Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IDPN 2021

International Death Penalty News 2021, Issue 31: Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Vietnam

July 30, 2021
IDPN 2021  Issue 31

Afghanistan: During the 20 years the United States military spent in the nation, Afghan nationals frequently work with the United State military as interpreters.  Now, members of the Taliban are targeting these men, and killing them.  Sohail Pardis worked as an interpreter for just over a year.  While driving to pick up his sister to celebrate the end of Ramadan, he was stopped and beheaded by Taliban militants.  He had previously received death threats and was accused of being a spy for America.  With US troop withdrawal, the lives of these men and their families are under threat, with over 18,000 having applied for Special Immigrant Visas.

China: Yan Haoji has been sentenced to death by Shanghai court.  He was convicted of murdering his wife and burning her body because she refused to give him money to pay off his gambling debt.

Egypt: On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, the Egyptian Criminal Court in Luxor sentenced an unnamed man to death for killing his wife by burying her alive.  The man attempted to strangle her before burying her. 

India: The Patna high court has acquitted Balwant Singh, who was sentenced to death for raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl.  Two others in the same case, Chotu Singh and Anand Pandey, were also acquitted of their life sentences.  The men were acquitted because police never visited the scene of the crime.  The father of the girl accused the three men on February 5, 2018, of gang-raping and killing his daughter.  Inconsistencies were also discovered in the father’s statements, as well as the police and other witnesses.

Iran: On Saturday, July 17, 2021, an unnamed prison was reportedly executed at an unknown location.  The man is believed to have been convicted of stabbing another man to death in a fight two years ago, and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Iran does not make any distinctions between murder, manslaughter, or self defense.

On Sunday, July 18, 2021, four men were executed by hanging at Isfahan Central Prison.  They have been identified as 60-year-old Ali Bandehparvizi, 37-year-old Javad Karimian, Nasir Ahmad Baluch and Mehrdad Golshani.  All were convicted on drug related charges.

On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Hossein Abdollahzadeh was executed by hanging in Shiraz Central Prison.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas.

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, Ebrahim Shehbakhsh was executed by hanging at Isfahan Central Prison.  He was convicted and executed on drug related charges.  Ebrahim was allegedly a juvenile at the time of his arrest.

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, two cousins, Amir and Sohrab Heydari, were executed by hanging at Yazd Central Prison.  They were convicted and executed on drug related charges, after being arrested four years ago.  Their execution has not been announced by official state media.

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, Bakhtiar Salemi was executed in Shirvan Prison, after being sentenced to death four years ago.  Bakhtiar was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas.  He has insisted upon his innocence.  His execution has not been announced by official state media.

On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, Esmail Fatehi, Mansour Mohammadi and Mozafar were executed by hanging at Qazvin Central Prison.  They were all convicted on drug related charges.  None of the execution have been reported by state media.

Kenya: Forty-year-old Julius Odhiambo has been sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering his employer, Flora Nyangweso, in Homa Bay County.  Odhiambo killed Flora on August 18, 2013, and then disappeared for three years before he was found and arrested.  Odhiambo has denied committing the murder.

Malaysia: A federal court has affirmed the death sentence of 37-year-old Fairon Azman Amiron, a former security guard who was convicted of shooting a cashier during a robbery five years ago.  Fairon was convicted in 2017.  He can still seek a pardon for his crime.

Nigeria: On Thursday, July 28, 2021, 27-year-old Sylvester Emmanuel Ime was sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of armed robbery.  On December 18, 2016, Ime and five others who have not yet been arrested, stole two Mack trucks from the premise of Dam Dave Company.  Ime confessed to the crime and gave the names of his coconspirators.

North Korea: Reports from the hermit kingdom are indicating the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is planning to carry out a mass execution of dozens of defectors that were captured by the Chinese and returned to North Korea.  So far, approximately 50 refugees who fled North Korea have been returned, including soldiers and air force pilots.

Saudi Arabia: On Thursday, July 29, 2021, it was announced that an execution for a man belonging to the Islamic State terrorist group has been carried out by beheading in Jazan.  The man was identified as Saudi national Mohammed bin Ibrahim bin Ali al-Rifai.  As a member of the Islamic State, he attacked a bank in Jazan, where he killed at least two people, injured two others, and held several others hostages.

