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Showing posts from September, 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.

Relatives of Saudis facing execution urge ‘ashamed’ crown prince to act

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After Mohammed bin Salman blames ‘bad laws’ for harsh rulings, brother of man sentenced to death for social media posts says de facto ruler can ‘cancel them’ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Relatives of Saudis facing heavy sentences for social media posts are calling on the kingdom’s de facto ruler to take action after he voiced shame over their cases. In a rare interview with Fox News last week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was asked about Mohammed al-Ghamdi, a retired school teacher sentenced to death in July for posts on X, formerly Twitter, where he had around 10 followers.

Florida | Convicted killer will represent himself in death penalty trial

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Convicted killer Peter Avsenew will represent himself next month when a jury is convened to determine whether he deserves to live or die.  Avsenew, 38, was convicted last year of the murders of Kevin Powell, 47, and Stephen Adams, 52, a Wilton Manors couple who took him into their home during the holiday season in 2010 only to have him turn on them, steal their car and escape to his mother’s home in Polk County.  Earlier this week, Avsenew rejected a deal that would have taken the death penalty off the table if he would agree not to pursue an investigation into jury misconduct at his retrial. Jurors admitted that they improperly discussed the case among themselves in a social media app, with some making up their minds before the penalty phase of his trial even began. 

77 Indonesians Could Be Spared Death Penalty in Malaysia

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Jakarta. As many as 77 Indonesians on death row in Malaysia might have a chance to serve lighter sentences following some legal reforms in the close neighboring country, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Malaysia recently decided to scrap the mandatory death penalty for a range of serious crimes, including drug trafficking and murder. This does not entirely remove death penalties in Malaysia, and the option for such a sentence still exists for some criminal offenses. However, death penalties are no longer an automatic sentence, and judges now have the option to hand prison terms of 30 to 40 years instead. Malaysia also allows the resentencing of eligible prisoners. 

Oklahoma archbishop decries execution of Anthony Sanchez as ‘archaic’

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Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City on Thursday called the execution of convicted murderer Anthony Sanchez , which took place a week ago, “fundamentally at odds with the culture of life the state of Oklahoma proclaims to be building.” Sanchez was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of 21-year-old University of Oklahoma student Juli Busken, KOCO5 reported. He died Sept. 21 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, about a 130-mile drive from Oklahoma City.  [ It must be noted and emphasized that Anthony Sanchez maintained his innocence until the very last second of his life and claimed his late father confessed to the crime before committing suicide in 2022 . — DPN]

Some 168 Indonesians face death penalties overseas

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Jakarta (ANTARA) - As many as 168 Indonesian citizens are facing death penalty overseas for various crimes, according to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of August 2023. Of the total cases, 157 were recorded in Malaysia, four cases in the United Arab Emirates, three cases in Saudi Arabia and Laos respectively, and one case in Vietnam, the ministry's Director of Protection for Indonesian Citizens and Indonesian Legal Entities Judha Nugraha noted. Nugraha remarked in a press briefing here on Friday that 110 of them were involved in drug-related crimes and 58 others were convicted in murder cases. During the 2011-2022 period, the ministry had recorded that 519 Indonesians overseas were prevented from executions.

Vatican calls on Louisiana Governor to grant clemency to Death Row population

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Baton Rouge, LA - The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Life has urged Governor John Bel Edwards to use his full executive power to clear Louisiana's death row. In a letter sent on Tuesday, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Academy, reiterated the Roman Catholic Church (the Church)'s opposition to the death penalty and called on the Governor to act. "Since every human life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity. Much like you, the Catholic Church believes that our society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of individuals who have been convicted of crimes," the letter reads. "We think that the clearing of Louisiana's death row would be a monumental step towards the abolition of the death penalty."

