Posts

Showing posts from March, 2024

FEATURED POST

Japan | Trial ruling date for man accused of 1966 murder set for September

Image
Iwao Hakamada, who in a rare example is being retried over a 1966 murder case, will be given a verdict on Sept. 26, the Shizuoka District Court said Wednesday, which could see him finally acquitted more than five decades after he was sentenced to death by the same court. In the last trial session, prosecutors again sought the death penalty for the 88-year-old, saying there is enough evidence to show that Hakamata is the perpetrator, while defense lawyers argued that he is not guilty.

Somalia's football pitch that doubles as an execution ground

Image
On a beach in the Somali capital, Mogadishu stand six tall concrete posts planted in the pure white sand. The waves of the bright blue Indian Ocean break gently nearby - and often bear witness to some grim events. Every so often the security forces bring men to this place, tie them to the posts with plastic ropes, place black hoods over their heads and shoot them dead. The members of the specially trained firing squad also have their faces hidden.

Iran continues crackdown on women as executions approach 100 for the year

Image
Iran handed prison sentences to 11 activists defending women’s rights and has executed 98 people this year. An Iranian court this week sentenced 11 women's rights advocates to prison terms totaling 60 years, as authorities in the Islamic Republic continue their crackdown against any type of dissent. An Islamic Revolutionary Court in Rasht, the capital of northwestern Gilan province, handed down the sentences, which ranged from one year to nine years in prison, local media reported. 

Georgia shields execution sights and sounds from public view when carrying out lethal injection

Image
Willie James Pye was put to death by lethal injection in the state’s first execution in over four years last week. Pye was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. March 20 at the state prison in Jackson after being convicted for a 1993 kidnapping, rape and murder of his former girlfriend. But despite the case’s significance and national attention over Pye, the public’s view of the execution itself was restricted under state protocol blocking media witnesses for state executions from critical parts of the process. 

American Bar Association urges U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Texas capital case involving deficient DNA evidence

Image
The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court for the 2nd time to take up a Texas death penalty case in which defendant Areli Escobar was convicted on DNA evidence and testimony from a police laboratory that was later deemed unreliable by the state.

Texas criminal appeals court takes man off death row over intellectual disability

Image
Since Randall Mays was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of two sheriff’s deputies, his lawyers have argued his intellectual disability exempts him from execution. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals re-sentenced a 64-year-old man on death row to life in prison without parole on Wednesday after a state expert confirmed in trial court that he is intellectually disabled.

Tennessee | Nashville DA asks judge to vacate baby murder conviction following new medical evidence

Image
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville man who has spent the past 25 years in prison for a crime he maintains he didn’t commit could soon be released after the Davidson County District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) said new medical evidence proves he is innocent. During a hearing Tuesday, the CRU asked the court to vacate Russell Maze’s murder conviction he received in connection to the death of 19-month-old son, Alex, in October 2000.

Singapore | Court of Appeal rejects 36 death row inmates’ PACC Act constitutional challenge

Image
Singapore Supreme Court dismissed appeal by 36 death row inmates challenging new measures to prevent execution delays. Chief Justice deems the challenge lacking current basis and an abuse of court process. SINGAPORE: The Court of Appeal of Singapore on Wednesday (27 March) dismissed an appeal lodged by 36 death row prisoners challenging two new provisions introduced by a law aimed at preventing death row inmates from exploiting court processes to delay their executions.

Afghanistan | Taliban leader says women will be stoned to death in public

Image
The Taliban’s Supreme Leader has vowed to start stoning women to death in public as he declared the fight against Western democracy will continue. “You say it’s a violation of women’s rights when we stone them to death,” said Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in a voice message, aired on state television over the weekend, addressing Western officials.

Pakistan | Christian brothers acquitted of blasphemy; three accusers charged

Image
Pakistan is No. 7 on list of places most difficult to be a Christian LAHORE, Pakistan — Two Christian brothers have been acquitted of blasphemy, and the three Christians who framed the brothers have been charged. On March 1, Umar Saleem and Umair Saleem were acquitted following a police investigation showing the two had been framed, states the news services Christian Daily International and Morning Star News.

