a civilian worker, the judge agreed she was fully aware of what was going on at the camp. Some 65,000 people are thought to have died in horrendous conditions at Stutthof, including Jewish prisoners, non-Jewish Poles and captured Soviet soldiers. Furchner was found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of 10,505 people and complicity in the attempted murder of five others. As she was only 18 or 19 at the time, she was tried in a special juvenile court. At Stutthof, located near the modern-day Polish city of Gdansk, a variety of methods was used to murder detainees and thousands died in gas chambers

Vietnam | Death-row inmate caught 42 years after he escaped prison

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A Death Row inmate in Vietnam has been caught 42 years after he escaped from prison and went into hiding. Vo Van Ba had been sentenced to death for rape and murder in 1977, but broke out of prison on 3 October, 1980, while awaiting his execution. He would spend the next 42 years evading authorities as he moved between the southern provinces of Vietnam, even changing his name, getting married and having a child in the more than four decades he spent outside of prison. Police attempts to track down the escaped Death Row inmate were unsuccessful for more than 42 years before he was finally recaptured. Despite his decades-long avoidance of the authorities he was not able to spend the rest of his life outside of jail and his past finally caught up to him. According to vnExpress, the Death Row fugitive was finally arrested on 16 December after police were finally able to track him down. Vo Van Ba said he had spent most of his time after escaping Death Row living in Vietnam's Ca Mau provi

Missouri death row inmate to be baptized days ahead of scheduled execution

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Amber McLaughlin, the first openly transgender woman set to be executed in the United States, is getting baptized three weeks prior to her scheduled execution date. ST. LOUIS — The first openly transgender woman set to be executed in the United States is getting baptized three weeks prior to her scheduled execution date. Amber McLaughlin raped and stabbed her ex-girlfriend in 2003. There is no known case of an openly transgender inmate being executed in the U.S. before, according to the Anti-Execution Death Penalty Information Center. The crime 5 On Your Side searched through our own archives, uncovering what happened on Nov. 20, 2003. The victim's neighbor said Guenther was in fear of her ex-girlfriend for six months. According to the neighbor, we learned a police officer was walking Guenther from work to her car for a week. However, the one time she stopped asking for an escort, the murder happened. Guenther was about to file another order of protection against McLaughlin the ver