Texas | Death row inmate with 40-year mental illness history ruled not competent to be executed

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HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas death row inmate with a long history of mental illness, and who tried to call Jesus Christ and John F. Kennedy as trial witnesses, is not competent to be executed, a federal judge ruled. Scott Panetti, 65, who has been on death row for nearly 30 years for fatally shooting his in-laws in front of his wife and young children, has contended that Texas wants to execute him to cover up incest, corruption, sexual abuse and drug trafficking he has uncovered. He has also claimed the devil has “blinded” Texas and is using the state to kill him to stop him from preaching and “saving souls.”

Florida | Prosecutors seeking death penalty in Lyft driver murder

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OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a Florida man accused of killing a Lyft driver and fleeing before being captured in North Carolina, according to our ABC news partners at WFTS in Tampa Bay. In a recently filed court notice, prosecutors in Okeechobee County say they will seek the death sentence against Matthew Flores, who has been charged in the Jan. 30 murder of 74-year-old Gary Levin. WFTS reports that prosecutors noted many factors prior to filing the notice, including the timing of the killing while the suspect was fleeing a separate felony, and saying it was done in a “cold, calculated, and premeditated manner.”

Iran | Executions in Isfahan, Mashhad, Minab

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); September 27, 2023: Mohammad Vali Jabari was executed for drug-related charges in Isfahan Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Isfahan Central Prison (Dastgerd) on 23 September. His identity has been established as 35-year-old Mohammad Vali Jabari who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court. Informed sources told Iran Human Rights that Mohammad Vali was arrested around two years ago. He was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution on 21 September and executed two days later.

Texas to End Execution Hiatus on World Day Against the Death Penalty

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After execution-free summer, death scheduled Oct. 10 This summer has been one of the quietest in the history of Texas' death row. No prisoners have been executed since March. But the state is planning to put three people to death in the coming months, starting with Jedidiah Murphy on Oct. 10, a date that happens to fall on the World Day Against the Death Penalty. Michael Zoosman, co-founder of L'chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty, has corresponded with Murphy, who is Jewish, for years. "I have gotten to know Jedidiah very well," he said. "From day one, he has been honest with me that he is guilty of the crime that led him to death row. He has not made any excuses for his actions. He's been contrite. He's been repentant from day one."

Florida law allowing death penalty in child rapes to take effect

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The new law will likely draw legal challenges, as U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court precedents have barred death sentences for rapists. TALLAHASSEE — A new law that could lead to imposing the death penalty on people who rape children under age 12 will take effect Sunday, along with other laws passed during the 2023 legislative session. Other measures taking effect could lead to putting local governments on the hook for attorney fees when ordinances are deemed “arbitrary or unreasonable;” increase penalties on fans who interfere with sporting events; and require teens to at least have learner’s permits to drive golf carts on public roads.

Iran elected to UN Commission on the Status of Women

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Iran joined this Commission dedicated to promoting gender equality as a new member on Tuesday, for a four-year mandate. The news was received coldly. Several new members, including Iran and Pakistan, were elected Tuesday to join the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) - an intergovernmental body "dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and “empowerment of women ”, it is written on the UN website . The CSW is a 45-member functional commission belonging to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was established in 1946. At an ECOSOC session on Tuesday, 12 new members were elected to join the CSW in 2022 and for a four-year term. 

USA | Death Row Inmates Find Fewer Paths to Supreme Court Reprieves

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Richard Glossip has had his last meal three times. It may be four if the US Supreme Court doesn’t agree at its private conference Tuesday to hear the Oklahoma death row inmate’s latest appeal. Glossip’s execution dates have been blocked nine times, most recently by the high court in May, since he was convicted in 1998 of hiring a man to kill the owner of the motel he managed. But his case is unusual: only one other inmate has had an execution put on hold since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020, giving President Donald Trump his third appointment to cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.

