International Death Penalty News, 2022, Issue 09: India, Iran, Maldives, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, United States of America
International Death Penalty News 2022
March 4, 2022
On Monday, February 27, 2022, 39-year-old Sanjay Baban Katkar has been sentenced to death for the sexual assault and murder of a two-year-old girl in February 2021. Sanjay kidnapped the girl on February 15, 2021, and her body was discovered the following morning inside a huge concrete pipe. Sanjay alleges he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime and that his life should be spared because he has four children.
The Supreme Court has made psychological evaluations of death row inmates mandatory. The court also ruled that a report on the inmate’s conduct at the time must examine if execution is the only fitting punishment. This ruling expands upon a ruling made nearly 40 years, that only the “rarest of rare” crimes should receive execution as the sentence.
On Monday, February 21, 2022, a 49-year-old man was executed in Kashan Prison. His name was not given. A prosecutor announced the execution, saying the man had been convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, five inmates were executed by hanging in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj. The five prisoners were not identified by name, nor were their crimes reported.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 30-year-old Kurdish prisoner Farshad Farzi was executed by hanging in Ilam Central Prison. He had been in prison for the past eight years. His crime was not reported.
On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, five men were executed in Raji Shahr Prison. All five were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Only two of the men have been identified by name: Hamed Azizi and Mehran Jafari. None of the executions have been reported by state officials or domestic media.
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, 18-year-old Ali Rezaei committed suicide in Lankan Prison. Ali was sentenced to death. His crime was not reported.
On Saturday, February 26, 2022, 55-year-old Hojat Ostad-Asyabi was scheduled to be executed in Ardabil Central Prison. His execution was postponed one month after he experienced a heart attack and collapsed as he was about to be hanged. Hojat was arrested four years ago after murdering his wife. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.
On Sunday, February 27, 2022, Ali Heydar Dehghani was executed in Khorramabad Central Prison. He was 40 years of age. Ali was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the domestic media.
On Sunday, February 27, 2022, Jasem Ghanbari, a Baluch minority, was executed in Jiroft prison. He was 30 years of age. Jasem was arrested for carrying drugs in 2018. He was sentenced to death in 2020. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the domestic media.
For the first time, a foreign national, Shah Alom Mia (Salim), a Bangladeshi national, has been sentenced to death in the Maldives. Salim is convicted of murdering Maldivian businessman, Mahmood Abubakuru. Salim had previously confessed to the crime. He alleges that the murder occurred after Mahmood refused to give money to Salim. He also alleges that “the devil had overcome him” forcing him to commit the crime. Salim has asked for forgiveness. The last execution carried out on the island nation was in 1953.
In mid-January, the daughter of the head of the political department in South Pyongan Province was publicly executed, along with her boyfriend. Both were in their 20s. The couple was convicted of watching and distributing South Korean films, soap operas, and entertainment programs, all of which are against the law in North Korea. It was determined that the young woman was able to get away with her activities because of her high-ranking father, therefore, the girl’s family was sent to a political prison camp. Several others were also arrested immediately after the execution for participating in the distribution or overlooking the illegal distribution. In recent months, North Korea has worked to crack down on foreign media in the country.
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, Zahir Jaffer was sentenced to death for murdering 27-year-old Noor Maqaddam after she rejected his marriage proposal. Zahir is an American national, born to one of the richest families in Pakistan. Noor is the daughter of the former ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan. Thirty-year-old Zahir carried out the murder at his home in Islamabad on July 20, 2021. Security cameras at the home caught Noor’s attempt to escape, however, two staff members prevented her from leaving. The two staff members, Mohammad Iftikhar and Mohammad Jan, have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The day after Russia declared war on Ukraine and invaded, Russia’s rights of representation on the Council of Europe was suspended. Now, some are calling for Russia to resume capital punishment. A moratorium on capital punishment was established by President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. As a member country of the Council of Europe, a nation cannot have the death penalty. Although suspended, Russia remains a member nation so restoring capital punishment would be difficult.
Thirty-four-year-old Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, a Malaysian national, has been on death row for over 10 years. He was scheduled to be executed on November 10, 2021, however, the execution was postponed after he tested positive for COVID-19. Supporters of Nagaenthran claim that he has a low IQ and suffers from an intellectual disability. They have asked that he be shown clemency. Attorneys for Nagaenthran are arguing that his intellectual disability and low IQ should prevent him from being executed, as it would violate international law. A court of appeals has not yet ruled on Nagaenthran’s appeal, but they said a decision would be made soon. Nagaenthran is convicted and sentenced to death for drug trafficking.
United States of America
On Wednesday, February 17, 2022, Carl Moseley died on death row in North Carolina. He was 56 years of age and had been diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in June 2021. He had been on death row for 30 years. Carl was convicted of murdering two women who were last seen alive at Forsythe Country dance club and bar. On the day of his death, his attorney had filed to have DNA testing completed in his case. His attorney has announced that she will continue to pursue the case to fulfill her client’s wish of clearing his name. Carl had insisted that he was innocent of the crime.
On Saturday, February 19, 2022, William Kuenzel died on death row in Alabama. He was 60 years of age and had previously been diagnosed with cancer. Williams spent the last 34 years of his life on death row after he was convicted of murdering a store clerk in 1988. Williams was identified as the killer by his co-worker Harvey Venn, who implicated William after being arrested for the murder. A teenager also claimed to have seen William at the store that night, however, William had a corroborated alibi that placed him 25 miles away from the store at the time of the murder, with no access to a car. His initial trial lasted only 14 hours, and his lawyers since allege that prosecutors withheld evidence that would have helped prove William’s innocence.
On Sunday, February February 27, 2022, Joshua M. Miracle died at a hospital in California. He was 43 years of age. Joshua was sentenced to death in 2006 after he was convicted of murdering Elias Silva, an opposing gang member. Elias was stabbed 48 times. Joshua pled guilt to the murder, represented himself, and refused to offer any mitigating evidence. Additionally, evidence was presented that showed Joshua fighting with correctional officers and he stated that he would continue to fight with them until he kills them all or they kill him. Joshua’s cause of death has not been determined and is currently under investigation.
Prosecutors in Arizona have asked the Arizona Supreme Court to set an execution date for death row inmate Clarence Dixon. Dixon is convicted of murdering 21-year-old college student Deana Bowdoin in 1977. It would be the first execution since the controversial 2014 execution of Joseph Wood. Wood’s execution took over two hours and 15 doses of the two-drug combination.
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