April 25, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 17
Belarus: Pavel Selyun has been executed for the double murder of his wife and her lover, which occurred in August of 2012. Pavel was 23 years of age. Pavel was the first person executed by Belarus in 2014. After discovering his wife was having an affair, Pavel decapitated the man and stuffed his body in a garbage chute, except for his head, which he took with him while he fled. Pavel still had the head when he was arrested. Belarus, a former member of the Soviet Union, is the only nation in Europe which continues to use the death penalty.
China: Ji Xingpeng, a wealthy man in Nanjing, stabbed his 22-year-old wife to death with a fruit knife in April of 2013, because he thought she was having an affair. Ji, allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time, was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve. The couple met in high school and had been married for two years, with a 3-month old daughter. The family of the victims plans to appeal the verdict, which they believe is unfair.
India: Fifty-six-year-old Bharat Singh is sentenced to be executed by hanging for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl. In a rare move, the Delhi high court has asked that the man be examined by behavioral experts to determine if Bharat is capable of reform or will remain a continuing threat to society.
Iran: Four people have been sentenced to death in what is being called the "biggest embezzlement case" in Iran's banking history. Several others have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 25 years, charged with "corruption on earth," for their parts in embezzling nearly $3 billion. False reports have recently claimed that the death sentence for Mahafarid Amir Khosravi has been withdrawn. These reports are incorrect.
On Monday, April 21, 2014, a 24-year-old man was executed by hanging in Mashhad.
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, five prisoners were executed by hanging in Gohardasht prison in Karaj.
On Thursday, April 24, 2014, a prisoner, identified by initials only, was executed by hanging in the prison of Sari in northern Iran. He was executed for the murdering another person during a street fight. Twenty-two-year-old Rafigh was also executed on April 24, 2014. Rafigh was execution by hanging in the prison of Sanandaj in western Iran. He was also convicted of murder.
Nigeria: Sixty-three-year-old Ubale Sa'idu Dotsa convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl and infecting her with HIV has been sentenced to death by stoning under the nation's Islamic laws. Ubale claims he was incited by the devil to rape the girl.
Saudi Arabia: On Sunday, April 20, 2014, five men were sentenced to death for their involvement in a suicide attack on an expatriate residential compound Ridyadh in 2003. An additional 37 people were given prison terms ranging from 3 to 35 years. The members of the attack were part of an al Qaeda group who sought to disrupt the nation's relationship with the United States of America. In 2006, over 11,000 people were captured and placed in prison. Remaining members of the terrorist group fled to Yemen.
Pakistan: Christian Asia Bibi is in jail and faces the death penalty for stating "Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins. . . Our Christ is alive. "Asia, who said this to a Muslim who was telling her about Islam, was charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death. She is currently appealing her case, which began in 2009, before the High Court, which has delayed her case for the third time. Extremist groups have been threatening judges in order to force them to carry out Asia's death sentence. Pakistan's infamous blasphemy law states that "whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defile the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” Blasphemy laws have faced criticism, as those charged and convicted of blasphemy are often he-said-she-said cases. Many also believe that such laws are frequently used to settle personal disputes.
United Arab Emirates: A Pakistani man has had his death sentenced overturned for deliberately hitting a Sudanese boy, Hazaa Khaled with his car. Hazaa had his skull crushed and was killed. The Pakistani man denied intending to kill the boy, stating that he just wanted to scare him because he believed Hazaa had thrown garbage into his vehicle. The man was first sentenced to 15 years in prison and to pay blood money and compensation totaling Dh 221,000. An appeals court later sentenced him to death. The death sentence was overturned by the Court of Cassation.
United States of America:On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, William Rousan was executed by the state of Missouri shortly after midnight, CDT. He was 57 years of age. William was executed for his part in the murder of 67-year-old Charles Lewis and his wife 62-year-old Grace Lewis on September 22, 1993, in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Read the full story here.
Also on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Robert Hendrix was executed by the state of Florida shortly after 6 pm EDT. Robert was 47 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 25-year-old Elmer Scott Jr., his wife, 18-year-old Susan Michelle Scott on August 27, 1990, at Elmer's Sorrento, Florida home. Read his full story here.
Legal drama has surrounded the Oklahoma case of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who were suing the state to discover the source of the drugs to be used to execute them. Clayton was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, but received a stay of execution on April 21, by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Questioning the authority of the Supreme Court, who only deals with civil cases, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued her own stay on April 22. Her stay lasts for seven days. Late on April 23, the Oklahoma Supreme Court dissolved their stay of execution and ruled that the inmates do not have the right to know from where the execution drugs originated. Both men are now scheduled to be executed on April 29, 2014. Read more about the legal drama surrounding this case here.
Seventy-three-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross is charged with killing three people at nearby Jewish sites in Kansas. The murders occurred on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Frazier is a former KKK (Ku Klux Klan) leader and a Vietnam War veteran. Frazier was known for his anti-Semitic and white supremacist views. All three people he killed identified as Christians. Prosecutors plan to ask for the death penalty.
Alabama recently failed to pass a bill which would keep the names of those who supply lethal injection drugs secret. Some fear this means that Alabama will resume executions using the electric chair. Others are hopeful that a bill can be passed next year which would allow suppliers of lethal injection drugs to remain secret.
Both the House and the Senate in Tennessee have passed separate measures that would allow executions to be carried out through electrocution, should lethal injection drugs be unavailable. The two separate measures must be reconciled with each other before going into effect.
The Department of Corrections in Wyoming is asking state legislatures to consider alternative execution methods to lethal injection, due to the scarcity of the necessary drugs. Earlier this year, the legislature rejected a bill which would have specified the use of a firing squad if lethal injection drugs were unavailable. Wyoming currently has one inmate on death row.
Vietnam: Forty-one-year-old American Jason Dinh has been sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle 2.2 pounds of heroin out of the country. He was arrested in Ho Chi Minh airport last June. Jason was allegedly hired and paid $30,000 to smuggle the heroin.