October 31, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 44
Afghanistan: Sergeant Hekmatullah was convicted of murdering three Australian military members and has been sentenced to death. The sergeant, described as remorseless, has had his last appeal rejected. The murders occurred in August of 2012, while the three men were relaxing on a remote patrol base.
China: The government of China is considering reducing the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty. China currently has 55 crimes eligible for the death penalty and is considering reducing that number by nine. In 2011, 13 crimes were dropped from being death penalty eligible.
In 1996, a 19-year-old man was executed for rape and murder. Recent evidence suggests that he may have been innocent, as another serial killer has confessed to the murder. The family have been petitioning the government, asking for a retrial so that his name can be cleared.
India: The nation’s Supreme Court has rejected a plea from 42-year-old serial killer Surender Koli to review his case. President Pranab Mukherjee has also rejected a request for mercy.
Iran: Twenty-six-year-old college student and decorator Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged on Saturday, October 25, 2014, in a prison outside of Tehran. She was executed for murdering former intelligence official Morteza Abdolai Sarbandi, who was trying to rape Reyhaneh. As Reyhaneh was defending herself, she injured Morteza with a knife. He later died in a hospital. Reyhaneh was arrested, held in solitary confinement, and, reportedly, did not have access to a lawyer. Her execution has drawn international outrage and there were several petitions on various social media sites to stop her execution. Reyhaneh was 19 at the time of the attempted rape. She was executed by hanging.
On Friday, October 26, 2014, a 35-year-old man, identified by initials only, was executed by hanging. He was convicted of murdering a friend due to moral issues.
On Saturday, October 27, 2014, five men, identified by initials only, were executed by hanging in the prison of Rasht, in the Gilan Province in Northern Iran. All were executed on drug related charges.
Saudi Arabia: A Saudi national, Mohammed bin Noun bin Nasser Al-Dhufairi, and a Pakistani national, Mohammed Gul Rahma, have been executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. Both were executed on drug related charges.
South Korea: The captain of the ferry boat that sunk in April 2014, killing 304 individuals, mostly high school students, could face the death penalty. Prosecutors are asking that 69-year-old Lee Jun-seok be executed because he “did nothing to help rescue his passengers.” They are also seeking life imprisonment for three other crew members, and various prison sentences for the remaining crew members.
Nigeria: A 14-year-old child bride, Wasila Tasi’u is currently on trial for murdering her 35-year-old husband by putting rat poison in his food. If convicted, she could face the death penalty, according to Nigerian prosecutors. This case brings to light the complicated nature of underage marriages, and consent, in the nation, which is not entirely Muslim. In the northern part of the nation, Islamic law operates along side of secular law, although there is not clear rule on how the two are blended. Christians in the South have called for Wasila’s immediate release, saying she is a rape victim.
United States of America: On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, Miguel Paredes was executed by the state of Texas. Miguel was 32 years of age. He was executed for his part in a 2002 triple murder. Read his story here.
Mark Christeson was scheduled to be executed shortly after midnight on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, in Missouri. His execution was stayed by the Supreme Court of the United States due to a legal representation issue. Read the full story here.
Following a ruling last year by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, Virginia Department of Corrections must assess the necessity of holding death row inmates in solitary confinement on a case by case basis. This decision will be reviewed by a federal appeals court.