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Showing posts from April, 2023

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‘A Short Film About Killing’: The movie that brought an end to the Polish death penalty

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The most intellectually challenging film I have ever seen about capital punishment. Definitely a must-see. DPN review and YouTube trailer available in our 'Films & Documentaries' section — DPN editor As far as European cinema goes, there are few figures quite admired in critical circles as the inimitable Krzysztof Kieślowski. Known for his Dekalog series of 1989, as well as The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colours trilogy, Kieślowski embodied everything so extraordinary about the power of European cinema and that of his native Poland in turn.

Three Iranians Face Death Penalty over Paramilitary Member’s Killing

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Iran's judiciary has charged three people with "waging war against God," a charge that could carry the death penalty, over the alleged killing of a member of the Basij paramilitary force during protests last year.  "Three of the defendants in this case have been charged with waging war against God by using cold weapons and acting against the national security of the country, while the other [six] defendants have been charged with collusion and gathering against the country's security," judiciary spokesperson Masoud Setayshi said on April 26.  The defendants include Milad Armon, Mehdi Hosseini, Mehdi Imani, Alireza Kefaei, Hossein Nemati, Mehdi Jahani, Behrad Hessari, Nestouh Nikkhah, and Mohammad Pasandian. Authorities say Basij member Arman Alivardi was killed on November 5, 2022 during protests in Ekbatan Town, west of Tehran. 

Thailand | Death sentence upheld for gold robber who killed 3

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BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Supreme Court upheld a death sentence for an ex-elementary school principal convicted of killing three people, including a toddler, during an armed gold shop robbery in 2020. The court ruled Wednesday that Prasitthichai Khaewkao did not deserve a reduction in his original sentence, calling the shooting in a shopping mall in Lopburi province “outrageously, ruthlessly inhuman" in a statement released Friday. Four people were injured in the attack and a salesclerk, a security guard and a 2-year-old boy were killed. Prasitthichai was found guilty in August 2020 and given a death sentence on charges including first-degree murder, killing in commission of another crime and illegally carrying a gun. The Appeal Court also upheld the death penalty in 2021.

Oklahoma board denies clemency for death row inmate Richard Glossip

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s state parole board voted Wednesday not to recommend clemency for death row inmate Richard Glossip, even though the state attorney general said he doesn’t think the condemned man received a fair trial. The board voted 2-2 to not recommend that Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt grant clemency to Glossip, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 18. One board member recused himself because his spouse is a prosecutor who had previous involvement in Glossip’s case. The vote came despite the state’s new Republican attorney general, Gentner Drummond, taking the unusual step of arguing on behalf of granting clemency — his office typically asks the board to allow executions to proceed. Drummond has said that although he doesn’t believe Glossip is innocent, he thinks he didn’t receive a fair trial and deserves a new one.

Oklahoma | Fate of death-row inmate Richard Glossip rests with parole board

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma death row inmate whose scheduled execution in May is opposed by the state’s top prosecutor as well as celebrities such as Kim Kardashian was set to ask the state’s parole board Wednesday to spare his life. Richard Glossip has long maintained his innocence in the 1997 killing of his former boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese. The state’s Pardon and Parole Board will weigh whether to recommend clemency to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who can either commute Glossip’s sentence or allow the May 18 execution to proceed. In an unusual move, Oklahoma’s Republican attorney general, Gentner Drummond, said he would ask the board to spare Glossip instead of asking that execution be allowed to proceed, which is what his office usually does in such cases. He said he wouldn’t argue that Glossip is innocent, but that Glossip deserves a new trial in light of numerous concerns about how his case was handled decades ago.

Death row inmates in Florida have a choice for method of execution. Here’s how it works:

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Florida administers executions by lethal injection or electric chair. In 2000, then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed legislation making lethal injection the state’s default method of execution amid controversy over the electric chair.  The last inmate Florida executed by electrocution was Allen Davis in July 1999. Witnesses described blood streaming from Davis’ nose and onto his shirt, which drew widespread attention two years after an inmate’s mask burst into flames during a different Florida electrocution. Since then, 57 people have been executed by lethal injection and none by electric chair. Prior to 2000, there were 44 electrocution executions.

