International Death Penalty News 2022, Issue 27: Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, United States of America
International Death Penalty News 2022
July 8, 2022
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, eight men were executed in Raja Central Prison. Executions are usually carried out by hanging. Four of the men have been identified as Hamed Alayi, Iman Safavi, Ali Khanbadal, and Ali Khangoldi. These four men were convicted of rape. State officials or the domestic media have not announced their executions. The other four unnamed men were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind. Their execution was announced by official sources.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Iman Safari Rad was executed in Karaj. Imran was convicted and sentenced to death on charges of “sodomy.” Same-sex (homosexual) relationships are illegal in Iran.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Mehdi Amiri-Margavi was executed in Sari Prison. His execution is just now being reported. Mahedi was in his 20s when he was executed. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. State officials or the domestic media have not reported the execution.
On Saturday, July 2, 2022, 40-year-old Rahmat Valinejad was executed by hanging at Zabol Prison. He was convicted of murder in 2016 and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. State officials or the domestic media have not reported the execution.
On Wednesday, July 6, 2022, Hadi Moradi was executed in Gachsaran Prison. Executions are usually carried out by hanging. Hadi’s crime has not been reported. State officials or the domestic media have not reported the execution.
The European Union is attempting to pressure Pakistan into abolishing capital punishment. On December 31, 2023, Pakistan’s current trade agreement will expire with the European Union. Failure to renew the trade agreement will likely have devastating effects on Pakistan’s economy and people. One of the demands the European Union is tying to the new agreement is that Pakistan must abolish capital punishment. Currently, 27 separate offenses are punishable by death in Pakistan’s legal code, which is also closely tied to religious law. Abolishing capital punishment would have severe political and religious ramifications in the nation.
The European Court of Human Rights has issued orders for Russia to ensure that two Britons captured during the war in Ukraine are not executed. In June 2022, the two British men, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, were sentenced to death for “mercenary activities.” The European Union is against capital punishment, requiring all member nations to abolish the practice. Russia’s parliament recently passed legislation that removed Russia from Europe’s human rights court’s jurisdiction.
On Thursday, July 7, 2022, Norasharee Gous and 32-year-old Kalwant Singh were executed by hanging. The two men were both convicted of trafficking drugs into the country. Kalwant was a Malaysian national, while Norasharee was from Singapore.
President Tayyip Erdogan recently spoke out in favor of reinstating capital punishment in the nation. The death penalty was abolished in Turkey in 2004, as part of their bid to join the European Union. Since then, Turkey has faced continued hurdles to joining the Union. Now, President Erdogan said he would sign a bill reinstating capital punishment in the nation’s parliament presented one to him. Most recently, the president suggested sentencing to death those who start wildfires. Other supports of capital punishment suggest those convicted of terrorism, rape, and the murder of women should also be sentenced to death.
United States of America
Attorneys for Ramiro Gonzales, a Texas death row inmate, requested a stay of execution for their client. The state was requested so that Ramiro may donate a kidney. Ramiro began communicating with a man who mentioned he knew of someone who needed a kidney donor. Testing revealed that Ramiro was not a match for that person, however, it did reveal that Ramiro has a rare blood type. Due to his blood type, Ramiro wants to donate an organ before his execution. Lethal injection prevents a person from being a candidate for organ donation. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice does have a protocol in place for organ donation by incarcerated people. Ramiro is scheduled to be executed on July 13, 2022, for the murder of 19-year-old Bridget Townsend on January 15, 2001, in Bandera, Texas. On a separate issue, a judge has ruled that Texas cannot proceed with Ramiro’s execution unless they allow all religious accommodations requested by Ramiro. This includes allowing Ramiro’s religious advisor to hold his hand during his execution. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has argued that such a request could compromise security.
Per the request of Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Conner, execution dates for 19 inmates have been scheduled. The first execution, that of James Coddington is scheduled for August 25, 2022. Executions are then scheduled for about one a month. Execution dates for six more death row inmates have also been requested.
On Tuesday, July 5, 2022, Harvey Heishman died while on death row in California. He was in the infirmary at the time of his death. Harvey was 74 years of age and died of natural causes. Harvey was convicted and sentenced to death on March 30, 1981, for raping and murdering Nancy Lugassy on November 1, 1979.
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