Iran | Couple hanged in the Central Prison of Tabriz

Image
A couple were hanged in the Central Prison of Tabriz at dawn on March 18, 2024, on the eve of the Persian New Year. The news of the executions was released today by Iranian human rights organizations. However, the official news outlets in Iran have not announced them. Yassin Zolfaqari and his wife, whose identity has not been specified, were executed in the Central Prison of Tabriz for possessing 3 kilograms of Crack.  They came originally from Jolfa, in East Azerbaijan Province, and had been married for only a year.

Unveiling Singapore’s Death Penalty Discourse: A Critical Analysis of Public Opinion and Deterrent Claims

Image
While Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) maintains a firm stance on the effectiveness of the death penalty in managing drug trafficking in Singapore, the article presents evidence suggesting that the methodologies and interpretations of these studies might not be as substantial as portrayed.

Iran Executes Three on Drug-related Charges

Image
The Islamic Republic recently executed three individuals, including a woman, on drug-related charges amidst a surge in capital punishment in the country. On the morning of March 25, a 36-year-old man named Abbas Aghaei, from Tabriz, faced the death penalty at Tabriz Central Prison. His conviction stemmed from drug-related charges, as reported by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization.

Malaysia | Man’s death sentence for murdering pregnant wife replaced with 35-year jail term

Image
T Paramasparan was enraged after his wife confessed that she was pregnant with another man’s child. A three-member Federal Court bench also ordered T Paramasparan to be given 12 strokes of the cane. PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has commuted the death sentence of a former petty trader to a 35-year jail term for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife.

NGOs call on Morocco to save 6 men sentenced to death in Somalia

Image
Non-governmental organisations in Morocco have called on their government to intervene and prevent the execution of six Moroccans in Somalia. In a joint statement, the six bodies explained that they learned about the verdict issued by a military court in northern Somalia on 2 March, which sentenced six Moroccans to death by firing squad on charges of belonging to Daesh.

Tennessee bill authorizing death penalty for child rape goes to committee

Image
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A bill to be discussed in the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee would authorize the death penalty as a punishment for rape of a child. SB1834/HB1663 is sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin-D27) and Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland-D44) in their respective chambers. Under the bill, if an individual is convicted of aggravated child rape, the person could be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole or death. 

Tunisia sentences four to death for ISIS murder of politician

Image
A court in Tunisia has sentenced four people to death and two people to life in prison on charges of participating in the murder of the prominent political leader Chokri Belaid in 2013. He was found shot dead in his car in the capital, Tunis, prompting outrage. The leftist politician had been a fierce critic of the then-ruling Islamist Ennahda party. He claimed it turned a blind eye to violence perpetrated by extremists against secularists.

Pakistan | Hope for Christian 22 Years on Death Row for ‘Blasphemy’

Image
Supreme Court seeks Islamic body’s opinion on evidence. In a significant move, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the country’s top Islamic body to advise on whether content that has left a Catholic on death row for 22 years was in fact blasphemous, sources said.

Malaysia | 2 Filipinas escape death sentence after apex court grants 30 years’ jail for drug trafficking

Image
2 Filipinas, who had been on death row since 2013, were granted a reprieve when the Federal Court on Tuesday granted them a revision of their sentence, bringing it down to 30 years’ jail. A 3-member bench, led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, substituted the death penalty punishments initially given to Aisa Bello Mensong, aged 44, and Eleonor Cantor Sadullo, aged 66, with 30 years’ jail instead.

UK court says Assange can’t be extradited on espionage charges until US rules out death penalty

Image
A British court ruled Tuesday that Julian Assange can’t be extradited to the United States on espionage charges unless U.S. authorities guarantee he won’t get the death penalty, giving the WikiLeaks founder a partial victory in his long legal battle over the site’s publication of classified American documents.

California | As San Quentin’s death row empties, condemned inmates get a glimpse of hope

Image
There’s an utterly new feeling at San Quentin’s death row these days, and it’s not just for the people running the place. You can feel it like electricity all up and down the grim, time-worn cell blocks housing the worst criminals in the state. It’s hope.

Oklahoma | Death row inmate Michael DeWayne Smith denied stay of execution

Image
Death row inmate Michael DeWayne Smith on Monday lost his request for a stay of his execution. Smith, 41, asked for the stay because of a proposed moratorium on the death penalty that is before the state Legislature. He is set to be executed by lethal injection April 4 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals voted 5-0 to deny his request.