Singapore executes man for coordinating cannabis delivery

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HONG KONG (AP) — Singapore on Wednesday executed a man accused of coordinating a cannabis delivery, despite pleas for clemency from his family and protests from activists that he was convicted on weak evidence. Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, was sentenced to death in 2018 for abetting the trafficking of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cannabis. Under Singapore laws, trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis may result in the death penalty. Tangaraju was hanged Wednesday morning and his family was given the death certificate, according to a tweet from activist Kirsten Han of the Transformative Justice Collective, which advocates for abolishing the death penalty in Singapore. Although Tangaraju was not caught with the cannabis, prosecutors said phone numbers traced him as the person responsible for coordinating the delivery of the drugs. Tangaraju had maintained that he was not the one communicating with the others connected to the case.

United Nations | Singapore urged to halt execution over kilo of cannabis

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The United Nations Human Rights Office has pressed Singapore to "urgently reconsider" its scheduled execution of a man over one kilogram of cannabis. Singaporean Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, is set to be hanged tomorrow after he was convicted of conspiracy to traffic 35.9 ounces of cannabis, twice the amount that merits the death sentence in the city-state. It would be Singapore's first execution in six months and the 12th since last year. The Asian financial hub has some of the world's toughest anti-drug laws and insists the death penalty remains an effective deterrent against trafficking. The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights disagrees. "The death penalty is still being used in a small number of countries, largely because of the myth that it deters crime," the OHCHR said in a statement.

Singaporean on death row denied access to lawyers, interpreter, say activists

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A Singaporean man who is due to be hanged this week for abetting an attempt to smuggle cannabis is one of a growing number of death row prisoners who have to represent themselves after their appeals because they cannot access lawyers, activists have said. Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, was sentenced to death in 2018 after a judge found he was the owner of a phone number used to coordinate an attempt to traffic 1 kilogram of cannabis. He is due to be executed on Wednesday. Campaigners have cited various concerns over the handling of his case, including claims made in court that the Tamil speaker was questioned by the police in English without legal counsel and without an interpreter. Last November, when Tangaraju filed an application for his case to be reviewed after an unsuccessful appeal, he represented himself in court.

Richard Branson joins calls urging Singapore not to hang man over 1kg of cannabis

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Tangaraju Suppiah is expected to be hanged on Wednesday for a conviction of ‘abetting by engaging in a conspiracy to traffic’ 1,017.9 grams of cannabis British tycoon Richard Branson on Monday urged Singapore to halt the imminent execution of a man sentenced to death over 1kg (2.2 pounds) of cannabis, saying it “may be about to kill an innocent man”. Singaporean Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, is expected to be hanged on Wednesday, the city state’s Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has said. “Tangaraju was actually not anywhere near these drugs at the time of his arrest. This was largely a circumstantial case that relied on inferences,” Branson, who is a member of the Geneva-based Global Commission on Drug Policy, wrote on his blog.

Missouri sets execution date for drifter who assaulted, killed six-year-old girl

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Johnny Johnson, a man who sexually assaulted and killed Cassandra 'Casey' Williamson, 6, in St. Louis in 2002, has been given an execution date of August 1 The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for a man who sexually assaulted and killed a six-year-old St. Louis County girl in 2002.  Johnny Johnson is scheduled to be put to death August 1 at the state prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Johnson, 45, was staying with friends in Valley Park, Missouri, in July 2002 when Cassandra 'Casey' Williamson went missing.  Dozens of volunteers joined police in the search for the little girl who was a kindergartner at Valley Park Elementary School. She was said to be a young, happy girl with a bright smile, who loved riding her bicycle and singing.

