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Showing posts from February, 2023

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U.S. | Execution by nitrogen hypoxia doesn’t seem headed for widespread adoption as bills fall short and nitrogen producers object

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The day after Alabama carried out the first-known US execution using nitrogen gas, its attorney general sent a clear message to death penalty states that might want to follow suit: “Alabama has done it, and now so can you.” Indeed, in the weeks immediately following the January execution of Kenneth Smith, it appeared a handful of states were listening, introducing bills that would adopt the method known as nitrogen hypoxia or a similar one. Officials behind each framed the legislation as an alternative method that could help resume executions where they had long been stalled.

Japan high court approves posthumous retrial of man over 1984 murder

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A Japanese high court approved Monday a posthumous retrial for a man who was convicted of murdering a 69-year-old woman in 1984 in western Japan, upholding a lower court's decision. In accepting the 2nd retrial plea, sought by the family of Hiromu Sakahara, who died of illness aged 75 while serving his term in 2011, the Osaka High Court said the new evidence presented in the latest plea is "clear" and "should (warrant) an acquittal."

USA | Former Oklahoma Corrections Officials Criticize ​“Relentless Pace of Executions”

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In a letter to Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, dated January 13, 2023, nine former Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) officials called attention to the trauma experienced by prison staff from repeated executions.  The “relentless pace of executions means the prison never really returns to normal operations after the emotional and logistical upheaval of an execution,” explained the officials. “Indeed, reports from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary describe near-constant mock executions being conducted within earshot of prisoners’ cells, staff offices, and visiting rooms.” Their letter urged the state to space out executions further for the well-being of employees, who are already experiencing “lasting trauma” from the then-existing schedule. 

Germany | Nazi guillotine used to kill 1,200 could go on display ‘to protect freedom of speech’

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A blood-stained guillotine used by an infamous executioner to kill 1,200 people in Nazi Germany should be put on public display, the man who rediscovered it has said. The grisly relic was operated by Johann Reichhart, believed to be the fastest executioner in history, and took just seconds to take somebody’s life with a blade weighing 30lbs and a wooden bench bleached from constant washing. Journalist and author Ulrich Trebbin found it by accident at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, announcing his discovery in 2014. However, at the time, the Bavarian regional government concluded it should stay out of the public eye in case it offends the families of victims and attracts ghoulish attention.

Iran | ‌2 Baluch Brothers Executed for Drug Charges

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 24, 2023: Alireza and Safar Mohammadpour (Shahuzehi), two Baluch brothers sentenced to death for drug-related charges, were executed in Torbat Jam Prison, Khorasan Razavi province. According to Hal Vash, two Baluch brothers were executed in Torbat Jam Prison on February 20.  Their names have been reported as 28-year-old Alireza  Mohammadpour (Shahuzehi) and 31-year-old Safar Mohammadpour (Shahuzehi) from Saleh Abad. The brothers were arrested for drug-related charges around three year ago.

Saudi Arabia | Saudi Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty against 10 Former Judges for "High Treason"

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Repression continues to devour Saudi citizens, even government allies, as Crown Prince entrenches his authority (Washington D.C., February 27, 2023) – The Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh, used to prosecute "terrorism" cases in Saudi Arabia, has charged six former prominent SCC judges and four former judges of the High Court, the country's supreme court, with "high treason" – a crime punishable by death in Saudi Arabia – in its first secret hearing of the case on February 16, 2023, said Democracy for the Arab Now (DAWN). Sources told DAWN that the government has denied the defendants legal counsel and held them incommunicado since their detention on April 11, 2022.

Retired judge picked to review Arizona’s execution process

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PHOENIX — A retired federal magistrate judge was appointed to review the execution process in Arizona as part of an examination ordered by Gov. Katie Hobbs of procurement of lethal injection drugs and other death penalty protocols due to the state’s history of mismanaging executions. The Democratic governor announced the appointment of retired Magistrate Judge David Duncan on Friday. Duncan had previously presided over a lawsuit challenging the quality of health care for Arizona prisoners and was known for criticizing corrections officials and issuing a $1.4 million contempt of court fine against the state for failing to follow through on promises to improve care for prisoners.