Judge sets trial date for Ohio dad accused of lining up and executing 3 young sons with rifle ahead of Father’s Day

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Ohio prosecutors will have close to a year to prepare for a potential death penalty trial against the father charged with executing his three young sons with a rifle just before Father’s Day last June. Chad Christopher Doerman, 32, is currently set to face a jury of his peers in Clermont County from July 8, 2024 to Aug. 2, 2024 in the deaths of 3-year-old Chase, 4-year-old Hunter, and 7-year-old Clayton Doerman, court records show. Common Pleas Court Judge Richard P. Ferenc set the trial date Friday, Sept. 22, anticipating the proceedings will span four weeks. In July, prosecutors alleged for the first time that Doerman began shooting the victims after asking his wife and sons to join him for a nap in the then-couple’s bedroom at their Laurel Lindale Road home in New Richmond, Monroe Township. The defendant, home from work early on June 15 (a Thursday), then allegedly got out of bed and opened fire. Prosecutors said that Doerman planned the murders for months and admitted he hadn’t sle

Ohio | Death penalty’s days may be numbered, with bipartisan bills pending

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The planets may be aligning to end the death penalty in Ohio. Bipartisan abolition bills, including one co-sponsored by an ironclad conservative, suburban Cincinnati Republican Jean Schmidt, are pending in the state Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives. And continuing an earlier call for abolition of the death penalty, via Senate Bill 101, are Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio of Lakewood, and the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Stephen Huffman, a suburban Dayton Republican. The Antonio-Huffman bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

USA | 2023 Has Brought Mixed News for Death Penalty Abolitionists

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A series of up-and-down news stories over the last few weeks show the complexity of the effort to end the death penalty in the United States. At the heart of this complexity is the simple fact that the road to abolition goes through the capitals of the remaining 28 jurisdictions which retain capital punishment. The state-by-state battle means that a victory for abolition in one place does not ensure victory in another, nor is a defeat in one place a guarantor of the same outcome elsewhere. The journey to abolition, like other struggles for justice, is an incremental one, a series of two steps forward, one step back movements.

Iran | Unnamed Man Executed for Drug Charges in Minab

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); September 23, 2023: State media have reported the execution of an unnamed man for drug-related in Minab Prison. According to the Judiciary’s Mizan news agency, a man was executed in Minab Prison (Hormozgan province) on 23 September.  The unnamed man was sentenced to death for charges of “efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) through armed possession of drug that led to murder of policeman.” The report states that the defendant had killed a policeman in the course of drug smuggling on 11 April 2023.

South Korea | Serial killer transferred to detention center in Seoul equipped with execution chamber

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A death row inmate serving time in prison for the serial killings of 21 people has recently been transferred to a detention center in Seoul equipped with execution facilities, judicial officials said Monday. Yoo Young-chul, one of the most notorious serial killers in the country, was relocated from a prison in the southeastern city of Daegu to the Seoul Detention Center last week, according to the Ministry of Justice.  They also transferred Jung Hyung-gu, another inmate sentenced to death for killing newlyweds with a shotgun for overtaking his car on an unpaved road, to the center.

Ohio | Trial date set for Clermont County father accused of killing 3 young sons

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A trial date has been set for the father accused of murdering his 3 sons in Clermont County. The 4-week trial has been set for July 8-Aug. 2, 2024. Doerman is accused of murdering his 3 young sons at their home on Laurel Lindale Road in Monroe Township. Doerman was indicted on 21 charges, including 9 counts of aggravated murder. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. Prosecutors said Doerman had planned the murders for months, and then on June 15, he came home early from work and had his wife and their three boys join him for a nap in the couple's bedroom.

Florida | Michael Zack Set for Execution on October 3

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Michael Zack, III, is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. 54-year-old Michael is convicted of murdering 23-year-old Ravonne Smith on June 13, 1996, near Pensacola, Florida. Michael has spent the last 25 years on death row in Florida. As a child, Michael Zack allegedly saw his sister murder his mother. It has also been claimed that Michael suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder, which adversely affected his impulse control and causes him constant emotional and mental stress.