Sierra Leone: There are currently 99 people on death row in Sierra Leone, however they are unlikely to ever be executed, as the president of the nation has promised to sign a bill that has recently been passed, abolishing the death penalty in the nation.  As part of the bill, all capital punishment will be replaced with life in prison, or a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.  The last execution in Sierra Leone was in 1998.  Death sentences are frequently commuted.  

Trinidad and Tobago: On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, Alvaro Ayers, also known as Josey Wales, was sentenced to death by hanging.  He was convicted of a 2009 double murder of two teenage boys, 16-year-old Kolen Salandy and 15-year-old Rondell Thomas.  Ayers has insisted upon his innocence.

United States of America: Zane Michael Floyd was scheduled to be executed this week in Nevada, however his execution was stayed over concerns regarding the drugs the state planned to use to execute him.  Forty-five-year-old Zane is convicted of murdering 40-year-old Thomas Michael Darnell, 41-year-old Carlos “Chuck” Leos, 31-year-old Dennis Troy Sargeant, and 60-year-old Lucille Alice Tarantino inside a supermarket in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 3, 1999. 

On Friday, July 23, 2021, 28-year-old Brandon Bradley was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, in Florida.  He was convicted of the 2012 murder of Deputy Barbara Pill and was facing a death sentence.  However, the jury was unable to agree upon that verdict, with the vote split 10 in favor, two against.

Rodney Alcala has died while on death row in California.  Rodney was 77 years of age and died at a hospital near Corcoran State Prison during the early morning hours of Saturday, July 24, 2021.  Rodney was known as the “Dating Game Killer,” as he took part in dating game television show prior to his arrest.  Rodney was first sentenced to death in 1980, after being convicted of kidnapping and murdering 12-year-old Robin Samsoe in Los Angeles in 1979.  His convicted was eventually overturned by the California Supreme Court.  He was again sentenced to death, however that sentence was also eventually overturned.  Forensic evidence eventually linked him to four other women who were murdered between 1977 and 1979.  In September 1978, Rodney won a date on a dating show, however the woman refused to date him after a back stage conversation in which she found him “creepy.”  Rodney was also convicted of committing two murders in New York in 1971 and 1977.  He received a sentence of 25 years to life for the New York crimes.

On Monday, July 26, 2021, Joseph Smith died while on death row in Florida.  His cause of death has not yet been determined.  Smith was sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in Sarasota, Florida the year before.  Smith was caught on video leading Carlie away from a car wash. 

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Donald R, Millwee died at an outside hospital in California.  He had been on death row in California since 1990, although he had been in prison for longer.  Following Donald’s death, there are now 699 people on death row in California. 

Ronnie Oneal III has been sentenced in Florida to three consecutive life terms, plus 60 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, and their disabled daughter, and attempting to murder his son.  Ronnie was facing the possibility of being sentenced to death.  Ronnie has insisted that he is innocent of the crime.  Ronnie insisted upon representing himself during his trial.

Twenty-two-year-old Robert Aaron Long has pled guilty to murdering four people during a shooting spree at a spas located in Atlanta, Georgia.  The state has recommend that he be sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole, and 35 years for other charges.  During his confession, Robert said he committed the murders due to his sex addiction and with the hopes of killing himself.  Robert could still face the death penalty, as he faces additional charges in other courts.

In August 1987, the home of 85-year-old Edna Laughman was robbed.  Edna, who was home at the time, was raped and murdered.  Police initially arrested a man, Barry Laughman, who spent 16 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him.  Now, DNA evidence has provided a new suspect, 58-year-old Chris Speelman of New Oxford, Pennsylvania. Chris used to live next to the victim, but was never a suspect until DNA confirmed he was an “absolute match.”

Vietnam: On July 13, 2021, 27-year-old Nguyen Kim An escaped from Chi Hoa Prison, where he was on death row.    Chi Hoa Prison is considered to be one of the most high-security prisons in the nation.  Nguyen is only the third person who has broken out of the prison.  He was recaptured three days later.  Nguyen was sentenced to death for murdering a school friend in order to steal his belongings.

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