Iran | Unidentified Woman Executed with Protesters in January

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According to newly obtained information, an unidentified woman was executed for murder charges along with protesters Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini in Karaj Penitentiary on January 7. According to new information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a woman was executed in Karaj Penitentiary on January 7.  The woman who has not been identified at the time of writing was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. On that day, protesters Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were executed for charges of efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth). 

USA | Why DeSantis and Trump are hyping the death penalty

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The Republican Party has certainly changed in the age of Donald Trump. But one grim constant in GOP presidential politics is the primacy of the death penalty. In the 2000 Republican presidential primary, and probably in the general election, Texas Gov. George W. Bush was aided by the steady tempo of executions on his watch in the Lone Star State — 40 that year alone. Now both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely candidate, and former president Donald Trump are making a point of emphasizing the death penalty as the 2024 primary approaches. The difference is that the death penalty has become more of an abstraction in the past two decades. In 2020, for example, just 18 people were sentenced to death in the United States, despite years of Republican dominance of state-level politics. That’s down from 114 in 2010 and 223 in 2000.

Florida | New death penalty law raises questions about on-going cases

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The law lowers the threshold for the death penalty decisions from all 12 jurors to 8 jurors One day after Governor DeSantis signed new legislation which lowers the threshold for a jury vote on death penalty cases, there’s one very important unanswered question--in which cases will this law apply? Senate Bill 450 allows juries to recommend a death sentence, as long as 8 out of 12 jurors vote for it. It does not have to be unanimous anymore. But it’s unknown if this applies to cases that are going through the criminal justice system--before the law was signed. News4JAX has learned this remains a mystery for every state attorney’s office in Florida because it’s not written in the bill’s language.

Florida | Catholics blast DeSantis move on death penalty as ‘stunning’ attack on human life

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Catholic organizations have called a new Florida law that ends the unanimous jury requirement in death penalty sentencing “stunning” and a “thinly veiled attack on human life,” while the state’s governor and potential 2024 presidential contender argues the law allows proper justice to be served. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill April 20 that allows capital punishment in Florida with a jury recommendation of at least 8-4 in favor of the death sentence, replacing the state’s previous unanimous requirement for such cases. In response, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of the anti-capital punishment organization Catholic Mobilizing Network, called the move deeply disturbing.

Family of Singaporean on death row for cannabis pleads for clemency

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Rights activists and family members say there were loopholes in the case and that Tangaraju never handled the drugs. The family of a Singaporean man due to be hanged next week over a kilogram of cannabis pleaded for clemency from the authorities Sunday and urged a retrial. Tangaraju Suppiah, 46, was sentenced to death in 2018 for conspiring to smuggle the drugs and the Court of Appeal has upheld his sentence which is scheduled to be carried out on Wednesday. "We don't think my brother's had a fair trial... I have faith the president will read all our petitions," his sister Leelavathy Suppiah told reporters in Tamil at a news conference.

USA | How the Death Penalty Is Returning to Presidential Politics

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Trump and DeSantis want to make it easier to execute people, and Biden could face a rush of clemency requests from federal death row. A few months ago, unnamed sources told Rolling Stone that former President Donald Trump was musing about ordering group executions, firing squads — and even guillotines — if elected president again in 2024. His spokesman denied some of the claims, but Trump did oversee more executions than any president in modern history, and he’s riffing at rallies about executing people for selling drugs, something the U.S. has never done . It is easy enough to dismiss these stories. Presidents appoint attorneys general, who oversee key decisions around federal capital punishment. Neither can unilaterally pick execution methods. But the news reports point to a new political dynamic: After a generation of decline, the death penalty seems poised to return to presidential campaign battles, and this could lead to more executions — and not just because of Trump.

