International Death Penalty News 2022, Issue 21: Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Singapore, United States of America
International Death Penalty News 2022
May 27, 2022
Thirty-three-year-old Lai Thai Leong was sentenced to death on April 19, 2018, on drug-trafficking charges. Now the Federal Court has reduced his sentence to 17 years in jail and 10 strokes of the rotan. His crime has also been reduced to drug possession.
On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, one prisoner was executed in Birjand Central Prison. Executions are usually carried out by hanging. The Baluch prisoner, Ghobad Narouyi, was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. He had been in prison for about three years. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 30-year-old Khalil Rezaeipour was executed in Qom Central Prison. He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Ayat Ghasemi-Delfani was executed in Karaj Penitentiary. Ayat was executed on drug-related charges, however, he was also sentenced to death on murder charges. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Farshad Nematzadeh, Mehdi Shirchian, and a man identified as Mr. Eshaghi, were executed in Amol Prison. All were convicted on drug-related charges. Their executions have not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Thursday, May 19, 2022, 21-year-old Ahmad Gashoul was executed for murder in Isfahan Central Prison. Ahmad was convicted of murdering a prison guard while attempting to escape prison. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Saturday, May 21, 2022, 50-year-old Esmail Shahbakhsh, a Baluch minority, was executed in Zahedan Central Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges in 2019. In court, Esmail insisted upon his innocence. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, 37-year-old Mohammad Morad Fazeli was executed in Shirvan Prison. Executions are usually carried out by hanging. Mohammad was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. The murder occurred after Mohammad got into a dispute over farming land.
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, 32-year-old Abdolbari Rigi and a woman were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. Abdolbari, a Baluch minority, was convicted and executed on drug-related charges. The woman was identified only as Ms. Hayati. She was convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. The two executions have not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Monday, May 23, 2022, Mossadegh Malahi was executed in Minab Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges. He was also a Baluch. Two other men were also executed at the same prison. They were identified as Mohammad Sorkhrou and Abbas Kamali. Both men were convicted on drug-related charges. The executions have not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Monday, May 23, 2022, an unnamed prisoner was executed in Zanjan Central Prison. The prison was convicted of murdering two rangers in Fileh Khaseh on April 5, 2021. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.
A Nigerian court has sentenced 54-year-old Danish national, Peter Neilsen, to death by hanging. Peter is convicted of murdering his Nigerian wife, Zainab, and their three-year-old daughter in Lagos in 2018. DNA evidence shows that Zainab attempted to fight off her killer. Peter pleaded innocent to the charges against him. The last execution in Nigeria occurred in 2016. Authorities indicate that there are over 3,000 inmates on death row in the nation.
Three Malaysian men were arrested in Singapore as they attempted to smuggle in heroin. All the men were in their 20s. They were caught at an immigration checkpoint.
United States of America
On Friday, May 26, 2022, Robert Flor was scheduled to be executed in Pennsylvania, however, there is currently a moratorium on executions in the state. Fifty-five-year-old Robert is convicted of murdering 46-year-old Newton Police Officer Brian S. Gregg on September 29, 2005, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. There is currently a moratorium on executions in the state by order of Governor Tom Wolf. The moratorium was announced on Friday, February 13, 2015, and Governor Wolf ordered that a report on capital punishment be completed. Upon completion of the report in June 2018, Governor Wolf maintained the moratorium, stating that the report, which highlighted several flaws in the capital punishment system, supports his decision.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that state prisoners may not present new evidence of ineffective counsel in federal court. Previously, inmates were unable to bring new evidence of innocence to a federal court, when it was the inmate’s fault for not having raised the issue in state court. However, the Supreme Court of the United States previously acknowledged that if the evidence was not presented due to ineffective counsel, the issue could be raised in federal court. Now, inmates will no longer be able to bring the evidence to a federal court. This ruling will likely affect many of the thousands of death row inmates across the country.
Death row inmates in Florida will no longer be held in permanent solitary confinement. This move is part of a settlement agreed to last month after eight death-row inmates brought a lawsuit, arguing that conditions on defat row were “extreme, debilitating, and inhumane, violate[d] contemporary standards of decency, and pose[d] an unreasonable risk of serious harm to the health and safety.” Some prisoners have been on death for decades, where they spend nearly every day in 24-hour solitary confinement with limited access to fresh air, the outdoors, exercise, phone calls, and human international. As part of the settlement, death row inmates will not be edible to spend up to 20 hours a week in a day room with other inmates. In the dayroom, they will be able to watch television and have access to multimedia kiosks. Additionally, the inmates will now have greater telephone access to contact their loved ones, increased shower access, and six hours of outside activity a week. Further, some inmates will now be eligible for jobs within the prison.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Timmy “TJ” Weber died while on death row in Nevada. He was 48 years of age. His cause of death has not been reported and an autopsy has been requested. Timmy was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering 38-year-old Kim Gautier and her 15-year-old son Anthony. Timmy was convicted of sexually assaulting Kim’s daughter and ambushing a second son with a baseball bat.
In 2007, Juan Ramon Meza Segundo was sentenced to death in Texas. He was convicted of raping and murdering 11-year-old Vanessa Villa, in her home in 1986. Juan was connected to the crime nearly 20 years later by DNA. Juan was also later linked to the murder of three other women in the Fort Worth area. The three women, Melissa Badillo, Maria Navarro, and Francene Williams were murdered in 1994 and 1995. Now, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that Juan is intellectually disabled and cannot be executed. His sentence has also been reduced to life in prison and he will be eligible for parole in 2026.
In 1988, 60-year-old Steven Anthony Butler was sentenced to death in Texas for murdering 50-year-old Velma Clemons. Velma was murdered while working as the clerk at a dry-cleaning store that Steven decided to rob. He was sentenced to death in 1988. Now, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that Steven is intellectually disabled and cannot be executed. His sentence has also been reduced to life in prison.
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