Texas | Jedidiah Murphy Given Execution Date of October 10

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Jedidiah Murphy is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  48-year-old Jedidiah is convicted of murdering 79-year-old Bertie Cunningham on October 4, 2000, in Garland, Texas.  Jedidiah has spent the last 22 years on death row in Texas. Jedidiah Isaac Murphy was born and raised in Texas. He graduated from high school. 

Saudi Arabia | Crown Prince Confirms Death Sentence for Tweets

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, has confirmed that retired teacher Muhammed al Ghamdi was indeed sentenced to death for his social media posts . In an interview with Fox News on September 20, MBS admitted about the death sentence: “Shamefully, it's true,” and blamed the sentence on “bad laws.” “Do we have bad laws? Yes. Are we are changing that? Yes,” he said. MBS is right in saying that he is working to change bad laws: under his rule, bad laws have only become worse.

Belgium | Killer paedophile Marc Dutroux's house torn down, replaced by memorial

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Last year, authorities in Belgium ordered a modest red brick house in the south-west city of Charleroi to be torn down. For anyone not in-the-know, the destruction of the property - which sat on a street corner yards away from a railway track and a busy flyover - would have seemed wholly unremarkable. Just another old building making way for something new. But the move had been in the making for more than a quarter of a century, and even to this day, the local community in Charleroi and those affected by the events that unfolded there in the mid-90s are continuing to process their grief.

Former 'China Life' boss gets suspended death penalty

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A former boss of China's largest insurer, China Life, has been sentenced to death for corruption, state media reported, an exceptional verdict in the business world. Wang Bin, who was also the top representative of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in this state-owned company, was found guilty of accepting 325 million yuan (41.5 million euros) in bribes. He is also accused of having hidden some 56 million yuan (7.1 million euros) in foreign currencies in bank accounts opened by his relatives in Hong Kong.

New Florida death penalty law to be applied for Johnathan Quiles, man found guilty in niece’s murder

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The final hearing before the penalty phase of Johnathan Quiles’ trial was held Friday. On Thursday, Action News Jax broke the news live on air that the jury found Quiles guilty of raping and killing his 16-year-old pregnant niece, Iyana Sawyer. Sawyer was killed back in December of 2018. At the time, investigators say Quiles had shot and killed Sawyer before leaving her body in a dumpster. Sawyer’s body was never found, but the jury was convinced Quiles killed her . “Not having the body, not knowing where she rests, it’s a continued open wound, and it will always be an open wound,” Sawyer’s family attorney, John Phillips, told Action News Jax.

Vietnam executes man despite diplomatic pleas for mercy

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Vietnam has executed long-time death row prisoner Le Van Manh, a lawyer confirmed Saturday, despite international pleas to spare his life. In 2005 Manh was charged with robbery, as well as the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in the northern Thanh Hoa province. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said police obtained a confession through torture that was relied upon to convict him. Manh later retracted the confession, saying that police had beaten him severely.

Alabama death row inmate opposes being ‘test subject’ for nitrogen hypoxia execution

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Death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith responded Friday to Alabama’s request to set a date for his execution by nitrogen hypoxia, a method not used by any state. In the response filed with the Alabama Supreme Court, attorney Andrew Johnson, gave three reasons opposing the motion by Attorney General Steve Marshall asking the court to set Smith’s execution date. First, Johnson wrote that the request was premature because, contrary to the state’s request, Smith has not exhausted his appeals. Johnson wrote that Smith has an appeal pending with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Second, Johnson objected to the state’s move to make Smith the first inmate scheduled for execution by nitrogen hypoxia.

Florida | No bail will be set for YNW Melly as double murder retrial looms

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A Broward judge ruled Friday that Jamell Demons, better known as rapper YNW Melly, will not be entitled to bail ahead of his double murder retrial. “We felt our legal arguments were absolutely compelling, but the judge ignored them,” defense lawyer Jamie Benjamin said. “It was not unexpected.” Broward Circuit Judge John J. Murphy was asked to impose bail for Demons, who has been in custody since his arrest in 2019 in connection with the murders of his friends Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr. and Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams. Demons was a rising star in the rap world when he was accused of suddenly shooting his friends.