Death penalty for terrorists bill approved by Israeli cabinet

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The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill that institutes a death penalty for terrorists. The approval came despite Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara’s issuing an opinion last week that there was a “legal impediment” to voting on the law before the national security cabinet meets to decide whether the penalty would create deterrence. According to the bill proposed by Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech, someone who “intentionally or out of indifference causes the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out from a racist motive or hate to a certain public... and with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland,” faces a death sentence, and that sentence alone.

Alabama governor says state will resume executions

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday that the state is ready to resume executions and “obtain justice” for victims' families after lethal injections were paused for three months for an internal review of the state's death penalty procedures. The governor in November directed the state prison system to undertake a “top-to-bottom” review of death penalty procedures after the state was forced to cancel three lethal injections because of problems with intravenous lines. Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm told Ivey in a letter shared with news outlets that his staff is ready to resume executions after making internal changes related to staffing and equipment. However, critics argued that the review should have been conducted by an outside group instead of the state agency “responsible for botching multiple executions.”

As U.S. Argued for Death Penalty, Bike Path Victims Gave Voice to Pain

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The federal jury deciding on the punishment for Sayfullo Saipov, convicted last month of killing 8 people with a truck, has heard from more than 20 witnesses. A little girl standing on her toes to place her palm on her deceased father’s image on a television screen. A mother who has left her son’s bedroom exactly as it was on Halloween 2017. A man married to a woman who lost her legs who clutches a pair of her socks in bed every night, yearning for the contact of her feet. The federal jury deciding on a death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, the man convicted last month of killing 8 people and injuring many others in a truck attack inspired by the Islamic State, has heard from more than 20 witnesses, including victims, relatives and bystanders. On Wednesday, the prosecution rested its case and Mr. Saipov’s lawyers began trying to save his life.

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Arizona Ruling That Barred Death Row Appeal

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In a 5-4 decision in Cruz v. Arizona on February 22, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court held that John Cruz should have been able to inform his sentencing jury that if he were spared a death sentence, he never would have been eligible for parole.  The Court said that its holding was in direct line with its previous decisions in Simmons v. South Carolina and Lynch v. Arizona , which established this right and its specific applicability to Arizona.  This ruling not only allows Cruz to renew his appeal for a new penalty trial, but it could affect nearly 30 other capital defendants in Arizona who were also sentenced to death under the state’s unconstitutional process.

Alabama | Proposed bill would require unanimous jury decision to impose death sentence

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House Bill 14 would require a unanimous vote by jurors to impose a death sentence in capital murder cases in the state of Alabama. The bill is sponsored by State Representative Chris England of Tuscaloosa County. "When I started practicing almost every state imposed the death penalty. Now we are down to 27," said Richard S. Jaffe, a local criminal defense lawyer. "That is very significant in what's going on with the national trend which is many, many, many fewer death verdicts and fewer states even allowing the death penalty. That's the trend." In 3 states, a death sentence can be handed down without a unanimous jury decision.

Lethal Injection Debate Swirls Around Texas Executions

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The US state of Texas is pushing ahead with the use of lethal injection for its death row inmates despite legal challenges over the drugs it employs, in the latest chapter of a fraught national debate over how to conduct executions. Texas is among the 27 states -- more than half the total 50 -- that has capital punishment on the books for certain violent crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and rape. The Lone Star State has carried out executions for a century, and was the 1st to use lethal injection in 1982. Last year, 2 inmates filed parallel challenges to their pending executions, alleging that long-expired drugs would be used to kill them, possibly causing kidney failure and undue suffering.

Florida | Pablo Ibar afronta el 28 de febrero su primera apelación tras su condena a cadena perpetua

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👉Click here to Google translate the following text into your own language La vista de la apelación de Pablo Ibar se realizará el próximo 28 de febrero a las 14 horas (hora local de Florida) el Tribunal ha convocado al abogado de Ibar, Joe Nacimiento, para que exponga en 20 minutos las razones por las que solicita la celebración de un nuevo juicio. En esta apelación el letrado expondrá los doce motivos por los que considera que el juicio de Pablo en 2018-2019 fue injusto. "Confío en que los jueces estarán de acuerdo en que Pablo no recibió un juicio justo" dijo Joe.

