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Showing posts from April, 2024

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

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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.

Cuba Maintains Capital Punishment to "Deter and Intimidate"

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Aware that only the use of terror and force keeps it in power, the Cuban regime makes it clear that if necessary, it will not hesitate to kill. HAVANA TIMES – Inflation, misery, the lack of medicine, and power outages, which were the triggers for previous demonstrations, are worsening daily in Cuba. Given the possibility that these protests may occur again, the regime has threatened the death penalty for those who participate in demonstrations considered “illegal.”

Malaysia | Man who stabbed girlfriend to death escapes death penalty

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PUTRAJAYA: A former construction company manager who murdered his Indonesian girlfriend by stabbing her 28 times six years ago was spared the death sentence by the Court of Appeal today. A three-judge panel chaired by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, in a unanimous decision, substituted the death penalty imposed on Sobri Abdul Wahab with a 30-year jail term and 12 strokes of the rotan.

Iran commutes billionaire Babak Zanjani's death sentence

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An Iranian billionaire convicted of stealing nearly three billion dollars has had his death sentence commuted to a 20-year jail term. Babak Zanjani was convicted in 2016 of pocketing money from the oil ministry to circumvent US sanctions on Iran. He said he had been unable to hand over the cash because of sanctions on him.

Escalating concerns over the lives of minors threatened with death in Saudi Arabia

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MENA Rights Group joins 30 organizations in expressing grave concerns regarding the death sentence and imminent executions of young men in Saudi Arabia for acts they committed as minors. The undersigned organizations express their grave concern for the lives of minor defendants particularly the two young men, Yousif Al-Manasif and Ali Al-Mubaiouq, who are at imminent risk of execution in Saudi Arabia following confirmed information that the Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal (SCCA) has upheld their death sentences. 

Arkansas Supreme Court Decision Allows New DNA Testing in Case of the ​“West Memphis Three,” Convicted of Killing Three Children in 1993

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On April 18, 2024, the Arkansas Supreme Court decided 4-3 to reverse a 2022 lower court decision and allow genetic testing of crime scene evidence from the 1993 killing of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis. The three men convicted in 1994 for the killings were released in 2011 after taking an Alford plea, in which they maintained their innocence but plead guilty to the crime, in exchange for 18 years’ time served and 10 years of a suspended sentence. 

Four More Prisoners Executed in Iran

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Authorities of the Islamic Republic executed four more prisoners over the weekend as death penalties continue to rise in the country. The Iran Human Rights Organization reported that three inmates were executed on April 27 in Tabriz Prison for drug-related offenses. The inmates were identified as Amir Moharrami, 36, Davoud Namyari, 33, and Sohrab Hokmabad. 

Indonesia | Today we remember the deaths of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, executed by firing squad alongside 6 people

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Today is the 9th anniversary of the deaths of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, executed by firing squad in Indonesia, alongside 6 other people. We remember them, along with every person who has died at the hands of a retributive state, and the families and friends left mourning them. May they rest in peace.

Iraq passes new "morality" law criminalizing homosexuality

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Iraq has passed a sweeping anti-LGBT law that criminalises same-sex relationships and could see gay people sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted The law, which was passed by Iraq’s parliament on Saturday, purports to “protect Iraqi society from moral depravity and the calls for homosexuality that have overtaken the world”.

Iran | A young woman named Shahnaz hanged in Qezel-Hesar prison in Karaj

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According to the Iranian state-media reports, at dawn on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, a young woman named Shahnaz was hanged in Qezel-Hesar prison in Karaj. Shahnaz had been held in prison for three years. She is the fifth woman hanged in Iran in 2024.

Iran | Executions in Arak, Saveh, Saqqez, Ghezelhesar

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 26, 2024: Javad Asgari, a man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Arak Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Arak Central Prison on 24 April. His identity has been established as Javad Asgari who was sentenced to qisas for murder.

Iran | 3 Men, Woman Executed in Karaj

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Four people including a woman and a possible juvenile offender were executed for murder charges in Karaj. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Ghezelhesar Prison in Karaj on 24 April. His identity has been established as Pejman Azizi who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.

Iran | Protester Reza Rasayi at Imminent Risk of Execution; 23 Execution Recorded in 5 Days

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 26, 2024: Sources close to Reza Rasayi’s family have warned of the protester’s execution being carried out in the next few days. There has been a drastic rise in the number of executions in the past week, with at least 23 people executed in the last five days alone. Iran Human Rights calls for the death sentences against Reza Rasayi and other political prisoners to be overturned. It also urges the international community to adopt a firm and sustainable policy to stop the daily executions in Iran.