USA | Smart gun operating on facial recognition goes on sale

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BROOMFIELD, Colorado, April 21 (Reuters) - Colorado-based Biofire Tech is taking orders for a smart gun enabled by facial-recognition technology, the latest development in personalized weapons that can only be fired by verified users. But in a sign of the long, challenging road that smart guns have faced, a prototype twice failed to fire when demonstrated for Reuters this week. Company founder and Chief Executive Kai Kloepfer said the software and electronics have been fully tested, and the failure was related to the mechanical gun which was made from pre-production and prototype parts.

Washington state officially abolishes death penalty

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Washington state has officially abolished the death penalty. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5087 on Friday, which removes state laws that Washington’s Supreme Court determined are invalid or unconstitutional. The state’s high court struck down the death penalty in 2018, but the law remained on the books. “It’s official. The death penalty is no longer in state law,” Inslee said on Twitter after the signing. He also thanked legislators and other leaders who were part of the decade-long effort to end the practice, including Attorney General Bob Ferguson. In 2014, Inslee issued a moratorium on the death penalty. In 2018, Washington’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down the death penalty, calling it arbitrary and racially biased.

Oklahoma court won't overturn Richard Glossip's conviction; execution date set

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A state appeals court on Thursday rejected a request to overturn the conviction of a high-profile death row inmate. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals punted on Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s request to vacate Richard Glossip’s conviction, which, if approved, could have paved the way for the death row inmate to get a new trial. Instead, the court set a May 18 execution date for the inmate who has spent almost 25 years on death row. After an independent review of Glossip’s case cast doubt on his conviction, Drummond asked the appeals court to remand the case to district court. Although Drummond said he is still considering his next steps after the ruling, he indicated he opposes proceeding with Glossip’s execution.

Confirmada la cadena perpetua al español Pablo Ibar por el tribunal de Florida

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La defensa del hispano-estadounidense estudia interponer recurso ante el Tribunal Supremo del Estado Nuevo varapalo judicial contra Pablo Ibar, ciudadano hispano-estadounidense de origen vasco, declarado culpable en 2000 y condenado a muerte por un triple asesinato ocurrido en 1994. El tribunal de apelaciones del Distrito Cuarto de Florida (EE UU) ha confirmado la condena a cadena perpetua, al rechazar los argumentos que la defensa planteó el pasado 28 de febrero para exigir que se declarase nulo el juicio que condenó a su cliente a cadena perpetua en 2019 y que se celebrase uno nuevo, según ha informado este jueves la Asociación Pablo Ibar-Juicio Justo. “El fallo ha supuesto un gran mazazo para la familia”, asegura en un comunicado. La defensa estudia ahora interponer un recurso ante el Tribunal Supremo de Florida.

Florida | Gov. DeSantis signs controversial death penalty legislation

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill that will allow juries to impose the death sentence even if all 12 jurors do not agree. He is also likely to approve a second bill passed by the lawmakers on Tuesday that would make sexual battery of a child under age 12 a death penalty offense. The governor, who is rumored to be considering a presidential run, has publicly pushed for both bills -- legislation that opponents say violates the U.S. Constitution and could lead to wrongful executions. A representative for DeSantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Texas appeals court overturns sentence for only Frenchman on death row

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The only French citizen currently on death row in the United States had his punishment changed to a life sentence after a Texas appeals court ruled in his favor Wednesday. Joseph Jean was sentenced to death in January 2011 after killing 2 teenagers with a baseball bat in April 2010 in Baytown, outside of Houston, Texas. But his lawyers have been arguing since 2013 that Jean has an intellectual disability, rendering him ineligible for the death penalty. The US Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that the death penalty is unconstitutional for such individuals. In 2021, a judge agreed that Jean had a mental disability, and on Wednesday a Texas appeals court confirmed that finding.

Iran | A Close Look at Iran’s Gruesome Hijab Laws

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“The devil is in details:” This is an apt description of the mandatory hijab laws of the Islamic Republic, laws that are so remote from modern life, so contrary to human rights and to Islamic Republic’s own constitution that it is difficult to believe that they truly exist. And these laws are enforced by the police, the paramilitary Basij force and the judiciary. The Islamic Republic is the only government and Iran is the only country in the world where hijab is legally mandatory. The government insists on enforcing mandatory hijab even though it is not a primary Sharia law, and this insistence has plunged the Islamic Republic into an all-encompassing crisis.

