International Death Penalty News 2022
January 28, 2022
The Bombay High Court commuted the death sentences of two serial killers, sisters Renuka Shinde and Seema Gavit. Their sentences have been commuted to life in prison. The court made their ruling after determining that the delay in carrying out the executions violated the rights of the sisters. The two sisters were convicted in 2001 of kidnapping 14 children, and murdering five of them, between 1990 and 1996. The children were used to steal from others.
On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, a man was executed at Shiraz Central prison. Executions are traditionally carried out by hanging. The man has been identified as Sajad. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. He was arrested over three years ago after a fight in which police were present. During the fight, a man was shot, allegedly with a bullet from a pistol. Sajad was arrested while holding an AK47, and charged with the crime, despite the different types of bullets. He insisted upon his innocence until his death. Sajad’s execution has not been reported by state media or officials. Iran’s legal code makes no distinction between murder and accidentally killing someone. Anyone convicted of murder is sentenced to death.
On Friday, January 19, 2022, three men were executed at Ilam Central Prison. The three men have been identified as Mohammad Kariminejad, Hamed Manouchehri, and Sobhan Shohani. All three were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Iran’s legal code makes no distinction between murder and accidentally killing someone. Anyone convicted of murder is sentenced to death.
On Friday, January 19, 2022, two men were executed at Khorramabad Central Prison. The two men have been identified as Eghbal Mastoufi and Houshang Khan Mohammadi. Both men were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Iran’s legal code makes no distinction between murder and accidentally killing someone. Anyone convicted of murder is sentenced to death. Their executions have not been announced by state media or officials.
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, 55-year-old Ali Yazdani was executed at Rasht Central Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Ali’s execution has not been announced by state media or officials.
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Afghan national Eshagh Mohammadamin was executed in Isfahan Central Prison. He was arrested for shooting a soldier while carrying drugs. His execution has not been announced by state media or officials.
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, three Baluch men were executed in Zabol Prison. The three men have been identified as Mohammad Amin Dehmardeh, Parviz Akbarirad, and Jamaleddin Gargij. They were sentenced to death on drug-related charges. These executions have not been announced by state media or officials.
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, six men were executed in Zahedan Central Prison. Five of the men, Hosseinali Khomr, Abdolhamid Esmailzehi, Dadshah Sarani, Ataollah Barahouyi and Mehrollah Dehmardeh, known as Mehrab Shahouzi, were Baluch. The sixth, Khodanazar Kakar, was an Afghan national. Four of the men were convicted on drug-related charges. One of the men was convicted of moharebeh, that is, enmity against god. The sixth man was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. These executions have not been announced by state media or officials.
Michael Odhiambo has been sentenced to death by hanging. Michael is convicted of using his motorcycle to block another vehicle and rob its occupants of their mobile phones, cash, and personal effects. During the robbery, Michael threatened violence against the victims. The crime occurred on December 30, 2015. Michael had an accomplice to the crime, who disappeared after being released on bond.
On Friday, January 21, 2022, Phyo Zeyar Thaw, a member of the party overthrown during a military coup in February of 2021, was sentenced to death. The sentencing was handed down by a military tribunal. Thaw was arrested in November and convicted of terror offenses. A prominent democracy activist, Kyaw Min Yu has also been sentenced to death on terror-related charges. Since the coup, numerous arrests have been made and several people have been sentenced to death.
A special anti-terrorism court has given four death sentences to Manan alias Bengali. Manan is convicted of killing his wife and three children. He has also been fined. Two others in the case were acquitted of all charges.
Papua New Guinea
Thirty years after reintroducing the death penalty into law, the island nation has repealed it. Offenses for which a person could previously be sentenced to death, such as treason, piracy, murder, and aggravated rape, will now be punishable by life in prison without parole, or with parole possible after 30 years. The last execution in Papua New Guinea occurred in November 1954. Capital punishment was abolished in 1970, but brought back in 1991, although no executions have occurred since its reintroduction. Attempts were made to begin carrying out executions in 2013, by expanding the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty, however, those attempts were ultimately unsuccessful. The 40 prisoners on death row will have their sentences reduced to life in prison.
Fifty-one-year-old Huang could be sentenced to death for starting an apartment fire that resulted in the deaths of 46 people. Huang allegedly set fire to the 13-story dilapidated apartment building to get back at her boyfriend, who she believed was cheating on her. Huang had been indicted on murder and arson charges. Allegedly she has shown no remorse for her actions.
United States of America
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Donald Grant was executed in Oklahoma. Forty-six-year-old Donald was executed for murdering 30-year-old Brenda McElyea and 42-year-old Suzette Smith on July 18, 2001, in Del City, Oklahoma. Brenda and Suzette were employees at a motel Donald decided to rob to obtain bail money for his girlfriend.
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Matthew Reeves was executed by the state of Alabama. Forty-four-year-old Mathew was executed for murdering 38-year-old Willie Johnson on November 27, 1996, in Selma, Alabama. In the days leading up to his execution, Matthew was granted a stay of execution. Ultimately, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the stay, allowing the execution to proceed several hours after it was scheduled to begin.
On Friday, January 21, 2022, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the death sentences for Reginald and Jonathan Carr. The brothers murdered five people (Ann Walenta, Brad Heyka, Heather Muller, Aaron Sander, and Jason Befort) and severely injured two others. The multiple crimes occurred between December 7-14, 2000, in Wichita. Reginald and Jonathan were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death in October 2002. Upon appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court vacated their death sentences, concluding that their 8th Amendment rights to individualized sentencing were violated. The state appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled their rights had not been violated and reinstated their death sentences. The case was sent back to the Kansas Supreme Court, which reviewed over 20 issues not addressed by the Supreme Court of the United States, resulting in affirming the death sentences for the Carr brothers.
In 2018, the Alabama legislature approved the use of nitrogen gas for executions. Now, a lawyer representing the state attorney general’s office announced that while no official date can yet be given, it is expected that the state will be ready to begin carrying out executions by nitrogen gas “within months.” Execution by nitrogen gas would slowly replace the oxygen in a room with nitrogen gas, eventually killing the inmate. No execution has been carried out using nitrogen gas in the United States. After the bill’s passage in 2018, death row inmates were able to “opt into” execution by nitrogen instead of lethal injection. Oklahoma and Mississippi also allow execution by nitrogen, however, neither state is equipped to carry out such an execution.
The death penalty is being sought against 25-year-old Darius Sessoms in North Carolina. Darius is accused of murdering five-year-old Cannon Hinnant, who was riding his bike outside his dad’s home when he was shot in the head. The cause of the shooting is unclear. Darius has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include possession of a firearm by a felon and murder. Cannon’s two young siblings saw him get shot.
Prosecutors in Nebraska are seeking the death penalty for 24-year-old Roberto Silva Jr. Roberto is accused of killing two fast-food employees, 22-year-old Nathan Pastrana and 28-year-old Ryan Helbert. Two other employees were injured during the shooting on November 21, 2020, outside a Sonic restaurant in Bellevue, Nebraska. Three other employees were also present. They were not injured.
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