June 17, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 25
Afghanistan: Allegedly, distant relatives of 21-year-old Fazl Ahmad are suspected of killing a former Taliban commander. Militants retaliated by dragging Fazl from his house and cutting out his eyes. While he was still alive, they began skinning him, until his heart was exposed. He was then thrown off a cliff. The Taliban denied responsibility, despite video evidence.
China: Sixty-five-year-old Fan Jieming was executed for killing six and injuring four with a gun and an iron pipe in Shanghai in 2013. Four of the six killed were co-workers of Fan with whom he had disagreements
Indonesia: Despite President Joko Widodo’s support for the death penalty, he supports the honoring of an agreement with Australia, which guaranteed that Jessica Wongso, an Australian national, will not receive the death penalty. Jessica is accused of murdering her friend Mirna Salihin with cyanide. The Australian Federal Police assisted in the arrest of Jessica, after being assured she would not be sentenced to death.
United States of America: Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old accused of the massacre at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina that left nine people dead, has waived his right to trial by jury, meaning it would be up to a judge to decide his conviction and sentencing. However, the federal government has noted that they do not consent to waiving the trial by jury and US Judge Richard Gergel agreed that Dylann must face a trial by jury.
Forty-five-year-old Pablo Ibar, a Spaniard, has been removed from Florida’s death row and placed in a regular prison. His death sentence was vacated earlier this year by the Florida Supreme Court. Pablo has been granted a new trial as none of his DNA was found on the shirt used by the killer at the crime scene. Additionally, video evidence is grainy and unclear, making it difficult to clearly identify the killer. Pablo plans to ask to be released on bail while awaiting his new trial.
There are now seven death row inmates in Oklahoma that have completed their appeals and are awaiting execution dates. Normally in Oklahoma, when an inmate completes their appeals, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asks for an execution date from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. However, all executions in Oklahoma are currently delayed until the Department of Corrections completes its report on the lethal injection process in the state. The investigation was requested when it was discovered that the wrong drugs had been delivered for an execution. Further investigation revealed that an earlier execution (which occurred normally) also used these wrong drugs.
Jose Martinez has been re-sentenced to life in prison after being deemed mentally incompetent by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Jose had been sentenced to death for murdering 68-year-old Esperanza Palomo and her 4-year-old granddaughter Amanda in Hidalgo, County.
State Representative Paul Ray, of Utah, wants to expedite executions in the state. All but one death row inmate has been there for over 15 years. Representative Paul wants to follow the example of Texas and Virginia, in which the average inmate is on death row for approximately 10 years before being executed. However, execution are currently on hold in the state while an investigation and report are completed for the governor.