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IDPN 2022

International Death Penalty News 2022, Issue 34: China, Iran, Japan, Malawi, United States of America

International Death Penalty News 2022
Issue 34

August 26, 2022

China

International Death Penalty NewsOn Thursday, August 25, 2022, a Chinese court upheld the death sentence of Shadeed Abdulmateen, a citizen of the United States. Earlier this year, Shadeed was convicted of stabbing and murdering his 21-year-old girlfriend. The two were disagreeing about their relationship. Shadeed was appealing his sentence.

Iran

On Wednesday, August 17, 2022, the execution of Mohiyedin Damani took place in Birjand Central Prison. Mohiyedin, a Baluch minority, was convicted and execution on drug-related charges. The arrest occurred about two years ago. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Thursday, August 18, 2022, the execution of Saeed Kashani, Khodarahm Narouyi, Hamid Narouyi, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, and Amir Ali Shahiki took place in Yazd Central Prison. Saeed, Khodarahm, Hamid, and Amir were Baluch minorities. Saeed, Khodarahm, and Hamid were sentenced to death on drug-related charges. They have been in prison for approximately seven years. Seyed and Amir were convicted of murder and sentenced to retribution in kind. State officials and the media have not reported on the five executions.

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, the execution of Nader Barahouyi, a Baluch minority, took place in Iranshahr Prison. He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges. The arrest happened about four years ago. Nader had a wife and child. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, the execution of Moein Atashbar occurred at Saravan Prison. Moein, a Baluch minority, was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, the execution of Mehdi Piri, a Baluch man, occurred at Zabol Prison. He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges. State officials and domestic media have not yet reported his execution.

On Monday, August 22, 2022, the execution of 24-year-old Saeed Kamali took place in Isfahan Central Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Iranian law does not differentiate between intentional murder, accidental murder, or self-defense killings. The law considers all killings to be intentional murder, no matter the intent. State officials and the media have not yet reported Saeed’s execution.

On Monday, August 22, 2022, the execution of five Baluch minorities occurred at Zahedan Central Prison. One of the men, Omid Alizehi, was allegedly 17 years of age at the time of his crime, making him a juvenile. The execution of a person who was a juvenile at the time of the crime is a violation of international law. Omid was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. The murder occurred during a street fight. Iranian law does not differentiate between intentional murder, accidental murder, or self-defense killings. The law considers all killings to be intentional murder, no matter the intent. Twenty-four-year-old Morteza Dehvari, also received a conviction of murder and a sentence of qisas. The other three men were identified as 23-year-old Abdolbaset Barahouyi, 30-year-old Abdolrahim Esmailzehi (Shehbakhsh), and 28-year-old Mohsen Salarzehi aka Shahdad Kharkouhi. All three received a conviction on drug-related charges.

On Monday, August 22, 2022, the execution of 29-year-old Abdolfazl Sharifi occurred in Qazvin Central Prison. The arrest happened about three years ago, followed by a conviction on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

Japan

A 15-year-old female teenager was arrested in Shibuya district in Tokyo after randomly stabbing a mother and daughter with a kitchen knife. The teenager claimed it was a “practice run” as she wanted to stab and kill her mother. She also claims she wants to be sentenced to death. While the mother and daughter survived their injuries, the teenage girl has been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Malawi

President Lazarus Chakwera reduced the sentence of 22 death row inmates to life in prison. The commutations were part of the nation’s Independence celebrations. His actions earned President Chakwera praises from human rights advocates. One of the prisoners granted a commutation is Jack Bandawe, also known as Nachipanti. He was convicted in 2010 of murdering two people in Ndirande Township in 2009. Jack claims he received payment to commit the murders. His good behavior in prison was cited as a reason for his reduced sentence.

United States of America

On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, Ohio planned to execute Cedric Carter. Governor Mike DeWine rescheduled the execution to August 27, 2025. Since the moratorium on executions began in 2019, Governor DeWine has rescheduled multiple executions. Governor DeWine issued a moratorium on executions in Ohio over concerns that drug suppliers will cut off all medicine to the state if Ohio continues to perform executions. Cedric is convicted of murdering 56-year-old Frances Messinger on April 6, 1992, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On Thursday, August 25, 2022, Oklahoma executed James Coddington.  James was convicted of murdering 73-year-old Albert Troy Hale on March 5, 1997, in Choctaw, Oklahoma.  At the time of the murder, James worked at a Honda Salvage yard with Albert.

In April of 2022, a jury in Virginia found El Shafee Elsheikh guilty of hostage-taking and conspiracy while he was a member of the Islamic State. Elsheikh was considered to be a member of a group nicknamed the Beatles, due to their British accents. The group killed several Americans, including journalists James Foley and Steven J. Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig in Syria. Now, a federal judge sentenced Elsheikh to eight concurrent life terms, without the possibility of parole. Elsheikh has denied being a member of the Beatles, although he does not deny fighting for the Islamic State terrorist group.

New capital charges have been filed against former Texas death row inmate Clinton Young. Clinton was first convicted and sentenced to death in April 2003. He was convicted of murdering 52-year-old Doyle Douglas and 41-year-old Samuel Petrey in two separate incidents over two days in 2001. His death sentence was eventually overturned, and Young was released from prison after it was discovered that the prosecutor at his original trial also worked as a judicial clerk for the trial judge. Now, Young has been re-arrested and again charged with capital murder. Young is facing a retrial for the murder of Doyle Douglas.

Earlier this year, California death row inmate Andrew Lancaster had his death sentence vacated by a Los Angeles trial court. Lancaster claimed his trial counsel was ineffective. Andrew now faces life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Lancaster is convicted of kidnapping and murdering 45-year-old Michael Taylor on April 23, 1996. At the time of the crime, Lancaster also went by the name Hodari Lumumba. While in prison, Lancaster converted to Islam and adopted the name Mustafa Ibn Talib.

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that Idaho Governor Brad Little can reject the recommendation of the state’s parole board to commute the death sentence of Gerald Ross Pizzuto, Jr., to life in prison. Pizzuto is convicted of beating to death 58-year-old Berta Herndon and her nephew, 37-year-old Del Dean Herndon, at a mountain cabin near McCall, Idaho. In November 2021, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Paroles recommended Pizzuto be granted clemency. The recommendation is, in part, due to his illnesses including bladder cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and decreased intellectual function. Governor Little rejected the board’s recommendation. This rejection led to a court battle to determine if the Governor had the constitutional power to reject the recommendation of the parole board. A new execution date can now be set for Pizzuto due to the ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, Federal District Court Judge John Kronstadt vacated the death sentence of California inmate Richard Russell Moon. He has been resentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Moon was convicted and initially sentenced to death for murdering mother and daughter, Rose and Melitta Greig, in their Walnut home in Los Angeles County on June 15, 1990. Moon was Melitta’s former boyfriend. After killing them, he stole money, checks, and a vehicle.

Chris Jones, the Democratic nominee for Arkansas governor has voiced his opposition to capital punishment. He also stated that he would consider commuting all death sentences in the state to life in prison, if he is elected governor. He is running against Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Republican nominee.

Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer in Alabama has sentenced Warren Hardy to death. Warren was convicted in April 2022 for murdering Kathleen Lundy. Hardy shot Kathleen so he could steal her vehicle. She died from her injuries. Kathleen’s murder was witnessed by her husband, Rusty.

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