Thursday, September 28, 2023

International Death Penalty News 2022, Issue 46: Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United States of America

International Death Penalty News 2022
Issue 4

November 18, 2022


International Death Penalty NewsSaeed Moghadam, Sajjad Yousefi, Nasser, Reza, and Nasser Iranshahi were executed in Arak prison on an undisclosed date.  All five prisoners were convicted on drug-related charges.  So far this year over 400 people have been executed in the nation.  Executions in Iran are difficult to track, as many executions are carried out without being reported.

Three weeks ago, Saman Yasin, a Kurdish artist and rapper, was arrested in his home by security forces.  He is now facing execution.  Saman had publicly supported the anti-government protesters on social media.  He has been charged with waging war against God.  Thousands of protesters and supporters have been arrested in the past weeks.  All could be sentenced to death.  They are protesting the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody after she was arrested by the morality police for allegedly not properly wearing her hijab.  Some reports indicate that about 14,000 people have been arrested over the last six weeks.  Additionally, the two female journalists who broke the story about Mahsa’s death, and the alleged involvement by police, have also been arrested.  They have been denounced as spies for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency for the United States of America) a charge which also carries a sentence of death.

The Iranian Revolution Court has issued its first death sentence against a government protester.  The convicted individual was not named. He was convicted of setting fire to a government center, disturbing public order and peace, and collusion to commit a crime against national security.  Five other protesters were sentenced to prison terms.  Human rights experts with the United Nations have condemned the use of the death penalty against protesters, demanding their immediate release.

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, three more anti-government protesters were sentenced to death by the Iranian judiciary.  Their names have not been reported.  One was convicted of attacking police officers with a car, resulting in the death of one officer.  Another was convicted of stabbing a police officer and the third was convicted of blocking traffic and spreading terror.  All three can appeal their sentence.


Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi has stepped down from his position after receiving widespread criticism for remarks he made recently.  In recent comments to the press, Hanashi made light of his duties and called signing execution warrants “tedious.”  Executions in Japan are carried out by hanging, with inmates being given only a few hours notice of their impending deaths.


On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, seven people were executed by hanging.  The executed inmates were not identified by name.  One was an Ethiopian woman and another was a Kuwaiti woman.  Three of the men were male Kuwaiti nationals, while the final two men were a Syrian and a Pakistani.  All seven were convicted of murder.  This was the first execution in the nation since 2017.  

Saudi Arabia

On Thursday, November 11, 2022, two Pakistani nationals were executed by beheading.  They were convicted of drug-related crimes.  In January 2021, the country’s Human Rights Commission announced a moratorium on executions for drug-related crimes.  This is the first drug-related execution since that announcement.  The names of the two people executed were not reported.  So far this year, at least 128 executions have been carried out in the kingdom.

United States of America

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Murray Hooper was executed in Arizona.  He was convicted of murdering Patrick Redmond and Helen Phelps in Phoenix, Arizona on December 31, 1980.  Murray was 76 years of age.

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Texas executed Stephen Barbee.  He was 55 years of age.  Stephen was executed for murdering 34-year-old Lisa Underwood, and her 7-year-old son Jayden at their Fort Worth, Texas home on February 19, 2005. Lisa was also seven months pregnant at the time of the murder. 

On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Oklahoma executed Richard Fairchild.  Richard was 63 years of age.  He was convicted and executed for the murder of three-year-old Adam Broomhall on November 14, 1993, in Midwest City, Oklahoma.  Adam was the son of Richard’s girlfriend, with whom he was living.

On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Kenneth Smith was scheduled to be executed in Alabama.  The start of his execution was delayed for several hours due to appeals.  The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Alabama could proceed with execution about 90 minutes before the execution warrant expired.  About 30 minutes before the expiration of the execution warrant, prison officials called off the execution.  Kenneth is convicted of murdering Elizabeth Sennet on March 18, 1988, in Colbert County, Alabama.

Taylor Parker has been sentenced to death in Texas, making her the seventh woman to be sentenced to death in the state.  Parker was sentenced to death on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.  She was convicted of murdering Reagan Hancock and kidnapping her unborn baby, which did not survive.  

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled against Richard Glossip, a death row inmate in the state.  Glossip is convicted for his part in arranging the murder of his boss, Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese, however, Glossip claims he was framed.  In recent months his case has gained national attention, with many questioning his guilt.  The man convicted of carrying out the murder testified that Glossip hired him.  In the years since, Sneed has made contradicting statements regarding Glossip’s involvement.  Now, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected two requests to halt Glossip’s pending execution, scheduled for February 16, 2023.  Glossip can still request clemency from the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board and the governor.

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