International Death Penalty News 2023, Issue 10: Iran, Saudi Arabia, United States of America
International Death Penalty News 2023
March 10, 2023
On Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 22-year-old Mohmmad Rasoul Choulaki was executed in Ilam Central Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Mohmmad was arrested three years ago. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, Hassan Abbasi and Ali Rezaei were executed in Rasht Central Prison. They were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas. Iranian law does not recognize differing degrees of murder. Instead, all convicted of killing another are convicted of intentional murder. The executions of Hassan and Ali have not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Monday, February 27, 2023, Leila Bameri, a Baluch woman, was executed in Kahnouj Prison in Kerman. She was convicted on drug-related charges and had two children. Leila was arrested about two years ago. Allegedly, her family and her lawyer were not informed of her pending execution. State officials and the media have not yet reported her execution.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, Khosro Mohammadi was executed in Zahedan Central Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges, after being arrested about four years ago. Allegedly his family and lawyer were not informed of his pending execution. His execution has not been reported by state officials or the media.
On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, Mansour Saeedi, Asghar Khosh Sima, and Abbas Homavar were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. All three were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.
On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Ghorban Ghorbanpour was executed in Rasht Central Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.
On Sunday, March 5, 2023, Kiumars Zarghami was executed in Saqqez Central Prison. He was convicted of murdering his fiancé and sentenced to qisas. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.
On Monday, March 6, 2023, four men were executed in Korramabad Central Prison. Two of the executed inmates were identified as 31-year-old Ayat Aliari and 36-year-old Sohrab Sourilaki. Another was only identified as Mr. Akram. The fourth man was not identified. None of the men have yet had their executions reported by state officials or the media.
On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, four men were executed in the southwestern Baha region. They were convicted of kidnapping and murdering another man.
On Saturday, March 4, 2023, two men were executed in the western Mecca region of the kingdom. Executions are traditionally carried out by beheading. One of the men was convicted of attempting to blow up an oil facility. The other was convicted of sodomy with minors.
United States of America
On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Gary Green was executed in Texas. Gary was executed for the murder of his estranged wife, 32-year-old Lovetta Armstead, and her daughter, six-year-old Jazzman Montgomery on September 21, 2009, in Oak Cliff, Texas. The execution was carried out shortly after 7 pm local time inside the Wall Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, Arthur Brown was executed in Texas. Arthur was executed for murdering four people on June 20, 1992. Thirty-two-year-old Jose Guadalupe Tover, 19-year-old Jessica Quinones, 21-year-old Audrey Brown, and 17-year-old Frank Farias were murdered inside Jose’s home in Houston, Texas. The execution was carried out inside the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, Jemaine Cannon was scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma. His execution was rescheduled to Thursday, July 20, 2023, at the request of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. Drummond requested that several of the upcoming scheduled executions in Oklahoma be rescheduled to allow more time between executions. Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections is currently understaffed and preparing for an execution is time intensive. Cannon is convicted of murdering Sharonda White Clark on February 3, 1995, in her Tulsa, Oklahoma apartment.
Over objections from the new Arizona attorney general, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an execution warrant for Aaron Gunches. The request to schedule his execution was made by the previous attorney general. Gunches is scheduled to be executed on April 6, 2023. However, the new governor, Katie Hobbs, has stated that the execution will not be carried out. Hobbs has appointed retired U.S. Magistrate Judge David Duncan to review the death penalty protocol in the state, including the procurement of execution drugs. Gunches is convicted of murdering Ted Price, the ex-husband of his girlfriend in 2002.
The Idaho House of Representatives approved a bill that allows for execution by firing squad. A firing squad execution would be an alternative if lethal injection is unavailable. Idaho had scheduled Gerald Pizzuto to be executed on December 15, 2022, however, the state was unable to carry out the execution, as it did not have the necessary drugs. Pizzuto has since had his execution rescheduled for March 23, 2023. It is unlikely that Pizzuto will be executed later this month as the state still has not obtained lethal injection drugs. This new bill still needs to pass the Idaho Senate and be signed into law by the governor. Then it is likely that it will face legal challenges. The bill also states that it would not take effect unity July 1, 2023.
Howard Willis, a death row inmate in Tennessee, is seeking a new trial. Willis claims his original trial judge violated his rights by forcing Willis to act as his own attorney during his trial. Before the trial began, Willis had been assigned nine different lawyers. The judge ruled that Willis was purposefully sowing conflict with his attorneys to stall the start of the trial. Therefore, the judge required that Willis represent himself during the trial. His current attorney claims the judge’s assessment was unfair, as many of the nine lawyers left for reasons unrelated to Willis. Willis is convicted of murdering teenage newlyweds, 17-year-old Adam Chrismer and 16-year-old Samantha Leming Chrismer. Their bodies were discovered in October 2002, in a storage locker in Johnson City, Tennessee, that had been rented by Willis’ mother.
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