Indonesia | Bali Prosecutors Seeking Death on Appeal

Image
The Indonesian criminal justice system allows appeals by defendants and prosecutors when the convicted party considers the sentence handed down in a trial too harsh or when prosecutors feel the punishment handed down by the Court is too lenient. After the appeal process, sentences initially meted out by the Court can be affirmed, abolished, enhanced, or reduced.

Ohio dad could still face death penalty in massacre of 3 sons after judge tosses confession

Image
Chad Doerman was charged with murdering his sons, ages 3, 4 and 7 Even after a judge tossed the alleged confession of an Ohio dad accused of executing his three sons and shooting their mother's hand, he could still face the death penalty, experts say. Ohio law makes capital punishment a possibility in certain murder cases – including when there is a child victim. "The confession isn’t a mitigating or aggravating factor, so it doesn’t affect the death penalty one way or another," said Neama Rahmani, a Los Angeles-based attorney and former federal prosecutor.

Taiwan | Lawmakers claim Constitutional Court could abolish death penalty

Image
KMT legislators call on government, Judicial Yuan to respect public opinion and keep death penalty TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers held a press conference on Friday (March 22) at the Legislative Yuan urging the outgoing Tsai administration and the Constitutional Court not to abolish the death penalty in Taiwan.

China | Former gaming executive sentenced to death in poisoning of billionaire Netflix producer

Image
A former executive at Yoozoo Games was sentenced to death on Friday in the 2020 poisoning of the founder of the high-profile Chinese gaming company, which has links to Game of Thrones and the new Netflix series, "The Three-Body Problem." Xu Yao poisoned the food of company founder Lin Qi in December 2020 because of a dispute over the running of the business, the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court said.  The Hollywood Reporter, citing local media, reported at the time Lin was allegedly sickened by a cup of poisoned pu-erh tea.

Missouri Supreme Court declines to halt execution of man who killed couple in 2006

Image
The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to halt the execution of Brian Dorsey, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection next month for killing his cousin and her husband 18 years ago. Judge W. Brent Powell wrote in the unanimous decision that Dorsey "has not demonstrated he is actually innocent" of the first-degree murder convictions that brought him to death row, despite previously pleading guilty to those charges and failing to deny that he committed the crimes. 

Alabama activists rally to retroactively abolish judicial override in death penalty cases

Image
Amnesty International and the ACLU of Alabama held a rally at the Alabama statehouse on Thursday in support of HB27, later marching to Gov. Kay Ivey's office to submit petitions calling for clemency for an inmate currently on death row. Robin "Rocky" Meyers was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1994. The trial judge then went over the jury and imposed a death sentence through judicial override.

US appeals court directs probe of juror bias in Boston Marathon bomber's case

Image
BOSTON, March 21 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday directed the judge who presided over Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's 2015 trial to investigate whether two jurors were biased and should not have been seated, creating potential grounds to overturn his death sentence. The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped short, opens new tab of granting Tsarnaev's latest bid to overturn his death sentence for his role in the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded 260 others.

Japan marks 29 years since Tokyo subway sarin gas attack

Image
Japan on Wednesday marked the 29th anniversary of a fatal nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system by members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult. About 20 Tokyo Metro staff and relatives of victims held a moment of silence at 8 a.m. at Kasumigaseki subway station on the Hibiya line to remember two former colleagues who died in the attack.

Georgia Executes Willie James Pye

Image
Georgia carries out first execution in more than 4 years A Georgia man convicted of killing his former girlfriend 3 decades ago has been put to death in the state's first execution in more than 4 years. Authorities say 59-year-old Willie James Pye was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. Wednesday evening following an injection of the sedative pentobarbital. Pye was convicted of murder and other crimes in the November 1993 abduction, rape and shooting death of Alicia Lynn Yarbrough.

Pakistan | Two Madrasa Students Get Death Sentence Over 'Blasphemy' Murder

Image
Two Pakistani women sentenced to death for killing their madrassa teacher over blasphemy allegations, highlighting the sensitivity of blasphemy in Pakistan Two Pakistani women have been sentenced to death for murdering their madrassa teacher who they accused of committing blasphemy, police said Wednesday. 