Japan | New evidence released in case of Japan's current longest-serving death row inmate

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Prosecutors have released a set of new evidence in connection with a 1966 murder-robbery and arson case, including materials that they had previously denied existed, after repeated appeals for a retrial filed by Japan's current longest-serving death row prisoner. Nobuo Oda, 76, was sentenced to death for murder-robbery and other charges over the Maruyo Musen case, in which a worker was found dead after an electric appliance store was set alight and burned down, and another worker was found seriously injured on a nearby street in the city of Fukuoka on Dec. 5, 1966. Oda has filed repeated retrial requests since 1973.

Malaysia | Bill related to abolition of mandatory death penalty to be tabled at Parliament next month

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The Bill related to the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in the country will be tabled for 1st reading at the Dewan Rakyat next month. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh (pix) said the Bill was expected to be passed in April and gazetted by May. “When it is gazetted, those affected (convicts) can file their application (to use the provisions under the Bill) at the Federal Court with the help from lawyers and the Prisons Department,” he told reporters after visiting the Kajang Prison here today.

Iran | Two women hanged for murder

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Execution of women in Fardis Prison of Karaj; 2 women hanged for murder Sources inside Iran reported today the execution of women in Fardis Prison of Karaj, also known as Kachouii Prison. According to reports from inside Iran today, Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 2 women were executed in January and February in Iran. Fariba Hosseini and an Afghan woman named Nazifeh were the last victims of the execution of women in the Fardis Prison of Karaj. Fariba Hosseini was hanged in Fardis Prison on February 14, 2023. Fariba Hosseini was a mother of two children who was arrested and imprisoned in this prison 6 years ago on charges of murder.

Iran | Executions in Birjand, Urmia

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 22, 2023: Davoud Rakjan, a Baluch man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was executed in Birjand Central Prison. According to Hal Vash, a Baluch man was executed in Arak Central Prison on February 21. His identity has been reported as 44-year-old Davoud Rakjan (known as Nabi Kharkouhi) who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court. Davoud Rakjan was married with children and had been behind bars for 3 years. At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

Iran executes Kurdish 'political prisoner'

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Iran said it executed on Wednesday a Kurdish militant who had been convicted of killing a police officer, a move condemned by rights groups who called him a political prisoner.  "Arash Ahmadi, also known as Sarkot, a member of the Komala terrorist group, was executed this morning," Iranian state television said. It said Ahmadi, 29, had assassinated police major Hassan Maleki in Ravansar, a town in the western province of Kermanshah, in August 2018.

Florida executes Donald Dillbeck

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  Donald Dillbeck didn’t mince words in the minutes before the state executed him Thursday night. “I know I hurt people when I was young. I really messed up,” Dillbeck, 59, said, strapped to a gurney in the Florida State Prison death chamber. “But I know (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis has done a lot worse. He’s taken a lot from a lot of people. I speak for all men, women and children. He’s put his foot on our necks.”

Iran | 3 Executions in Arak; Executions in Urmia, Neishabur, Karaj

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 18, 2023: Three men sentenced to death for drug-related charges, were executed in Arak Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, three men were executed in Arak Central Prison on February 14. One of the men has been identified as Mostafa Majnouni. The identities of the other two men have not been established at the time of writing. All three men were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Supreme Court rules for Arizona inmate in death penalty case

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a man on Arizona’s death row should be resentenced because jurors in his case were wrongly told that the only way to ensure he would never walk free was to sentence him to death. The 5-4 decision, in an opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said John Montenegro Cruz should get a new penalty phase of his trial where it is made clear to jurors that he is inelegible for parole if he is sentenced to life in prison, instead of death. The case is important not only for Cruz, but also for other Arizona death row inmates whose juries received similar misinformation. Arizona currently has approximately 100 people on its death row. It was not clear how many of those might be eligible for a new sentencing hearing.