Florida | Tribunal confirma cadena perpetua para Pablo Ibar

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Miami (AFP) – Un tribunal de apelaciones del estado de Florida rechazó la celebración de un nuevo juicio para Pablo Ibar, un ciudadano hispano-estadounidense condenado a cadena perpetua en 2019 por un triple asesinato que niega haber cometido, informó este jueves una organización que lucha por su puesta en libertad. La corte estadounidense desestimó el recurso presentado en febrero por el abogado de Ibar, en el que se afirmaba que su juicio anterior había estado "plagado de errores" que perjudicaron a su cliente. El acusado "plantea 12 cuestiones, ninguna de las cuales merece una revocación", indica la sentencia emitida el miércoles por el tribunal del cuarto distrito de apelación de Florida, en el sureste de Estados Unidos. Ibar, de 50 años, lleva casi tres décadas en prisión por el asesinato en junio de 1994 de Casimir Sucharsky, dueño de un club nocturno, y de dos bailarinas, Marie Rodgers y Sharon Anderson, en la casa nocturna del empresario en Miramar, cerca de

China | Driver in car assault gets death sentence

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The man who drove a car into a crowd, killing 5 and injuring 13 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in January, was sentenced to death on Monday. The Intermediate People's Court of Guangzhou handed down the verdict to 22-year-old Wen Qingyun for endangering public security by dangerous means. The incident occurred in Guangzhou's Tianhe district on the afternoon of Jan 11. Wen, venting personal emotion, rammed into pedestrians and road facilities with the car, causing serious consequences — multiple deaths, injuries and property loss, the court found. The means by which he committed the crime was extremely cruel and the consequences were extremely serious, it ruled. Source : chinadaily.com.cn, Staff, April 19, 2023 _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ FOLLOW US ON: TELEGRAM TWITTER CONTACT : deathpenaltynews@gmail.com HELP US KEEP THIS BLOG UP & RUNNING!

Pakistan | Court commutes death sentence into life term in triple murder case

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The Sindh High Court on Monday commuted the death sentence handed down to a man into life imprisonment in a triple murder case. An additional district and sessions court (West) had sentenced Mohammad Shadeed to death in April 2022 for killing his wife Aneela and two minor children in their home in Orangi Town in April 2019. The convict, through his counsel, filed an appeal against capital punishment before the SHC and after hearing both sides and examining the record and proceedings of the case, a division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio commuted it into life term.

Texas halts execution of Ivan Cantu amid new revelations and legal questions

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A week before he was scheduled to be put to death, a court has put Cantu’s execution on hold while new developments are considered, including recanted testimony and questions about evidence at his 2001 trial. The execution next week of Texas inmate Ivan Cantu has been halted pending review of new revelations in his case, a source close to his legal proceedings tells Houston Public Media. A district court in Collin County ordered his execution date be withdrawn, saying “additional proceedings are necessary” in his case. Less than 24 hours after his attorney filed a clemency petition that outlined new developments in his case, 380th Judicial District Court Judge Benjamin A. Smith ordered the execution date withdrawn. The new developments cited in the petition include a trial witness recanting his testimony and a pair of jurors in his 2001 trial coming forward to express concerns about his conviction.