Iranian Political Prisoners Condemn Looming Execution Of Rapper Toomaj Salehi

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A group of high profile political prisoners in Iran have denounced the death sentence handed down to dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi, calling it a sign of Iran's "inhuman nature and deep corruption." Earlier this week, an Iranian revolutionary court sentenced the outspoken artist to death for his songs supporting the nationwide protests of 2022, charges that his lawyer, Amir Raeisian, claims he had previously been acquitted of.

Iran | Narges Mohammadi Condemns Death Sentence of Iranian Rapper Toomaj Salehi

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Narges Mohammadi, the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has condemned the death sentence of protest rapper Toomaj Salehi. " Toomaj's death sentence signifies the death of our vibrant movement. Let us rally for the survival of the movement that defines our existence," she said in a message from Evin prison (pictured).

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Review Prosecutorial Misconduct in Two Death Penalty Cases Despite Dissents

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For the first time in at least five years, Supreme Court justices last week issued dissents from the Court’s denial of review in two capital cases on the same day.  Both cases involved official misconduct. One alleged that Texas prosecutors illegally struck 13 women from Dillion Compton’s jury because of their gender. 

Iran | Executions in Gilan, Gorgan, Taybad

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 24, 2024: State media reported the execution of Hadi Mirgozar for murder charges at an unspecified prison. According to Haft Sobh newspaper, a man was executed on 10 April. He was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder of a woman named Elham Sarlatibut the exact location of his execution has not been specified in the report. An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “The executed man was named Hadi Mirgozar and he was executed in a Gilan province prison.” Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness. In 2023, at least 282 people including two juvenile offenders and 15 women, were executed for murder charges, the second highest number of qisas executions since 2010

Will Taiwan Abolish the Death Penalty?

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A court ruling in Taiwan could lead to abolishing capital punishment on the island. Given strong public support for the death penalty, how will the court reconcile constitutional human rights with Taiwanese society? Taiwan's Constitutional Court on Tuesday debated the island's death penalty and discussed whether it violates the rights guaranteed under the Taiwanese constitution.

Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo would ‘fear for life’ at World Cup in Saudi Arabia

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Footballer Josh Cavallo has revealed he would not compete in the 2034 World Cup in Saudi Arabia if selected, due to the country’s anti-gay laws. It is illegal to be gay in Saudi Arabia, punishable by the death penalty. “I honestly wouldn’t feel safe,” Cavallo told The Mirror. “There’s certain countries I will not go to and play my club football or play with the national team. “At the end of the day, it comes to a point where it’s your livelihood over your job which for me is incredibly sad because this is what I do, I wake up and I breathe football, this is what I’m made for. “To know that I’m limited and stuck in certain countries because they don’t approve of how I love or how I live my life is quite saddening. I wouldn’t want to be entering a space like that at the moment. There’s a lot of improvement that needs to happen before I consider that.” Cavallo calls for LGBT support from wider football community Cavallo went on to say that he wanted more support for LGBT rights from the w

Iraq executes 13 on ‘vague’ terrorism charges

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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Amnesty International on Wednesday criticized Iraqi authorities for carrying out the death sentences of 13 men on the same day, saying the prisoners were denied fair trial, and expressed concern that many others had been executed in secret. A total of 13 prisoners were executed in Dhi Qars Nasiriyah central prison on Monday, and scores more have been executed since April 10, said the Amnesty report citing activists and lawyers of the death row prisoners.

Outrage Mounts as Iran Sentences Rapper Toomaj Salehi to Death

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The death sentence handed down to protest rapper Toomaj Salehi has sparked a wave of grief and determination among his fans and fellow citizens, who view him as a powerful voice for their cause. Amir Raisian, his lawyer, said the verdict is riddled with "obvious legal contradictions" and "strangeness."

Iran sentences popular rapper to death for supporting Mahsa Amini protests

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An Iranian court has sentenced to death a popular rapper jailed for more than a year and a half for supporting nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa Amini's death, local media reported Wednesday . "Branch 1 of Isfahan Revolutionary Court sentenced Toomaj Salehi to death on the charge of corruption on Earth," the singer's lawyer Amir Raisian said, quoted by the reformist Shargh newspaper.