Inside Florida death row: The life of an inmate sentenced to execution

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Florida's first known execution dates back to 1827 and came to a pause in 1972 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty statewide in the case of Furman v Georgia . A couple of years later in 1976, the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty and became the first state to carry out a non-voluntary execution since the court's decision, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.  As of 2023, 299 men and women are on death row in Florida. Some prisoners have offenses that date as far back as the 1970s.  Death row inmates have specific routines that differ from that of other prisoners. Here's a look at the life of a death row inmate:

Alabama’s Latest Steps to Use Nitrogen Hypoxia Recapitulate the Failed Promise of Humane Execution

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On February 15, John Hamm, Commissioner of Alabama’s Department of Corrections, told the Associated Press that the state was “close” to completing the protocol needed to carry out executions by nitrogen hypoxia. Since the state added this method to its menu of execution options almost five years ago, in March 2018, it has run into problems completing the steps necessary to actually use it. Those problems seemed to have been resolved last September when Deputy Attorney General James Houts told a federal judge that there was a “very good chance” that nitrogen hypoxia would be ready for use in the scheduled execution of Alan Miller . Houts said that the nitrogen hypoxia protocol, which would be “nested” within the state’s existing execution procedure manual, “is there” though not yet final.

USA | President Biden should commute federal death sentences: Opinion

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President Biden is the first publicly anti-death-penalty candidate to be elected president. But the closest this administration has come to reflecting the president’s values are half-measures from the Justice Department, including a moratorium on executions and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to deauthorize some, but not all, death penalty cases authorized by the Trump-era Justice Department and, thus far, to not authorize any new federal capital cases.  The Justice Department is moving ahead, however, with some previously authorized capital cases and has not issued a blanket policy against new capital cases.

Iran | Man Executed for Murder in Neishabur

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 16, 2023: Parviz Foroutani, a man sentenced to qisas(retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Neishabur Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Neishabur Prison on February 15.  His identity has been established as Parviz Foroutani who was sentenced to qisas for murder. An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Parviz Foroutani was arrested for an honour killing around four years ago. He was a barber prior to his arrest.” At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

USA | Upcoming Executions Raise Concerns about Mental Illness and the Death Penalty

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The cases of two defendants facing imminent execution raise concerns about the appropriateness of death sentences for those with severe mental illness or sharply-limiting mental disabilities.  Andre Thomas is scheduled for execution on April 5, 2023 in Texas, despite suffering from mental illness so acute that he cut out both of his eyes and ate one, claiming that it was necessary to prevent the government from hearing his thoughts.  Donald Dillbeck is scheduled for execution in Florida on February 23, even though he is inflicted with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder accompanied by disabilities similar to those the U.S. Supreme Court has found disqualifying for the death penalty ( Atkins v. Virginia ).

Alabama takes steps toward using nitrogen as new execution method

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But critics decry death penalty ‘experimentation’ that state is developing after a series of botched lethal injections Alabama is close to completing a protocol that will use nitrogen gas as a new form of execution in the state, officials have said, amid warnings from advocacy groups that it is an experimental move after botched lethal injections. On Wednesday, Alabama commissioner John Hamm, who heads the state’s prison systems, told the Associated Press, “We’re close. We’re close,” in reference to the new execution method. Hamm added that the protocol should be completed by the end of this year.

Japan court overturns death penalty for hit-and run, hands man life sentence

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The Sendai High Court has overturned the death penalty handed to a man convicted of killing two people by ramming into them with a truck in Fukushima Prefecture, downgrading his sentence to life in prison. Yoshitaka Morito, 53, an unemployed man of no fixed address, was handed the lighter sentence on Feb. 16 in a decision overturning a June 2021 ruling by the Fukushima District Court's Koriyama branch.