Singapore | The first execution notice of 2023

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On 19 April, Tangaraju s/o Suppiah and his family were informed that his hanging had been scheduled for 26 April. Rocky called in the afternoon. "I have some bad news," he said. I immediately knew what he was going to say. I just didn't know whose name I would hear on the line next. "Tangaraju got an execution notice today." The last execution in Singapore took place in October last year. Since then, death row prisoners, their loved ones, and abolitionists have had a short reprieve after a brutal year in which 11 men were hanged for drug offences in about a seven-month period. We were cautiously hopeful that two ongoing legal challenges, involving multiple death row prisoners, would stall executions for a while more. But we could never really let go of the breath we'd been holding — with the Singapore government dead set on defending capital punishment and their war on drugs, we knew that it was just a matter of time before they'd be back to their murder

Supreme Court lets Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed pursue DNA lawsuit

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WASHINGTON (CBSNewsTexas.com/AP) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that longtime Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed should have a chance to argue for testing of crime-scene evidence that he says will help clear him.   The justices, in a 6-3 decision, sent Reed's case back to a lower court for his constitutional challenge to the state's law on DNA testing. The issue before the high court was whether Reed, sentenced to death nearly 25 years ago, waited too long to file his lawsuit claiming that untested crime-scene evidence would exonerate him.  Texas courts and the federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled that he missed the deadline. But the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, reversed the appellate ruling. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented. "If there is a mitigating factor to today's decision," Thomas wrote, it's that the outcome "is no barrier to the prompt execution of Reed's lawful sentenc

Singapore | Ex-business owner arrested in Malaysia, charged with drug trafficking

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SINGAPORE - A former business owner, who was wanted for drug trafficking and subsequently arrested in Malaysia in March, was charged with the offence in a Singapore district court on Monday. Appearing in court via video link, Singaporean Lian Hoe Heng, 56, will face the death sentence if convicted of the offence. A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority reveals that Lian used to own Chuan Hup Seng Tentage Construction and Long Seng Chairs & Tables Rental Enterprise. In an earlier statement, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said he had been out of Singapore since Nov 19, 2018. On or around Oct 7, 2020, Lian was out of the country when he allegedly instructed another man, identified as Tan Guosheng, 26, to possess at least 253g of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.

Florida | Death penalty for child rapists approved, DeSantis expected to sign into law

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TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow the death penalty for people who commit sexual batteries on children under age 12, sending the issue to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Lawmakers hope the bill (HB 1297) will ultimately lead to the U.S. Supreme Court reversing a 2008 decision that barred the death penalty for people who rape children. The state House passed the bill last week. Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, a Davie Democrat who was sexually abused as a child, implored senators Tuesday evening to vote for the bill. She said people who sexually abuse children are "called predators for a reason, because they stalk and hunt down their prey." "There is no statute of limitations on this crime (for victims)," Book said. "There is no end. It's always with you."

Singapore Wrestles With the Death Penalty

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The city-state has traditionally executed people for drug offenses, but cracks in the national consensus are appearing. Word of death sometimes comes by the most bureaucratic means. Notice that Pannir Selvam Pranthaman would be killed by the Singaporean government arrived at his sister’s home via DHL. The red-and-yellow envelope, delivered to Sangkari Pranthaman’s apartment in Kuala Lumpur on May 17, 2019, contained two letters: One stated that the president of Singapore had rejected Pannir’s clemency plea; the other informed Sangkari that her younger brother would shortly be hanged for bringing 4 small packets of heroin across the border into Singapore from Malaysia 5 years earlier. Last year, Singapore hanged 11 people, all for drug offenses. The country is only one of four known to still execute people for drug-related crimes, according to Amnesty International.

Malaysia | Abolish solitary confinement, says Bar Council

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The Bar Council has called on the government and Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to immediately take steps to abolish solitary confinement of prisoners, and for prison authorities to implement appropriate reforms to improve the living conditions of inmates, especially those on death row. Its president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn told theSun the call is particularly important as it is “psychologically traumatic” for convicts on death row with a moratorium in place. She added that on Jan 13, the Bar Council met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, “and prison reforms were among the matters discussed”. Cheah was commenting on theSun’s report on April 7 quoting eminent forensic psychiatrist Datuk Dr Suarn Singh, who said: “It is cruel and inhumane to keep a prisoner in solitary confinement for years as it could cause mental disorders in those who do not have any, and a relapse in others with pre-existing conditions.”

