June 16, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 24
Egypt: The Parliament has, according to Health Minister Ahmed Emad al-Din, approved a law that increases penalties for those convicted of trafficking human organs. Under this new law, those convicted of human organ trafficking can be sentenced to death. Additionally, those who assist in transplanting these organs can receive a jail sentence.
Kuwait: A Court of Appeals has overturned the death sentence for a father and mother who have been convicted of torturing their four-year-old daughter to death, and keeping her body in a freezer. The father has had his sentence reduced to ten years in prison and the mother has been acquitted. According to details that have been released, the father was a drug addict who beat the child in front of his wife and their three other children.
Libya: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of Col. Muammar Gaddafil - the late and deposed leader of the nation - was sentenced, in absentia, to death by a court in Tripoli in 2015. He has now been released from prison, although his location is unknown for security reasons. The government has also offered amnesty to Gaddafi.
Malaysia: Rose Achieng Ojala, a Kenyan, has been sentenced to death for trafficking methamphetamines four years ago. She swallowed 68 capsules and attempted to hide more on her person. She was arrested in 2013, after being observed behaving suspiciously.
Pakistan: An Anti-Terrorism Court has sentenced a 30-year-old to death for sharing offensive content about Islam on social media, specifically for sharing pictures on Facebook. This is the first time an individual has been sentenced to death for online blasphemy.
United States of America: Currently, in the United States, any person over the age of 18 is eligible to receive the death penalty for committing murder. In Lexington, Kentucky, public defender Joanne Lynch is arguing that her client, Travis Bredhold, should not be eligible for the death penalty since he was only 18. Travis is charged with murdering gas station attendant Mukheshbhai Patel, who was attempting to comply with the robbers demand for cash. The attorney argues that research shows individuals brains are not fully developed until their mid-20s, making individuals like her client, less able to control their actions and immature.
After accusations that the Arkansas Department of Corrections has fraudulently purchased execution drugs, the Arkansas State Medical Board began an investigation. That investigation has ended after it was discovered that no licensed doctors in Arkansas were involved. According to the supplier of the execution drugs, the salesman was tricked into providing the drugs, without knowing their intended purpose. The Board found no evidence to support the misconduct claim, however the Board was only authorized to investigate if licensed doctors participated, not the Arkansas Department of Corrections or its officials.
In April, Arkansas carried out four executions in two weeks, including two executions on the same night. Some were concerned that carrying out so many executions in such a short time would lead to pain and suffering during the executions. Official autopsy reports, however, indicate that was not the case. According to the chief medical examiner for the state, nothing in the lab reports from the autopsies would indicate that any of the four individuals executed suffered during their executions. This report, however, will likely not stop questions about pain and suffering during executions, or about the drugs that are used during executions.