Iran | Disgusting moment before Iranian protesters hanged

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A chaos-stricken nation is carrying out hangings and violent executions, but what happens beforehand is even more disturbing. The Iranian government is allowing prisoners just 15 minutes to argue for their lives, as a number of activists arrested in countrywide protests face the death penalty after suffering brutal torture and “sham trials”. 4 men have so far been executed in connection with the protests that erupted in Iran 4 months ago, after the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Amini was detained and beaten by Iran’s morality police in September for allegedly not wearing her mandatory headscarf “properly”, and died of severe head trauma three days later.

Texas death row inmate who cut out his eyes seeks clemency

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HOUSTON (AP) — Plagued by mental illness, Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas started hearing voices when he was 9 years old and first attempted suicide when he was 10, his attorneys say. Thomas’ psychosis, filled with religious delusions and hallucinations, became worse as he grew older. His family — beset by a long history of mental illness, addiction and poverty — was unable to help. His lawyers say in March 2004, when he was 21, Thomas’ mental illness erupted in a burst of horrific violence in his hometown of Sherman, Texas. He fatally stabbed his estranged wife Laura Christine Boren, 20, their 4-year-old son Andre Lee and her 13-month-old daughter Leyha Marie Hughes, cutting out the hearts of the two children. He later told police God had instructed him to commit the killings and that he believed all three were demons.

India | Godhra train burning case: Gujarat govt seeks death penalty for 11 in SC

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New Delhi: The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will press for the death penalty to 11 convicts in the 2002 Godhra train burning case, as it was a ‘rarest of the rare and grave offence.” The death penalty of these 11 convicts was commuted to life imprisonment by the Gujarat High Court. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Gujarat government, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud that state is seriously pressing for death penalty for the convicts, which the Gujarat High Court commuted to life imprisonment.

Vietnam | Laotian drug mule who was paid mere $42 gets death sentence

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A court in the central Ha Tinh Province has sentenced a Laotian man to death for transporting one kilogram of ketamine and 7,000 amphetamine pills into Vietnam. It found Yer Vang, 28, guilty of "illegal transportation of narcotic substances." Ha Tinh border guards and customs checked a car Yer was driving while he was completing procedures to enter Vietnam at the Cau Treo International Border Gate in Huong Son District on August 16, 2022. They found the back seats of the car, which carried a Lao number plate, having signs of being modified. After removing the cover, they found the drugs hidden beneath, some covered by bags of dried tea leaves.

New York | Buffalo supermarket shooter could still get death penalty

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A day after the white supremacist gunman who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket was sentenced to life in state prison , attention turned Thursday to federal hate crime charges and the potential for the death penalty. During a procedural hearing, U.S. marshals were given temporary custody of Payton Gendron, 19, while he awaits trial on a 27-count federal indictment. Gendron spoke only to agree to the transfer.

USA | Donald Trump Wants to Use the Firing Squad, Mass Executions, and Videos to Turn Executions Into Reality TV

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Donald Trump has long loved the death penalty . It now seems that he wants to turn executions into spectacles of cruelty. On February 14, Rolling Stone reported that, if he is returned to the White House, Trump has a three-part plan to heighten the drama of state killing. First, he would like to have the federal government use the firing squad, hanging, or even the guillotine when it puts people to death. Second, he thinks it should carry out mass executions by killing many people at one time. Third, he would like to film and broadcast at least some part of the execution process.

Texas | TDCJ reports death of Hank Skinner prior to September execution date

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Texas death row inmate dies after December surgery for tumor A man who had been on Texas’ death row for nearly 30 years after being convicted in the killings of his girlfriend and her two sons has died of natural causes, a spokesperson for the state prison system said Thursday. Henry “Hank” Skinner, 60, died Thursday afternoon at a hospital in Galveston, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson Robert Hurst. In a statement, Skinner’s attorneys said he died from complications following surgery in December to remove a brain tumor.

Iran | 2 Executions in Qazvin, Man Executed in Gorgan, Man Executed in Zanjan

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 13, 2023: Behzad Alirezaei and Ahmad Samari, two men sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, were executed in Qazvin Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Qazvin Central Prison on February 13. Their identities have been established as Behzad Alirezaei and Ahmad Samari who were sentenced to qisas for murder. An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “They were transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions on Saturday. Behzad Alirezaei was accused of murder during a group fight. But he rejected the charges and said five others were in that fight and the murder wasn’t his fault.”

