August 3, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 31
China: Fifty-three-year-old Liu Yongbiao has been sentenced to death for the murder of four individuals during a robbery in 1995. Following the murders, police had no suspects of leads due to the lack of records and surveillance at the house. Liu went on to become an award-winning author, using the crime as his inspiration. Eventually, DNA evidence led police the murderer, and his accomplice. Both were sentenced to death. In an interview, Liu said the crime has haunted him since he committed it and that he deserved to “die 100 times” for what he did.
Egypt: Seventy-five individuals have been sentenced to death for participating in a 2013 sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo. The sit-in was in support of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and only ended in violence with over 600 people being killed. The 75 individuals were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has since been declared a terrorist group. Only 44 of the 75 are currently in prison. The remaining 31 are still at large.
India: The Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament, passed the Criminal Amendment Bill on Monday, July 30, 2018. The bill mandates that those convicted of raping minors under the age of 12 be sentenced to death. Additionally, bail would be denied in cases of rape with a girl younger than 16. The bill must still be considered and passed by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s bicameral Parliament. Some changes already proposed would be adding a witness protection portion to the bill so that victims will be safe from retaliation when they name their rapist.
Iran: On Friday, July 27, 2018, Jahangir Nojavan was executed by hanging at Urmia Central Prison. He was executed on drug related charges.
Iraq: A man, identified only as al-Muhajir, has been sentenced to death for participating in the murder of Yezidis (Ezidis) in Nineveh Province. The man was a member of the Islamic State when he participated in the murder of civilians in Sinjar. He also participated in fighting in Mosul.
Palestine: On the Gaza Strip, a court has sentenced two individuals to death by hanging for participating in a murder. The two individuals sentenced to death have been identified by initials only. Both are from Gaza City.
United States of America: Thirty-one-year-old Travis Mullis was sentenced to death in Texas for the 2011 stomping of his 3-month-old child to death in January 2008. Mullis fled the state, eventually turning himself in to the police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also confessed to the crime. Now, Mullis has fired his attorneys and is waiving his appeals. He has stated publicly that he wants to be executed as soon as possible.
During his time as Governor of Ohio, John Kasich has issued a number of death penalty commutations. During the two terms he spent as governor, Kasich commuted the death sentences of seven men, including two earlier this year. A total of 15 execution took place while he was governor.
Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Witt, a former Senior Airman, has been resentenced by a military court to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Andrew was convicted of the murder of a fellow Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsik and his wife, Jamie, in Georgia. He was initial sentenced to death in 2005. During his retrial, Andrew’s attorney presented evidence of a traumatic brain injury that Andrew suffered shortly before the murders, as well as, his good behavior since being incarcerated. Additionally, Andrew provided a statement apologizing for his crime and expressing remorse. Andrew also received a dishonorable discharged from the Air Force as part of his sentence.