California | DA files response opposing a motion by Scott Peterson’s defense team for DNA testing

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(NEW YORK) — The district attorney in Stanislaus County, California, has filed new paperwork in court opposing a motion by Scott Peterson’s defense team — the Los Angeles Innocence Project — for DNA testing in the murder case of Laci Peterson and Conner Peterson. In a more than 300-page filing on Monday, the DA’s office addresses the 14 items the defense is requesting DNA testing for and why they say these have already been tested, litigated, are unrelated, or the burden has not been met to retest them.

Florida | Prosecutors seek death penalty for mom who forced daughters to drink bleach and choked one to death

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The 39-year-old, who claimed she was under the influence of a 'voo-doo spell', will stand trial for first degree murder with a weapon starting May 7  Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a mother who forced her young daughters to drink bleach before choking one to death, the State's Attorney's office announced on Tuesday. 

Malaysia urged to extend moratorium on executions until full abolition of death penalty

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PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International Malaysia has commended Malaysia for the abolition of the mandatory death penalty and for imposing a moratorium on the execution of the death sentence, which has led to an overall decrease in the use of the death penalty by the courts. However, the rights group urged the government to extend the moratorium on executions until the death penalty is fully abolished.

Iran Executes Three Amid Sharp Rise in Death Sentences

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The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed three more prisoners amid a significant rise in death penalties in the country. According to a report by the Haalvsh human rights organization, inmates convicted of drug-related crimes were executed in Taybad Prison, located in Razavi Khorasan province. 

Kansas | Judge denies Carr brothers’ request for new sentence in death penalty murder case

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Kansas - A judge has denied a request by death-row inmates Jonathan and Reginald Carr to be resentenced in a December 2000 crime spree that included five murders. The Carr brothers filed motions in November requesting a new hearing to determine whether the evidence supports the death penalty. Their lawyers also sought new pre-sentencing reports and journal entries in the case.

Tennessee | Death penalty for child rapists clears final legislative hurdle, heads to governor’s desk

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A controversial bill that would allow the state to seek the death penalty for those convicted of rape of a child passed the House of Representatives Monday, clearing the final legislative hurdle before becoming law in Tennessee. HB1663, by House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), would allow for those convicted of rape or especially aggravated rape of a child in Tennessee to be sentenced to death.

Iran | Man Hanged 16 Years after Father's Execution

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 20, 2024: Fariborz Dadgar, a man on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Ahvaz Sepidar Prison. His father was executed for the same charges at the prison 16 years ago.

Iran | 8th Afghan National Executed in 2024

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 20, 2024: Valiollah Bakhtavar, an Afghan national on death row for murder, was executed in Tabriz Central Prison. "He worked at a fruit stall and had got into an altercation with his boss because he didn’t pay him, leading to the murder."

Iran | Two executions in Karaj

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 21, 2024: At least two men including an Afghan national were executed for drug-related charges in Ghezelhesar Prison. At least two murder death row prisoners are at risk of execution. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Ghezelhesar Prison in Karaj on 21 April. Their identities have been established as Abdolbari Pashtu from Afghanistan and 38-year-old Alireza Pourshahbaz. They were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Iran | Seven executed for drug charges

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 20, 2024: Seven men including six Baluch and a Kurd were executed for drug-related charges. Five were executed in Kerman Central Prison and two in Chahar Bahar Prison. According to Haalvsh, five men were executed for drug-related charges in Kerman Central Prison on 20 April. 

Taiwan | Constitutional court set to debate death penalty

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Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Taiwan's constitutional court will convene a highly anticipated debate on Tuesday about whether the current death penalty system is constitutional, addressing an issue that has been contentious in Taiwan for decades. The debate, scheduled for Tuesday, will see attorneys Nigel Li (李念祖) and Jeffrey Li (李劍非) representing 37 prisoners currently on death row and challenging the constitutionality of capital punishment.

Saudi Arabia | Indian man slated for execution saved after expats raise $4m

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Machilakath Abdul Rahim, who killed a Saudi teenager in a 2006 accident, now looks set to be freed after friends and celebrities back his release An Indian national convicted of killing the Saudi teenager he was paid to drive has escaped execution in the kingdom after Indians around the globe raised nearly $4 million to save him. 

Iran | 9 prisoners executed in a single day

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9 prisoners of drug charges executed in the central prisons of Kerman, Chabahar and GhezelHesar According to the Iranian Human Rights Society website, on Sunday, April 21st, 2024, 9 prisoners including, Baloch and Kurdish drug suspects were executed in the central prisons of Kerman, Chah bahar, and GhezelHesar.  