Trump Plans to Bring Back Firing Squads, Group Executions if He Retakes White House

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The former president wants to expand the use of the death penalty, and expand the federal government's options for carrying out death sentences “WHAT DO YOU think of firing squads?” That’s the question Donald Trump repeatedly asked some close associates in the run-up to the 2024 presidential campaign, three people familiar with the situation tell Rolling Stone. It’s not an idle inquiry: The former president, if re-elected, is still committed to expanding the use of the federal death penalty and bringing back banned methods of execution, the sources say. He has even, one of the sources recounts, mused about televising footage of executions, including showing condemned prisoners in the final moments of their lives.

New York | Buffalo mass shooter to be sentenced on state murder charges

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The gunman who killed 10 people and injured three last year in a racist attack on a grocery store that served a predominately Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, is set to be sentenced Wednesday on state charges related to the shooting. Payton Gendron, a 19-year-old White man, pleaded guilty in November to one count of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons possession charge in the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets on May 14. He is expected to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Iran | 2 Moharebeh inmates hanged in Urmia, 3 executed in Arak

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Iran executes 2 prisoners charged with ‘enmity against God’ in Urmia Prisoners Milad Jajouyi Khanik and Mohammad Ali Akhtari Kohlan were executed earlier this morning in Orumiyeh Central Prison, in north-western Iran. The 2 prisoners were previously sentenced to death on charges of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) due to an armed robbery that resulted in murder.

Death penalty for former Indonesian police general over grisly murder of his bodyguard

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Ferdy Sambo was formerly a two-star general in charge of police internal affairs.  JAKARTA: Former Indonesian two-star general Ferdy Sambo was sentenced to death on Monday (Feb 13) for murdering his bodyguard Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat in a high-profile case that has rocked the nation.  In a televised trial, judge Wahyu Iman Santoso said that the former inspector general was guilty of being the mastermind behind the murder of Mr Hutabarat in July last year.  He was charged with premeditated murder and destroying evidence.  “The defendant Ferdy Sambo was legally and convincingly guilty of committing a crime, participating in premeditated murder and for acting in a way which resulted in the electronic system not working properly,” said Mr Santoso. He was referring to how the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage at Mr Sambo’s house was damaged, thus impeding the authorities from finding out about the circumstances of Mr Hutabarat's death. 

Alabama Needs to Change Course and Clean Up Its Death Penalty Mess

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Last week brought new reminders of the mess that Alabama has made of its death penalty system and of its determination to keep executing people nonetheless. On February 7, faith leaders delivered a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey asking her to reconsider a decision she made last November to have the state Department of Corrections investigate its own failures in a series of last year’s executions. Some 170 priests, ministers, rabbis, and other clerics from across the state urged her to change course and create an independent commission to study and address Alabama’s death penalty problems.

Death Row

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A prison sentence is a deprivation of liberty. That deprivation of liberty is the punishment. But elsewhere it’s different. In America, things vary a good deal state to state but 29 states still have the death penalty though some of these have a moratorium on implementing it. ‘No longer held’ Over the years, I have supported men on death row. The 1st was a ‘country boy’ in North Carolina. Early on in his letters, he explained that capital punishment too often meant that if you hadn’t the capital, you got the punishment! Smart lawyers there are expensive and without them, many men end up on death row. They can be there for years. Those states still using the death penalty seem impervious to circumstance – recently, a prisoner who had gone totally blind was executed regardless. When my letters are returned overwritten ‘no longer held at this establishment’, it signals the penalty has been carried out.

New York truck attacker may face death penalty despite Biden pledge

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New York (AFP) – President Joe Biden promised to abolish capital punishment for federal crimes, but the US government is due to argue, beginning Monday, that an Uzbek man should get the death penalty for killing eight people in New York half a decade ago. The same 12 jurors who last month convicted Sayfullo Saipov of several murder and terrorism charges will decide whether he should be jailed for life or sentenced to death. Although the Biden administration declared a moratorium on all federal executions, if Saipov receives the sentence he could be put to death, either under a future president or if the moratorium is lifted.

