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IDPN 2022

International Death Penalty News 2022, Issue 12: Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States of America

International Death Penalty News 2022
Issue 12

March 25, 2022

Bangladesh

International Death Penalty News 2022Four people were sentenced to death by a judge in Narayanganj Additional District Court.  Two others were also sentenced to life in prison.  All were sentenced in relation to the murder of a schoolboy, 13-year-old Emon Hossain on June 13, 2013.  The four sentenced to death have been identified as 45-year-old Siraj, 55-year-old Ahmed Ali, 21-year-old Nahid, and 25-year-old Sentu Mia.  The two people sentenced to death have been identified as 42-year-old Salma, daughter of Siraj, and 47-year-old Husna, wife of Ahmed Ali.  Four others were also acquitted in the case.

India

On March 15, 2022, 27-year-old Hardik Chavda was sentenced to death by a court in Ahmedabad.  Hardik was convicted of murdering his pregnant sister and brother-in-law on September 26, 2018.  Hardik was opposed to the marriage of his 21-year-old sister Taruna, to 22-year-old Vishal Parmar.  Taruna was stabbed eight times.  Vishal was chased into a neighbor’s home, where he was stabbed 17 times in front of the neighbor and her children.  Hardik had threatened the couple in the days before the murders, which he viewed as an honor killing.

Iran

On Saturday, March 12, 2022, 48-year-old Alam Yarahmadzehi was executed in Khash prison.  His crime was not reported.

On Sunday, March 13, 2022, four prisoners were executed by hanging at Adilabad Prison in Shiraz.  Only two were identified by name – 37-year-old Hossein Mehrabani and Jamshid Fadaei.  Also executed on Sunday was 30-year-old Hafizollah Rakhshani in Zahedan Prison.  He was also executed by hanging.  Hafizollah was a Baluch minority and had been in prison for about six years.  The crimes of the executed men were not reported.

On Monday, March 14, 2022, an unidentified woman was executed by hanging alongside her husband.  The execution took place in Adilabad Prison.  The couple was convicted of murder.

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, two prisoners were executed in Urmia Central Prison, while a third inmate was executed in Bushehr Prison.  Peyman Babakhani and Mir-Ali Hosseini were executed in Urmia.  Twenty-two-year-old Mohammad Bozorgzadeh, a soldier, was executed in Bushehr.  Their crimes were not reported.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, three prisoners were executed by hanging in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj.  Two of the prisoners were brothers: Behnam Gholam-Ali and Abbas Khargir.  The third prison was identified as Mohsen Jandaghi, who spent the last 20 years in prison.  They were executed for committing an armed robbery over 20 years ago.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Yousef Hashemi was executed in Qazvin Central Prison.  Before being sent to prison four years ago, Yousef, a father, repaired vehicles and batteries.  He was convicted of murder.  His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Zobeid, an Afghan national, was executed in Isfahan Central Prison.  He was arrested about five years ago.  Zobeid was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.

Japan

Beginning in April, the legal age of adulthood in Japan is being lowered from 20 to 18.  People aged 18 and 19 will now be able to enter into legally binding contracts, with parental oversight.  Additionally, people aged 18 and 19 will be permitted to marry with a guardian’s consent.  This has also resulted in changes to the legal system.  People aged 18 and 19 will still be considered juveniles under the law, however, they are now a special classification that permits harsher sentencing for crimes committed.

Saudia Arabia

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, three inmates were executed.  The executions occurred while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was visiting the kingdom.  Some criticized Johnson for visiting the country after it had carried out a mass execution of 81 people just days before his visit.  Johnson was visiting the kingdom to encourage more oil production to calm the market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, March 17, 2022, four more people were executed in the kingdom, bringing the total number of executed inmates up to 100 for the year.  Family members have begun complaining that bodies are not being returned to the families.  It is believed the bodies are not being returned out of fear that the funerals will cause agitation.  Two of the men executed on Thursday were Saudi nations, while the other two were from Indonesia.  The two Indonesians were convicted of raping a woman after tying her up.  One of the remaining men was convicted of murdering his father and brother by hitting them over the head and then stabbing them to death.  The final Saudi inmate was convicted of luring a child, raping the child, and strangling him to death.

United States of America

The Corrections Department in South Carolina has announced that renovations are completed to the death chamber, allowing the state to carry out executions by firing squad.  Last year, South Carolina lawmakers approved the use of firing squads for executions, as execution drugs have become increasingly difficult to obtain.  Due to the difficulties, lawmakers made the electric chair South Carolina’s primary method of execution, while giving the inmates the option to choose execution by firing squad or lethal injection, if the methods are available.  In addition to remodeling the execution chamber to accommodate firing squad executions, protocols have also been created providing specific instructions on how a firing squad execution will occur.  The renovations and protocol were made necessary after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the planned executions of Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens could not be carried out until the inmates truly have the choice of being executed by the firing squad.  With the announcement that renovations are complete, attorneys for Brad and Freddie are asking that their executions be stayed until a lower court can determine the constitutionality of the electric chair and firing squad.  The last execution occurred in South Carolina in 2011.  Since then, its supply of lethal injection drugs has expired and the state has been unable to obtain more.  There are currently 37 men on death row in South Carolina.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 8-1, that Texas must allow the spiritual advisors of death row inmates to “lay hands” on them during execution.  Previously Texas had not allowed spiritual advisors to touch the inmates during executions due to security and safety concerns.  The Supreme Court also ruled that the spiritual advisor could audibly pray during the execution, however, the state could set some restrictions, such as “limiting the volume” of the prayer, and/or requiring silence during critical points in the execution process.  Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter in the case, believing that death row inmates are abusing the religious rights act to “manipulate the judicial process” in order to stall their executions.

Cornelius Ozell Baker was sentenced to death in Florida on Mach 4, 2009.  He was convicted of murdering 56-year-old Elizabeth Uptagrafft during a robbery at her home on January 7, 2007.  Elizabeth’s mother and son were also beaten and abused by Baker.  A jury voted 9-3 to sentence him to death.  At the time, Florida did not require a unanimous jury to sentence an inmate to death.  However, in 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that he was entitled to a new sentencing trial.  In 2020, the Florida Supreme Court invalidated that ruling, meaning Baker’s death sentence could be reimposed.  Prosecutors, however, consulted with the family of Elizabeth and all agreed not to pursue the death penalty, instead agreeing to a sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

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