Could Moscow attack suspects face execution in Belarus?

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After the deadly terrorist attack at Moscow's Crocus City Hall, some Russian politicians are debating trying the suspects to Belarus, which still has death penalty. But it's not that simple. The terror attack on Moscow's Crocus City Hall has ignited debate about the reintroduction of the death sentence in Russia. Given that 140 people died and more than 500 were wounded at the concert hall on March 22, 2024, emotions are running high.

Punjab | Woman sentenced to death for kidnapping, burying toddler alive

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Neelam sentenced to death for burying toddler alive after kidnapping her, in a rare and heinous crime. The court found her guilty of murder and destruction of evidence, causing outrage in society. LUDHIANA: Over two years after the brutal murder of a toddler, the woman who killed her was sentenced to death by a local court. The convict had buried her neighbour’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter alive. 

Alabama court authorizes death penalty for killer of a delivery driver

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The Alabama Supreme Court has authorized the execution of a man convicted of killing a delivery driver who stopped at an ATM.  Justices granted the Alabama attorney general's request to authorize an execution date for Keith Edmund Gavin. Governor Kay Ivey will set the day of the execution, which will be carried out by lethal injection.

Ramadan is over: Saudi Arabia resumes beheadings

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Saudi Arabia executes man for murdering Otaibah tribe woman RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has executed a native citizen.  The Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia has announced that the execution of a man named Basil Bin Suhail has been carried out. Basil was executed for killing a woman by hitting her with a car.

Zimbabwe frees prisoners, including those sentenced to death, in independence day amnesty

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa granted clemency to more than 4,000 prisoners, including some who were on death row, in an independence day amnesty on Thursday. Zimbabwe marked 44 years of independence from colonial rule, which ended in 1980 after a bloody bush war. The country’s name was changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

Iran | Executions in Urmia, Hamedan, Rasht, Isfahan

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 18, 2024: Afshin Bagh Shirin, a man on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Urmia Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Urmia Central Prison on 13 April. His identity has been established as 37-year-old Afshin Bagh Shirin who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Bill Moves Forward to Prevent Use of Nitrogen Gas Asphyxiation in Louisiana Executions

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There’s an effort underway, in the current legislative session in Baton Rouge, to reverse course on the controversial execution method with Senate Bill 430. When Louisiana legislators approved the use of nitrogen gas asphyxiation as an execution method during a second special legislative session in February, the move attracted national attention; not the least because it has only been used in the U.S. once. That’s when Alabama executed convicted killer Kenneth Eugene Smith on January 25th of this year. Now there’s an effort underway, in the current legislative session in Baton Rouge, to reverse course on the controversial execution method with Senate Bill 430.

Alabama lawmakers reject bill which would allow some death row inmates to be resentenced

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - An Alabama House committee rejected a bill that would have impacted sentences for dozens of death row inmates. The proposal would have required courts to resentence people sentenced to death by a judge who overrode a jury’s recommendation of life in prison. That practice was outlawed in 2017. Representative Chris England passionately argued it should be retroactively applied for more than 30 death row inmates who were sentenced to death over a jury’s recommendation.

Malaysia | 54 prisoners escape death sentence, sentences commuted to 30-38 years jail

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KOTA BARU: A total of 54 prisoners escaped death by hanging, after the Federal Court, sitting at the High Court here today, commuted their sentences to imprisonment between 30 and 38 years. A three-judge panel led by the Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, in a unanimous decision waived the death penalty for all the prisoners involved who were previously convicted of murder and drug cases.

Iran Executes Eight for Drug Offenses as Death Sentences Rise

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The Islamic Republic has executed eight more prisoners over the past few days amid a significant spike in death penalties. On April 14, 2024, Hamedan Prison executed Arsalan Hashemi, a man convicted of drug offenses, according to human rights group HRANA.

Iran | Probable Child Offender and Child Bride, Husband Executed for Drug Charges

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 15 2024: Marjan Hajizadeh and Esmail Hassaniani, a couple sentenced to death for drug-related charges in a joint case, were executed in Zanjan Central Prison.  Marjan is reported to have been 16 at the time of arrest, which IHRNGO is working to confirm. If verified, she will be the first child offender executed for drug charges since 2014. She was also a child bride forced into marriage.