January 24, 2014
IDPN Issue 4
China: A man in China, 36-year-old Li Hao, has been executed for “murder, rape, illegal detention, organized prostitution, and manufacturing pornography for a profit.” Li was formerly a desk clerk before being arrested. In 2009, Li created a “dungeon” in his basement where he would hold captive women for months at a time. During their captivity, he would repeatedly rape them. At one point, he forced three of the women to kill two other women. Li was captured in September of 2011, after one of the women escaped and contacted police.
India: The Indian media has reported that two Italian marines who are accused of killing two Indian citizens may face the death penalty. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone shot and killed two fisherman in 2012, after mistaking them for pirates. Last January, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that a special court should be set up to handle the trial and that it should be completed by the end of the year. Now, some are asking that the case be dropped due to the extreme delay. Italy says that the incident occurred in international waters, and that India has no jurisdiction in this case.
Fifteen death row inmates in India have had their sentences commuted to life in prison due to inordinate delays and mental illness. In addition to the commutations, the Supreme Court has also set out guidelines to safe guard the rights of prisoners
Indonesia: British woman, Andrea Waldeck, has been spared the death penalty for smuggling drugs into Indonesia, due to her cooperation with authorities and honestly admitting her crime. She has instead been sentenced to 14 years in jail and a fine.
Forty-eight-year-old Francois Jacques Giuliy, a Frenchman, faces the death penalty after he was caught smuggling crystal methamphetamine. Earlier this year, another Frenchman, Thierry Verchere, was arrested for drug possession and distribution.
Iran: On Thursday, January 23, 2014, seven unnamed prisoners were executed. Two were convicted of murder, while the remaining five were convicted of trafficking drugs.
Iraq: On Sunday, January 19, 2014, 26 individuals were executed on charges of terrorism. The individuals were not identified.
On Thursday, January 23, 2014, 11 individuals were executed. All were charged and convicted of terror crimes. The individuals were not named.
Japan: Forty-eight-year-old Makoto Hirata is on trial for his participation in the Aum Supreme Truth, a religious cult whose member went into hiding following the release of a nerve gas in the subway in 1995. The attacked killed 13, sickened thousands, and threw the country into panic. Makoto is not on trial for the nerve gas attack, but for the kidnapping of a 68-year-old man who sheltered his sister after she escaped from the cult. The man was later discovered, dead. Makoto claims he was simply a guard and did not participate in the kidnapping or what happened after. A total of 13 cult members have been sentenced to be executed, while numerous others have received lighter sentences. Some of those on death row will be called to testify at Makoto's trial. It will be the first time death row inmates have been called to testify. Makoto's trial is expected to last approximately two months.
Malaysia: Azhar bin Zakaria and Ismail bin Ibrahim, both workers from Indonesia, have been spared execution by a judge at Putrajaya Higher Court, due to the differing accounts by the police and the arrested individuals and lack of evidence.
Saudi Arabia: Filipino worker Joselito Zapanta could face execution any day, as his family and the Philippine government has been unable to raise the blood money required to spare Joselito from execution. Benigno S. Aquino III, president of Saudi Arabia, has recently announced that he has pledged an undisclosed, but substantial amount of money to spare Joselito.
A Pakistani man who has been convicted of killing a 12-year-old boy has had his 15-year jail sentenced changed to the death penalty. The family of the child has refused to grant a pardon or accept blood money.
United Arab Emirates:Nineteen-year old Ravindra Krishna Pillai, originally from Sri Lanka, has been executed for murdering an Emirati man by running him over with an SUV. Allegedly, the execution was carried out via a firing squad.
United States of America:Mexican national Edgar Tamayo was executed by the state of Texas on January 22, 2014, amidst protests from the Mexican government and others. Read his full story here.
Kenneth Hogan was executed by the state of Oklahoma on January 23, 2014. Read his full story here.
Gary Haugen, a death row inmate in Oregon, has waived his remaining appeals, allowing his execution to be scheduled. Two weeks before his execution, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber stopped the execution, stating that he believes executions are morally wrong. Gary sued the Governor, saying he did not accept the reprieve and wished for the execution to be carried out. In 2012, Senior Judge Timothy Alexander agreed with Gary, but the Oregon Supreme Court overturned Judge Alexander's ruling. The Supreme Court of the United States has now refused to here the case, offering no comment as to the reason.
In the wake of Dennis McGuire's controversial execution, lawmakers in various states are looking for other methods of execution. In Wyoming and Missouri, bills are being considered which would allow for executions to be carried out by a firing squad. Currently, Utah is the only state to have execution by firing squad on its books, carrying out its last execution in 2010.
In Virginia, a bill to force inmates to be executed by the electric chair if drugs for lethal injections are unavailable, has moved to the House floor.
Anthony Graves, who served 18 years behind bars in Texas, including 12 years on death row, is now suing the man who prosecuted him. Anthony was released from prison after he was given a retrial and the new district attorney refused to retry him in 2010. Anthony alleges that former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta withheld evidence that could have exonerated him.
Vietnam:In a mass trial, 30 people, 21 men and 9 women, have been sentenced to death for trafficking nearly two tons of heroin. The mass trial took 20 days.