March 25, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 13
Belarus: The only member nation of the European Union to maintain capital punishment is willing to discuss the abolishment of capital punishment, but without any obligations. President Alexander Lukashenko has advocated for the use of capital punishment many times throughout the years and polls in the nation indicate that the people do not want capital punishment abolished.
Cameroon: A military court has sentenced to death 89 Boko Haram insurgents for their roles in terror attacks in the northern part of the country. The 89 insurgents were among nearly 1,000 convicted by the military court. To combat increasing terrorism in the nation, an anti-terrorism law, allowing the death penalty, was approved in 2014. There is a fear that such harsh sentences will spark violent retaliation.
Indonesia: The nation has announced that it has no plans to abolish the death penalty for drug crimes. Last year, 12 foreigns were executed for drug related crimes, which sparked international protests and calls for the abolishment of capital punishment in the nation. The country’s foreign minister has stated that the nation will continue to use capital punishment as a deterrent for drug smuggling.
Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo has announced that the nation is likely to soon carry out another wave of executions. He has not announced who is likely to be executed, although many will likely have been convicted on drug related crimes. Two waves of executions were carried out last year, in January and April. Prasetyo has stated that bad weather has hindered the nation’s ability to carry out executions.
Japan: The Kobe District Court has sentenced to death 49-year-old Yasuhiro Kimino, who has been convicted of murdering and dismembering a 6-year-old girl whom he lured into his home by asking her to sit for a painting. After killing the girl, Yashurio dismembered the body, placing the parts in plastic bags and disposing of the bags. The girl was reported missing on September 11, 2014, and her body was found on September 23.
Maldives: President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has spoken out in favor of implementing the deaht penalty in the nation, saying it is the only way to bring stability and harmony to the nation. Legislators are currently working at drafting a law on the death penalty.
Saudi Arabia: Abdullah al-Harbi has been executed in the kingdom. The execution was not carried out in public and the method used to carry out the execution was not specified. Abdullah was convicted of murder. He is the 76th individuals to be executed so far this year.
United States of America: Adam Kelly Ward was executed by the state of Texas on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Adam was pronounced dead at 6:34 pm CDT, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary. He was 33 years of age. Adam was convicted of murdering 46-year-old Code Enforcement Officer Michael “Pee Wee” Walker on June 13, 2005, in Commerce, Texas. To read more about Adam, click here.
Following Florida’s necessary change of how it sentences inmates to death, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that sentencing trials already in progress will follow the new procedure. Questions, however, remain regarding inmates already sentenced to death. The court also ruled that those in the midst of the sentencing process when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Florida’s death sentencing process unconstitutional, were not eligible to have the possibility of the sentence of death removed from their cases.
In January of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Florida’s death sentencing process was unconstitutional. This ruling inspired Alabama inmates to appeal to the Supreme Court that their state’s executions process was also unconstitutional, as Alabama’s is similar to Florida’s. The first case to reach the Supreme Court of the United States was that of Clayton Shanklin, however, the High Court refused to review the case. According to Alabama’s Attorney General Luther Strange, this “establishes, yet again, that Alabama capital sentencing system is constitutional.” Attorneys for the state have argued repeatedly that there is a key difference between Alabama and Florida and that difference is what makes Alabama’s sentencing procedure lawful.