Amnesty slams leaked Saudi draft penal code, urges changes

Image
RIYADH (Reuters) – Amnesty International criticised a leaked draft of Saudi Arabia’s first penal code on Tuesday, saying it would codify practices ranging from flogging to gender discrimination and urging changes to align it with international standards. In a report, Amnesty said the draft penal code “shatters the illusion” that de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman “is pursuing a truly reformist agenda” – a reference to social and economic changes he has introduced to modernise Saudi Arabia, attract investment and open up the country to tourism.

Man seeks clemency to avoid what could be Georgia's first execution in more than 4 years

Image
Pye was convicted of murder and other crimes in the November 1993 killing of Alicia Lynn Yarbrough. ATLANTA — A Georgia man should not be executed because he is intellectually disabled and feels remorse for killing his former girlfriend three decades ago, his lawyers wrote in seeking clemency for him.

Malaysia | Death sentence stays for Filipino

Image
KOTA KINABALU: A 52-year-old paperless Filipino failed in his appeal against his death sentence for murdering his acquaintance in Lahad Datu six years ago. A three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Supang Lian, Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah and Datuk Wong Kian Kheong, unanimously dismissed the appeal by Robin Radjaini Saih @ Amjan Patta and affirmed the death sentence imposed on him by the High Court.

Unknown costs, legal challenges: Idaho bill to expand death penalty dies after testimony

Image
A bill introduced in the Idaho Legislature this session proposed adding death penalty eligibility for defendants suspected of lewd and lascivious conduct with children under 12 years old. It was held in a Senate committee Friday. An effort to expand capital punishment in Idaho died when a bill that sought to make lewd acts with children under age 12 qualify for the death penalty failed to earn enough support for a Senate floor vote. The bill’s sponsor pledged to try again next year. House Bill 515 aimed to make Idaho at least the second state to adopt a law that made those convicted of certain sex crimes against preteen kids eligible for the death penalty. 

Prosecutors seek death penalty for mastermind of Vietnam's largest financial scam

Image
HANOI, March 19 (Reuters) - Vietnamese prosecutors called on Tuesday for the death penalty to be handed to Truong My Lan, the mastermind of the Southeast Asian nation's largest financial fraud on record, state media said. Lan, the chairwoman of real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, faces a trial in the economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City on accusations of leading a scam that caused damages of $20 billion, or about 4.9% of Vietnam's gross domestic product.

Taiwan constitutional court declines death row inmates' appeal for review

Image
Court says appeal not filed within time frame required by law TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s constitutional court has declined to review an additional appeal lodged by 37 death row inmates on the grounds that it was submitted too late. The 37 condemned inmates filed the appeal on Feb. 27, which was in addition to an already lodged appeal that the constitutional court will review beginning April 23, per CNA. 

Taiwan | Thousands support death penalty for child abusers

Image
More than 25,000 people have endorsed a proposal calling for a blanket death penalty for child abusers, after a one-year-old boy died allegedly from abuse while in foster care. The proposal, posted by a person called Lu I-shan (呂易珊) on the government-administered Public Policy Online Participation Network Platform, states that people who abuse children and cause physical harm to them should be subject to heavier criminal punishment, while those whose abuse leads to children’s death should be sentenced to death without exception.

Alabama | Judge formally imposes death penalty on man who gunned down Mobile cop

Image
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Marco Antonio Perez on Monday formally became a condemned man for the murder of a police officer, although a jury already had determined his fate. Under state law, the jury’s sentencing decision in February in the capital murder case was binding. That made Monday’s hearing a formality, although no less emotional. Mobile County Circuit Judge Ben Brooks heard from Officer Sean Tuder’s mother, widow and cousin, along with Police Chief Paul Prine. 

Malaysia | Death sentence commuted for ex-cop who killed toddler, babysitter

Image
PUTRAJAYA: A former policeman, convicted for the murder of a two-year-old boy and his babysitter nearly 20 years ago, saw the Federal Court commute his death sentence to a 40-year jail term today. A three-member bench chaired by Justice Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal also ordered Nahar Abu Bakar, 48, to be caned 24 times for the offences, the maximum number of strokes allowed under the law. Harmindar, who sat with Justices Nordin Hassan and Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, also ordered Nahar to receive 12 strokes of the rotan for the murder of Nurosama Shohimi, the daughter of former Klang Umno division secretary Shohimi Shafie.