Pakistan | Angry mob lynches man accused of blasphemy

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Hundreds of Muslims descended on a police station in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province Saturday, snatched a blasphemy suspect from his cell and took him outside and lynched him, police said. Senior police officer Babar Sarfaraz Alpa said a man identified only as Waris had been in police custody for desecrating pages of a copy of Islam's holy book, the Quran. He said Waris pasted images of himself, his wife and a knife on several pages of the book, displayed them and threw them about in the rural district of Nankana.

USA | Commute Federal Death Row!

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This week, President Biden renewed his commitment to “restore the soul of the nation” in his State of the Union address. He went on to say that “our nation is working for more freedom, more dignity and more peace, not just in Europe, but everywhere.” As President Biden works to achieve this vision, there is one opportunity he must not miss to repair the soul of this nation: commute federal death row. We are an outlier amongst our allies in our retention of capital punishment. The federal government and 24 states still have the death penalty, and three more states still have it in their laws, but with a moratorium on executions.

Iranian Officials Urge Unions To More Strictly Adhere To Mandatory Hijab Law

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Officials in the Iranian capital, Tehran, have sent a letter to trade unions that calls for stricter enforcement and adherence to the mandatory hijab in stores and businesses. According to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by RFERL’s Radio Farda, the order was issued to trade unions in the capital based on the Hijab and Chastity Law and with the aim of preventing the "spread of the culture of not wearing a hijab." Such acts of civil disobedience have increased in Iran, where the country's "hijab and chastity" law requires women and girls over the age of 9 to wear a head scarf in public.

‘When does time finally run out?’ Richard Glossip has maintained his innocence for 26 years on death row. A special counsel is now reviewing his case

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At least once a week, Richard Glossip’s defense team connects on the phone — sometimes to catch up, and other times to strategize on how to save the life of the Oklahoma man on death row. Glossip, who’s been behind bars for 26 years on a capital murder conviction, now has a tablet in his cell at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and can use it to make collect phone calls. “It’s one of the scariest things, especially if you’re an innocent person, to know they’re going to take your life for something you had nothing to do with,” Glossip told CNN in an exclusive interview during one of those phone calls.

South Carolina Supreme Court Blocks Efforts to Conceal Lethal Injection Information

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On January 26, South Carolina’s Supreme Court ordered the state to turn over information about its attempts to obtain lethal injection drugs, as part of a suit challenging aspects of the state’s methods of execution. South Carolina has not carried out an execution since 2011, stating that it was too difficult to obtain lethal injection drugs. The Court’s order required the state to disclose what efforts it has made to acquire them.  A lower court had ruled that the alternate methods of execution—electrocution and the firing squad—violate the state constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Texas | Accused El Paso Walmart shooter pleads guilty to 90 federal charges, including hate crimes

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Accused El Paso Walmart shooter pleads guilty to 90 federal charges including hate crimes. EL PASO, Texas (KTEP) - The man accused of killing 23 people at an El Paso Walmart pleaded guilty to 90 federal charges including murder and hate crimes. Dressed in a dark blue prison jumpsuit, wearing a facemask and shackled, Patrick Crusius, showed little emotion as he listened to each one of the names of the 23 people gunned down at a Walmart in 2019 or injured in the attack. He answered guilty to each charge of murder and attempted murder as well as hate crimes.

Zambia commutes nearly 400 death sentences after abolition of death penalty

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Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has commuted 390 death sentences to life imprisonment, six weeks after he abolished capital punishment, a cabinet minister said Wednesday. “So as it stands, we now do not have any inmates serving a death sentence following the abolishing of the death penalty,” Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu, told a news conference. The 390 prisoners, including 11 women — all being held at Mukobeko maximum security prison in Kabwe, a town around 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of the Zambian capital Lusaka — will now serve life terms.