February 9, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 06
Afghanistan: Three unnamed men were executed by hanging at Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison on Monday, February 5, 2018. They were executed for the kidnapping and murder of a 12-year-old boy two year ago. They held the boy for ransom before brutally killing him.
China: On Friday, February 9, 2018, 36-year-old Mo Huanjing was sentenced to death for setting fire to an apartment and killing a mother and her three children. Mo was a live-in nanny for the family. She had lost a considerable amount of money to gambling and hoped that the mother, Zhu Xiaozhen would lend her the money out of gratitude if she saved them from the fire. However, the fire grew out of her control and they died from carbon monoxide poisoning. There was also significant property damage. Mo had previously stolen several thousand dollars worth of jewelry from the family and borrowed money.
Iran: On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, Mohammad Karim was executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. He was executed for murdering a relative during a fight. Mohammad claimed the death was an accident and that he was acting in self-defense. Allegedly, two others were also executed on Wednesday, however, there have been no official reports.
Japan: Cult leader Shoko Asahara was sentenced to death in 2006 for a sarin nerve gas attack in a Tokyo subway on March 20, 1995, resulting in 12 deaths and over 5,000 injuries, some of whom are still bed ridden today. Shoko was a leading member of the Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth). He, along with 12 other cult leaders were arrested and sentenced to death for masterminding and carrying out the attack. Their trial lasted over eight years. Now, the Supreme Court has cleared the path for his execution, along with the other leaders. No execution date has yet been given, however, the date is often not announced until after the execution takes place. Shoko has never admitted to the crime, apologized, or explained his actions.
Pakistan: In April of 2013, Abdul Wali Khan University student, 23-year-old Mashal Khan, was stripped, beaten, and shot by a gang of other students before being thrown from the 2nd floor of his dorm. Thirty-two were arrested in relation with the attack. The courts have now sentenced one individuals to death, five to life in imprison, and acquitted 26 others. Abdul was accused of blasphemy by those who killed him, as he spoke out against rising fees and alleged corruption at the university. A report later concluded that he was falsely accused.
United States of America: Raymond Tibbetts' execution has been rescheduled from Tuesday, February 13, 2018, to Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Raymond was granted a temporary reprieve by Ohio Governor John Kasich. Governor Kasich granted the reprieve after receiving a letter from one of the original jurors at Raymond's trial. In the letter, the juror states that they jury was not given adequate information about Raymond's "truly terrible upbringing," which could have swayed some of the jury members to vote against the death penalty. The juror further elaborated that he was shocked to read in Raymond's recent clemency request that, while in foster care, Raymond and his siblings weren't fed properly, tied to a single bed at night, beaten with spatulas, and burned on the heating register. Governor Kasich has asked the Ohio Parole Board to consider the letter. The Board had previously voted 11-1 against recommending clemency. Read more about Raymond and his crime here.
Attempts to bring back the death penalty in New Mexico have ended for this legislative session. Republican lawmaker were attempting to bring back the death penalty for those who murder children, police officers, and correctional officers. The legislative committee considering the bill voted 3-2 against moving the bill forward. Those in favor of the bill point to recent, brutal child murders in the past few years, including one recently. Opponents of the bill say it is too likely that an innocent person will be convicted and executed, pointing at a lawmaker’s son who was wrongly convicted.
Raymond Wallace Shuman, a former death row inmate, has died at Carson Tahoe Medical Center in Carson City, Nevada on Friday, February 2, 2018. Raymond was 83 years of age. He was first sent to prison for murder in 1958, with a life sentence. In 1973, Raymond killed another prisoner and was automatically sentenced to death. His death sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1987, and Raymond was resentenced to a second life term. Raymond’s cause of death was not reported and an autopsy will be conducted.
Stanley Lamar Griffen has been removed from death row in Texas. Stanley was sentenced to death in 2012, for the murder of 29-year-old Jennifer Hailey and for stabbing her 11-year-old son. His death sentenced was overturned in 2016, due to a lack of evidence. He has been resentenced to life in prison.