Texas Set to Execute Ivan Cantu on April 26, 2023

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Ivan Cantu is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Texas. Forty-nine-year-old Ivan is convicted of murdering 27-year-old James Mosqueda and 21-year-old Amy Kitchens on November 4, 2000, in Dallas, Texas. For the last 21 years, Ivan has resided on death row in Texas. Ivan Abner Cantu graduated from high school and did not have any prior convictions. Ivan had previously worked as a laborer. In 1998 or 1999, Ivan was hired by his cousin, James Mosqueda to work in James’ mortgage banking business in Dallas, Texas. James eventually fired Ivan in mid-2000. Ivan Cantu moved into an apartment with his girlfriend and her brother on October 15, 2000. The apartment was located about one mile from where James lived. In late October, Cantu informed one of his roommates that he was going to kill his cousin James. Cantu alleged that James was a part-time drug dealer of cocaine and mari

Chinese engineer arrested in Pakistan over ‘blasphemy’

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Islamabad, Apr 17 (EFE).- A Chinese man who works at a hydropower project was arrested over blasphemy allegations from the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday, police said. Police have filed a case against the suspect identified as Tian under a law that carries death penalty or life imprisonment for insulting Prophet Muhammed – Islam’s most revered figure. Tian also faces terrorism charges and if could be sentenced to life if proven guilty. “Tian was arrested around 2 am on Monday after protests all over Kohistan district (in the province) continued on Sunday,” police officer Naseer Uddin told EFE.

Ohio governor delays 3 more executions amid inability to obtain lethal injection drugs

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday delayed the executions of three death row inmates amid continued struggles to find pharmaceutical suppliers for the state’s lethal injection method. DeWine’s office said in a statement he was “issuing the reprieves due to ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), pursuant to DRC protocol, without endangering other Ohioans.” The state’s last execution was in 2018. In 2019, when he postponed a killer’s execution, DeWine’s office said prison officials couldn’t find a drug manufacturer for the method, after a judge ruled the previous protocol was cruel and unusual punishment.

Iran Human Rights: Annual Report of the Death Penalty in Iran 2022

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The 15th Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, by Iran Human Rights and ECPM reveals the highest annual number of executions since 2015. At least 582 people were executed, an increase of 75% compared to 2021.  In 2022, Iran’s authorities demonstrated how crucial the death penalty is to instil societal fear in order to hold onto power. 

Though likely unconstitutional, Florida child rape death penalty bill makes headway

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Florida taxpayers paying costs for a host of legal fights during Gov. Ron DeSantis’ tenure look certain to face more with a Senate panel defying a U.S. Supreme Court ruling by approving a measure making child rape subject to the death penalty. The Republican governor, poised soon to announce his candidacy for his party’s presidential nomination, has called for the tougher standard. The Senate Rules Committee endorsed the move Tuesday, despite a warning that it will be found unconstitutional. “Courtrooms must be a place for justice, and not vengeance,” said Aaron Wayt, who spoke against the bill (SB 1342) representing the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Washington Legislature votes to repeal death penalty

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Nearly 5 years after Washington's death penalty law was ruled unconstitutional, the Legislature has voted to permanently repeal capital punishment in the state. The state House voted 58-39 on Friday to remove remaining references to the death penalty from Washington law. The measure, which was approved by the state Senate in February, now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee. The Legislature's action has no immediate effect, since a 2018 court ruling already took the death penalty off the table for prosecutors. Yet the law's formal repeal makes "a profound moral statement," state Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), the bill's sponsor, told Axios yesterday. State executions have long been rare in Washington, with the last 1 carried out in 2010.