California | San Quentin begins prison reform - but not for those on death row

Image
California is transferring everyone on death row at San Quentin prison to other places, as it tries to reinvent the state's most notorious facility as a rehabilitation centre. Many in this group will now have new freedoms. But they are also asking why they've been excluded from the reform - and whether they'll be safe in new prisons. Keith Doolin still remembers the day in 2019 when workers came to dismantle one of the United States' most infamous death chambers.

Bali | British grandmother on death row for more than 10 years for drug smuggling given ‘one final hope of escape'

Image
Lindsay Sandiford, 67, was imprisoned in Indonesia in 2013 for trying to smuggle £1.6 million worth of cocaine into the country in her suitcase. Now cellmates of Ms Sandiford have revealed she has fresh hope of escaping the death sentence. A new law being introduced in January means the grandmother’s death sentence could be converted into a life prison term due to her 10 years of good behaviour behind bars. One inmate at Kerobokan jail in Bali, where she is being held, opened up about Ms Sandiford’s life in the Indonesian prison.

Iran | Man executed in Qazvin

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); March 14, 2024: Behzad Bidrang, a man on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Qazvin Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Qazvin Central Prison on 14 March.  His identity has been established as 42-year-old Behzad Bidrang, a father of two from Ajab Shir in East Azerbaijan province.

Georgia | Death penalty trial for accused Atlanta spa shooter in limbo

Image
Three years after four women of Asian descent were shot and killed at spas in Fulton County, it remains unclear when the suspect will face his death penalty trial. Robert Aaron Long pleaded guilty to killing four people at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County on March 16, 2021 and was given a life sentence without parole for each one. However, the now-24-year-old pleaded not guilty in Fulton County, where District Attorney Fani Willis is pursuing the death penalty and hate crime charges.

Congo reinstates death penalty after 20-year hiatus

Image
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo has lifted a more than two-decade-old moratorium on the death penalty as authorities struggle to curb violence and militant attacks in the country, according to a justice ministry statement released on Friday. The statement, dated earlier this week, said the ban from 2003 allowed offenders accused of treason and espionage to get away without proper punishment.

Georgia Court Case Tests the Limits of Execution Secrecy in the United States

Image
Georgia plans to put Willie James Pye to death on March 20, in the state’s first execution since January 2020. The state wants to hide as much of that event as possible and, in so doing, to push the limits of execution secrecy in this country. Its plan is a bold departure from the history of American executions. In that history, the public and the press traditionally have been welcomed as spectators. Secrecy of the kind that Georgia law now allows rightly invites suspicion. What is it that Georgia doesn’t want the press to witness and the public to know, and why does it want to restrict what the press can see and hear when it puts Pye to death?

California | Scott Peterson granted court hearing in 2004 murder case review

Image
Scott Peterson was convicted in 2004 in the deaths of 27-year-old Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, and the couple's unborn child. The two-decade-old murder conviction of Scott Peterson was the focus of a court hearing Tuesday when the Los Angeles Innocence Project revived the case in a Northern California courtroom.

Iran | Man executed in Ilam

Image
Mansour Mansouri, previously sentenced to death for murder, was executed in Ilam Central Prison on 11 March. The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) had reported the execution of another prisoner, Moein Salavarzizadeh, in Ilam Central Prison on the same day. A source who spoke to KHRN said: “Mansour Mansouri, 44 years old, unmarried and from the city of Sarableh in Ilam Province, was arrested about a year and a half ago on charges of ‘premeditated murder'”.

Georgia readies to resume executions after a 4-year pause brought by COVID and a legal agreement

Image
An execution scheduled for next week would be the first in Georgia in more than four years. The state is trying to move past an agreement made amid the coronavirus pandemic that effectively halted lethal injections. Willie James Pye, 59, is set to be put to death March 20. He was convicted of murder and other crimes in the November 1993 killing of his former girlfriend, Alicia Lynn Yarbrough. Georgia last carried out an execution in January 2020. In April 2021, the state attorney general's office entered into an agreement with attorneys for death row prisoners to suspend executions for a certain group of prisoners and to establish conditions under which they could resume.

Iran | Two Afghan Nationals Executed in Karaj

Image
Hengaw; Monday, March 11, 2024 - The death sentence of two Afghan inmates, identified as Noor Mohammad Tajik and Abdul Basit (surname undisclosed), previously convicted of "homicide" by the judicial system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was carried out in Qazalhessar Prison, Karaj.