Statement on the situation of human rights in Belarus: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY : United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif AT : Interactive Dialogue on the situation of human rights in Belarus, 54th session of the Human Rights Council LOCATION : Geneva, Palais des Nations, Room XX Mr. President Excellencies Dear Colleagues, I welcome the opportunity to address the Council and provide an update on the human rights situation in Belarus, in accordance with Resolution 52/29.

USA | Killing convicts with nitrogen is even worse than the lethal injection

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Nitrogen hypoxia is the gaseous canister version of a knee on the neck. US states that plan to use it must be stopped. Recently, the Department of Corrections of the state of Alabama announced it would try to execute death row prisoner Kenny Smith for a second time, this time with something they call nitrogen hypoxia. On November 17, 2022, Alabama tried and failed to execute Smith with lethal injection owing to an inability to establish intravenous access. My own research has shown that death by lethal injection involves choking on your own blood about 80 percent of the time. Yet, as bad as that sounds, execution by nitrogen gas will actually be worse.

Florida SC refuses to block Michael Zack's execution

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TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously refused to block the scheduled Oct. 3 execution of Michael Duane Zack, rejecting arguments that he should be spared the death penalty because of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Justices upheld an Escambia County circuit judge’s ruling last month against Zack, who was sent to Death Row in the 1996 murder of a woman during a crime spree in Northwest Florida. Attorneys for Zack also are asking a federal appeals court to halt the execution, after a U.S. district judge turned down their arguments.

Government helping Indonesians in Malaysia overturn death sentence

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JAKARTA: The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry is striving to help Indonesian citizens in Malaysia overturn their death sentences following Malaysia's abolition of the mandatory death penalty, the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) informed, reported ANTARA news agency. In a statement received here on Friday, KSP expert staff Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin said that the ministry's quick response is a form of implementation of the president's mandate for protecting the people. “The president has always emphasised that the state must be present to protect the Indonesian people, both at home and abroad,“ she added. RELATED |  Defying International Outcry, Indonesia Executes Eight Drug Convicts

9/11 defendant unfit to stand trial, US judge rules

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A military judge at Guantanamo Bay has ruled one of the five defendants charged over the 9/11 attacks is not fit to stand trial in a death-penalty case. The defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, associated psychotic features and a delusional disorder. His lawyer has long claimed his client was "tortured by the CIA". Al-Shibh was scheduled to face pretrial proceedings on Friday. Colonel Matthew McCall in the US base on the eastern tip of Cuba accepted the findings of the doctors which said in August that al-Shibh was too psychologically damaged to defend himself.

Oklahoma executes Anthony Sanchez

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Oklahoma has executed Anthony Sanchez, the third death row prisoner to be killed in 2023. Sanchez maintained his innocence and claimed his late father confessed to the crime before committing suicide in 2022. McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma executed an inmate Thursday for the 1996 killing of a University of Oklahoma dance student, in a case that went unsolved for years until DNA from the crime scene was matched to a man serving prison time for burglary. Anthony Sanchez, 44, was pronounced dead at 10:19 a.m. following a three-drug injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Even though he maintained that he had nothing to do with the killing of 21-year-old Juli Busken, he took the unusual step of opting not to present a clemency application to the state’s Pardon and Parole Board, which many viewed as the last chance to spare his life.

India | Letters from death row offer rare window into prisoners' lives

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Project 39A, a criminal justice initiative by NLU Delhi, has organized an online exhibition called Capital Letters featuring letters from prisoners on death row. The exhibition aims to show the humanity of these prisoners and provide a different perspective on the capital punishment conversation. The letters touch on various themes such as mental health, custodial torture, and hope. “Every morning I wake up with the hope that maybe something very good will happen in my life today, but by the end of the evening, that hope starts getting lost,” Neha wrote in the letter. While Sabu noted, “Within these walls, we cannot love or be loved. That disturbs the equilibrium of every person here. I have been noticing this since the day I entered prison.” 