Florida lawmakers pass bill creating easier path for death penalty

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New measure comes after Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz sentenced to life in prison Florida will soon no longer require unanimous jury recommendations for judges to impose death penalty sentences under a bill the Legislature approved Thursday, a reaction to the life sentence handed to the man who massacred 17 people at a Parkland high school. The House passed the bill on an 80-30 vote. It now goes to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for final approval. It will allow the death penalty with a jury recommendation of at least 8-4 in favor of execution. DeSantis supports the proposal. The bill was filed after the outrage over a divided 9-3 jury sparing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz from capital punishment for the 2018 massacre. He instead received a life sentence with no parole.

Florida Supreme Court disqualifies Cruz judge from death penalty case

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In the request, death row inmate Randy W. Tundidor cited Judge Elizabeth Scherer’s actions after the Parkland school shooter was sentenced. The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday granted a death row inmate’s request to disqualify a Broward County circuit judge from his case because of actions after Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was sentenced to life in prison last year. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed that Judge Elizabeth Scherer should be disqualified from the case of death row inmate Randy W. Tundidor. The request came after Scherer on Nov. 2 sentenced Cruz to life in prison in the 2018 murders of 17 students and faculty members at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Scherer could not sentence Cruz to death because a jury did not unanimously recommend the death penalty.

Irán ejecutó a 582 personas en 2022, un 75% más que el año anterior

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Según informes, el gobierno iraní ejecutó al menos a 582 personas en 2022, lo que supone un aumento del 75 por ciento respecto al año anterior, en lo que un informe ha calificado de "máquina de ejecuciones" del país. En un informe elaborado por dos grupos de derechos humanos, Iran Human Rights (IHR), con sede en Noruega, y Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM), con sede en Francia, se revela que las autoridades iraníes ahorcaron al menos a 582 personas en 2022, lo que supone un fuerte aumento del 75 por ciento respecto a las 333 personas ejecutadas en 2021. Se cita como el mayor número de ahorcamientos en el país desde 2015. Este aumento se explica por el hecho de que las autoridades iraníes arrestaron, detuvieron y a menudo procesaron a decenas de miles de personas en las protestas que estallaron en todo el país desde septiembre, cuando la joven de 22 años Mahsa Amini murió bajo custodia policial por violar supuestamente las leyes sobre el hiyab.

US ‘disappointed’ by Chinese court’s decision to uphold death sentence for American citizen

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The US State Department said Thursday it is “disappointed” by a Chinese court’s decision to uphold the death sentence for American citizen Mark Swidan and called for his immediate release. “Today the People’s Republic of China’s Jiangmen Intermediate Court denied wrongfully detained US national Mark Swidan’s appeal, and upheld his death penalty with a two-year suspended death sentence,” State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement. “We are disappointed by this decision and will continue to press for his immediate release and return to the United States,” Patel said. Swidan, a businessman from Texas, has been detained in China for more than a decade since he was arrested in 2012 on drug-related charges.

Japan | The Pressure of Death Row: Corrections Officers’ Thoughts on the Death Penalty

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A 2021 Amnesty International study found Japan to be one of just 18 countries worldwide executing prisoners. A former prison guard looks at the death penalty as it is implemented in Japan today, examining its impact on all those involved. On July 26, 2022, a death sentence was carried out at the Tokyo Detention House in Katsushika, Tokyo. The corrections officers at the facility drew on their experience and saw this event coming in advance, allowing themselves to mentally prepare themselves. This was because a little over two weeks prior something unprecedented had occurred: the shocking murder of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzō while he was delivering a speech on July 8 in the city of Nara in support of a local candidate in the House of Councillors election.

Iran executions surge in bid to 'spread fear': rights groups

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Iran hanged 75 percent more people in 2022 than the previous year, two rights groups said on Thursday, warning this "killing machine" risked putting even more people to death this year after protests rocked the country. The figure of at least 582 executions was the highest for Iran since 2015 and well above the figure of 333 for 2021, the report by Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Paris-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) said. Last year was marked by the eruption of nationwide protests sparked by the death in September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old ethnic Kurd who had been arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress rules for women. The authorities responded with a crackdown that saw four men hanged in protest-related cases, executions that prompted an international outcry.