September 21, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 38
Barbados: The House of Assembly has passed a bill which abolishes the mandatory death sentence for murder. All 11 inmates on death row for murder will now be resentenced. They can be resentenced to death, as capital punishment is still permissible on the island.
Indonesia: Prosecutors have demanded that 32-year-old Samsul Anwar be sentenced to death for dealing drugs. Samsul was arrested in December of last year when the police raided the MG International Club in Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta. Four others were also arrested, however Samsul is suspected to be the ringleader. The owner of the club, Agung Ashari, is on the run. Police seized liquid meth and found rooms where the drugs appeared to be produced and bottled. The four others arrested were 43-year-old Wastam, 23-year-old Ferdiansyah, 40-year-old Dedi Wahyudi, 45-year-old Mislah, and 40-year-old Fadly.
Iran: On Saturday, September 15, 2018, 31-year-old Aref Rigi was executed by hanging at Zahedan Central Prison. He was convicted of “trafficking, possessing, and selling drugs and carrying out armed action.” Aref had denied participating in armed action during all stages of his trial and appeals.
Iraq: On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an alleged deputy leader of the Islamic State, has been sentenced to death. Abu was captured in Turkey, and brought to Iraq for trial.
Myanmar: Forty-year-old Soe Lwin, and 29-year-old Aik Pe were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old high school student in December 2017. The nation has not carried out an execution in decades, although the courts continue to sentence people to death. Both men were arrested shortly after the girl’s burned body was found and identified. Executions are carried out by hanging.
United States of America: The Supreme Court of Alabama has reversed the death sentence of Anthony Lane. In 2011, Anthony was convicted of 2009 deadly robbery of 57-year-old Frank Wright. Anthony’s case revolved around whether or not he has an intellectual disability. His IQ has been tested at 70, which is borderline for determining intellectual disability. The Supreme Court of Alabama remanded the case to trial court to sentence Anthony to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Rowland Andrew Hedgepeth has died while on death row in North Carolina. He was 67 years of age. Rowland died of natural causes and resided in the healthcare section of the prison at the time of his death. Rowland was convicted of the murder of Richard Casey in 1987. Rowland also attempted to kill his estranged wife, Beverly Hedgepeth.
Jeffrey Havard, a death row inmate in Mississippi, has received a new sentencing hearing. Jeffrey was convicted of the 2002 murder of 6-month-old Chloe Madison Britt. During his initial trial, he was convicted of murdering Chloe after it was determined she died of shaken baby syndrome. Jeffrey has insisted that he accidentally dropped Chloe and that she hit her head on the toilet. Questions have now arisen about the science used to determine that Chloe had died of shaken baby syndrome.
Anthony Garcia has been sentenced to death in Nebraska. Anthony has been convicted of murdering 11-year-old Thomas Hunter, and housekeeper Shirlee Sherman in 2008, and Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary, in 2013. Anthony’s attorneys argued that Anthony is mental ill and should not be sentenced to death.
Thirty-five-year-old Juan David Ortiz, a US Border Patrol Agent, could be sentenced to death for the murder of four women and the abduction of a fifth. All of the women, believed to be sex workers, were taken into a desolate area outside of Laredo, Texas, and shot with a handgun. The case is still being investigated and evidence collected. Prosecutors announced that if the evidence supports a capital murder charge, than they could seek the death penalty.
Zimbabwe: Although the nation’s unemployment is above 90 percent, the government is having difficulty filling the position of hangman. In an interview, Ziyambi Ziyambi, the minster of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs, confirmed that the nation did not currently have a hangman and that no one seemed to want the job. The current president is opposed to the death penalty, although it remains permissible under the Zimbabwean Constitution.