Deadline Approaches for Louisiana’s Governor to Commute Death Row Sentences

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Louisiana residents should speak out before Gov. Edwards leaves office in January 2024. Louisianans have a chance to prevent innocent people from being executed on death row. At least 190 innocent people have been exonerated from death row nationwide and 12 in Louisiana alone. There are currently 57 defendants on Louisiana’s death row, including Innocence Project client Jimmie “Chris” Duncan , who has maintained his innocence in the 1993 death of his girlfriend’s baby. Gov. John Bel Edwards, who opposes the death penalty, has the authority to grant clemency to everyone on Louisiana’s death row. Attorneys for 55 of these defendants have requested modified sentences of life without parole. To avoid further injustice, residents of Louisiana must urge the Louisiana Parole Board to hold clemency hearings now and recommend clemency to the Governor so that the Governor can commute death sentences to life in prison before he leaves office in January 2024.

Singapore | "Capital punishment for drug trafficking essential to saving more lives": Minister

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SINGAPORE - The death penalty is not something that any government can start off wanting, but rather, the Government must be sure that this is essential to saving more lives, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam. If it cannot be sure the death penalty is essential to saving more lives, then the Government should not have the death penalty, he said to 80 youth leaders during a dialogue on drugs and the death penalty held at the Asian Civilisations Museum on Wednesday night. Mr Shanmugam kicked the dialogue session off with this observation, before going into the evidence supporting the need for the death penalty.

U.S. Commission identifies 95 countries with blasphemy laws, including 5 that can impose the death penalty

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A new report from the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom identifies 95 countries with some form of blasphemy law in effect, including five countries that impose the death penalty as the maximum sanction. A separate report from the commission records the text of the 95 laws criminalizing expressions that insult or offend religious feelings or show disrespect toward religious figures or symbols. The reports show blasphemy laws are not exclusive to any single region. They document blasphemy laws in 13 countries in the Americas, 28 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, 16 European nations, 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

South Carolina obtains lethal injection drugs to carry out death penalty again after decade-long hiatus

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'Justice has been delayed for too long,' governor says South Carolina's governor and the S.C. Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that the state can once again carry out executions by lethal injection, following over a decade of being unable to procure the drugs used for capital punishment.  Gov. Henry McMaster announced Tuesday the revival of lethal injection, saying that it gives "grieving families and loved ones the closure they are rightfully owed."

Iran | 3 Men Executed for Drug and Murder Charges in Shiraz

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); September 18, 2023: Ramezan Yavari and Mozafar Sanjarani who were sentenced to death for drug-related charges and an unidentified man sentenced to death for murder, were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Shiraz Central Prison (Adel Abad) on 17 September. Their identities have been established as Ramezan Yavari and Mozafar Sanjarani,  both Khorram Bid natives. Ramezan and Mozafar were both Khorram Bid natives and were arrested three years ago and sentenced to death for drug-related charges in the same case.

Reckoning With Death Row: Former penitentiary pastor relives his days as a spiritual advisor

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Former Virginia State Penitentiary chaplain Russ Ford, co-author of the book “Crossing the River Styx: The Memoir of a Death Row Chaplain,” can rightly be considered a victim of Virginia’s death penalty. Ford, however, did not die from having 2,200 volts of electricity sent through his body, boiling his blood and roasting his internal organs. He also did not endure the pain and suffocation of a three-drug cocktail while strapped to a hospital gurney. Ford instead walks around today carrying the humbling baggage of ministering to condemned inmates in the 1980s, in the worst circumstances imaginable, before accompanying them to the death chamber to pray with them just before the state ended their lives.

