September 8, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 36
India: Tahir Merchant and Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan have each been sentenced to death for their part in the 1993 Mumbai bombing that killed 271 individuals and injured 713 others. Tahir and Feroz were considered “main conspirators” in the case, along with one other, who has since died.
Iran: On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, Mohammad Mirzaei was executed by hanging at Parsilon Prison of Khoram Abad in western Iran. Mohammad was executed for murder.
On Sunday, September 3, 2017, two prisoners were executed by hanging in the central prison of Tabriz, in northwestern, Iran. Before being executed, both men - Darush Rashidi and Kazem Shiri - received 100 lashes as part of their punishment. Both were convicted of rape. On the same day, 50-year-old Adel Karim was executed by hanging at Ardebil prison in northwestern Iran. Adel was convicted of murder.
On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, an unnamed prisoner was executed by public hanging at 22 Bahman Square in Ilam. The man was convicted of murder. Additionally, another unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging at Ardabil Central prison. He was also convicted of murder. Two others were also executed on the same day at Tabriz Central Prison. The men were not named, although it was reported that they were convicted of rape.
North Korea: Two South Korean journalists and their publishers have been sentenced to death by a North Korean court for “seriously insulting the dignity” of North Korea by reviewing a book and interviewing its British authors about life in North Korea. The book is based on interviews by North Korean defectors, diplomates, and traders. The court called the actions by the South Korean journalists and publishers a “smear campaign,” and that they have no rights to any appeals.
Philippines: Murder charges have been filed the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation against four police officers. The two officers are accused of murdering 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City. The three officers directly involved in the shooting have been relieved of their posts and placed in police custody. The officers allege that Kian shot at them first, however video footage and witness accounts differ from the officer’s stories. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has promised justice for Kian. President Duterte campaigned on the promise of removing drugs from the streets and has allowed the police, and public, great leeway when it comes to shooting drug dealers.
United States of America: Juan Castillo was scheduled to be executed in Texas on Thursday, September 7, 2017. His execution was delayed, at the request of Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. Bexar County District Attorney's Office was granted their requested that Juan's execution be stayed due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Harvey hit the Houston area particularly hard, with torrential rain and flooding. In their request, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office noted that several members of Juan's legal defense team lived and worked in the Houston area. A judge, in granting the request, has also rescheduled Juan's execution for Thursday, December 14, 2017. Read more about Juan and his case here.
Michael Travaglia, on death row in Pennsylvania, has died in prison. Michael was 59 years of age. He died on Monday, September 4, 2017, at Washington Hospital in Washington, Pennsylvania. His cause of death is reported to be natural causes. Michale was convicted, along with John Lesko, of the murders of Peter Levato on December 27, 1979, Marlene Sue Newcomer on January 1, 1980, William Nicholls on January 2, 1980, and rookie Apollo police officer Leonard Miller on January 3, 1980. Michael and John, dubbed the “kill-for-thrill” murderers, were both sentenced to death. John remains on death row.
Christopher Adam Geier, a death row inmate in California, died on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. He was 49 years of age. His cause of the death is unknown at this time. Christopher collapsed in the recreation yard at the San Quentin State Prison earlier that day. He was sentenced to death on October 20, 1995. Christopher was convicted of the rape and murder of military police officer Erin Tynan, and for the murder of Curtis James Dean, who was killed in front of his young children. Christopher is also convicted for conspiring to murder Gail LeBouef. Gail survived being shot in the face.