March 17, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 11
Iran: An unnamed man and women, one an Iranian national and the other an US-Iranian dual national, were sentenced to death for founding a “cult” and promoting moral corruption. The two individuals ran an art gallery in Tehran and were known to associate with foreign diplomates. They were accused of holding “mixed parties” with “alcoholic beverages” encouraging the use of such vices, and “exhibiting and selling obscene images.” Alcohol is illegal in the nation.
On Saturday, March 11, 207, Manouchehr Abbkhiz was executed by hanging at Chahabar Prison. He was executed on drug related charges.
On Sunday, March 12, 2017, three prisoners - Yar Mohammad Reigi, Ismael Reigi, and Rahim Reigi - were executed by hanging at Zahedan Central Prison. All were executed on drug related charges.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, four individuals, Chengiz Badozadeh, Akram Hassanpour, Vahed Hamedi, and Kiumars Freydan, were executed by hanging at Darya, in northwestern Iran. The crimes of each individual was not reported, however, at least one was convicted and executed on drug related charges.
Malaysia: Two brothers, 40-year-old Suthar and 45-year-old Rames Batumalai, were executed by hanging on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at Kajang Prison. The execution was carried out two days early, before their application of clemency had been considered. According to Amnesty International, this is a violation of international law. The two brothers were convicted of killing Krishnan Raman on February 4, 2006.
Pakistan: Two men associated with the Pakistani Taliban, and a third man associated with Islamic extremist group Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami, was executed by hanging in a central Pakistani prison. The execution was carried out on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Sahiwal, at a high security prison.
On Thursday, March 16, 2017, Muhammad Gulzar, a former police officer, was executed by hanging at Central Jail Gujranwala. Gulzar was convicted in 2003 of the murder of Muhammad Shafiq, Irfan Sultan, and Muhammad Sultan on May 20, 2002. The three men murdered Gulzar’s brother.
United States of America: On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, James Bigby was executed by the state of Texas. He was pronounced dead at 6:31 pm CDT. James was convicted of the murder of 26-year-old Michael Trekell and Michael’s four-month-old son Jayson. James is also accused of killing Calvin Wesley Crane and Frank “Bubba” Johnson. Bigby also threatened the judge with a gun during his trial. Read more about James and his case here.
Gary Otte was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled to June 13, 2017. Gary has been convicted of the murder of 61-year-old Robert Wasilkowski on February 12, 1992. Gary’s execution was rescheduled due to ongoing legal challenges to Ohio execution process. Click here to read more about Gary and his case.
On Monday, March 13, 2017, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that aims to fix capital sentencing in the state. In the new bill, a jury must unanimously agree to sentence a convicted individuals to death. Perviously, an unanimous jury was not required, however, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional. For nearly a year, death penalty cases in Florida have been halted. This bill should allow the cases to resume.
Prison officials in Arkansas has stated that they have sufficient execution drugs to carry out all eight scheduled executions next month. Doses of one of their drugs expired in January of 2017, however, they have been able to acquire a new supply, although officials have not stated from where. State laws protect the identities of those who supply execution drugs.