The Only Woman on Louisiana’s Death Row Is Getting One Last Shot at Clemency

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Antoinette Frank, who was convicted of a triple-murder in 1995, hopes details about her traumatic history of abuse could ultimately spare her life The last woman on Louisiana’s death row is hoping that details about her traumatic history of abuse could ultimately spare her life. Next month, Antoinette Frank is set to go before the state's pardon board to present crucial details about her past, which were kept hidden from the jury who sentenced her to be executed. Frank, 52, a former New Orleans police officer, was convicted in 1995 of the triple murder of an off-duty New Orleans police officer and the owners of a Vietnamese restaurant during a botched robbery.

China | Court imposes death penalty on child abductor

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Yu Huaying, a woman who abducted and trafficked 11 children in the 1990s for financial gain, was sentenced to death by a court in Guizhou province on Monday. Yu, a native of Yunan province, was found to have sought illicit benefits by abducting and trafficking the children from Chongqing and Guizhou to Hebei province between 1993 and 1996. Yu's behavior constituted the crime of child abduction, said the Guiyang Intermediate People's Court. The court said that Yu carried out the abductions with a man surnamed Gong, who died during the course of the case. Two other people, surnamed Wang and Yang who participated in the abductions, have been dealt with in separate cases, the court added.

Florida | The lengthy process behind deciding the death penalty

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The process of deciding whether or not the state will pursue the death penalty is not in any way a quick decision. You’re dealing with someone’s life on the line. Most state attorney’s offices have a committee that meets multiple times to go over the facts of the case before any decision is made. Even then, things can change. Many now wonder whether the state will pursue the death penalty. But those at the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office told CBS12's Katie Bente that it’s not a quick or easy process. It was a crime so heinous even law enforcement is upset by it.

Does the 8th Amendment have a fixed meaning?

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The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution protects us from “cruel and unusual punishment” by the government. This seemingly simple language raises a host of complicated questions. “Cruel” by what standard? “Unusual” in what sense? Does this provision have a fixed meaning? Or does its meaning change over time? History offers a few clues. In 1689, England adopted a Declaration of Rights that prohibited “cruel and unusual punishments.” Some of the Founders argued that we needed a similar provision in our own Bill of Rights.

The Execution of Toforest Johnson: Alabama to go ahead with killing of 'innocent' man despite outcry

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BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: The state of Alabama is seeking to execute Toforest Johnson despite an outcry from prosecutors, investigators, and jury, who contend that he may not have committed the crime for which he was convicted. Johnson, 49, was sentenced to death in 1998 for the execution-style shooting of William Hardy, a deputy sheriff for Jefferson County, who was shot twice in the back of the head in 1995 while serving as an off-duty security guard at a hotel. Just a few hours after Hardy’s body was discovered in the hotel, Johnson was arrested with four other black men.

Oklahoma | Preacher to death row inmates says he wants to end executions. Critics warn he's only seeking fame

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With just weeks left before his scheduled execution, Oklahoma death row inmate Anthony Sanchez took the unusual step of firing his attorneys and skipping a clemency hearing that many viewed as the last chance to spare his life. Sanchez's decision, and his relationship with an activist pastor who is a spiritual adviser to death row inmates across the country, has drawn fierce criticism from capital defense attorneys and anti-death penalty groups. They say the Rev. Jeff Hood is turning desperate inmates against their lawyers, who are often the last line of defense in a state with one of the busiest death chambers in the country.

Jordan | Man handed death penalty for murdering neighbour

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AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld a December 2022 Criminal Court ruling sentencing a man to death and a second man to 20 years in prison after convicting them of murdering their neighbour in the Jordan Valley in March 2020. The court declared the defendant guilty of shooting the victim with a machinegun while he was riding a vehicle over old feuds on March 1 and handed him the death penalty. The court also sentenced a second man, who is a relative of the main defendant, to 20 years in prison for his role in the shooting incident that also left one person injured.