International Death Penalty News 2023
March 31, 2023
For the last 28 years, Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary has been in prison in India. He spent 25 of those years on death row, after being convicted of murdering two children and a pregnant woman in 1994. On Monday, March 27, 2023, the Supreme Court ordered him immediately released after discovering he was only 12 years of age at the time of the crime. His early school records were discovered in 2015, which helped to conclusively prove that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution announced on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, that they would be seeking the death penalty for Omar Green. Green is accused of raping and murdering nine-year-old Nikita Noel on February 1. Nikita was reported missing after she failed to return home from her school. Green had a contentious relationship with Nikita’s mother.
On Friday, March 24, 2023, an unnamed was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan. He was convicted of blasphemy and other religious-related offenses on social media. He has also been fined and given a prison sentence. The man was arrested in 2021. He can appeal his death sentence.
United Arab Emirates
The kingdom’s government issued a pardon for an Israeli woman that had been sentenced to death. In 2021, Fida Kiwan, an Israeli woman, was sentenced to death for drug possession. Fida claimed the cocaine which was discovered during a search of her apartment, did not belong to her. She was sentenced to death under the kingdom’s harsh drug laws. However, an agreement between the Israeli government and the government of the United Arab Emirates resulted in her release and return to Israel. It was deemed a “gesture of goodwill” between the two nations which have recently normalized relations.
United States of America
On Wednesday, March 29, 2023, Anibal Canales was scheduled to be executed in Texas. Canales’ execution date has been withdrawn by the Bowie County District Attorney to allow additional time for Canales’ lawyers to prepare their case and file appeals. He is convicted of murdering 47-year-old Gary Dickerson at the Telford Unit in Bowie County, Texas on July 11, 1997.
Last year, Aaron Gunches asked the Arizona Supreme Court to set his execution date. However, the newly elected Governor Katie Hobbs has announced she will not carry out the execution, pending a review of the death penalty process in Arizona. Gunches is convicted of murdering Ted Price, the boyfriend of Gunches’ ex-girlfriend. Now, Ted’s family asked the Supreme Court to force Governor Hobbs to carry out the execution, arguing that Ted’s family’s right to justice is being denied. The Arizona Supreme Court has stated that they are unable to compel the governor to carry out the execution. Gunches is scheduled to be executed on April 6. If his execution is not carried out, the execution warrant will expire and a new warrant will be required to reschedule the execution.
Prosecutors in Tennessee have announced they will be seeking the death penalty for Ezekiel Kelly, who is accused of murdering three people and injuring three others during several shootings in September 2022. Dewayne Tunstall, Richard Clark, and Allison Parker were killed during the shooting spree. Kelly has pled not guilty to the numerous charges against him, which include murder, attempted murder, carjacking, and terrorism.
Brad Little, governor of Idaho has signed a bill into law permitting execution by firing squad. This makes Idaho the fifth state to permit executions by such means, with Utah, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Oklahoma being the other four. Only Utah has carried out an execution using such methods. The Idaho laws permits execution by firing squad only if execution by lethal injection is unavailable. Idaho, like many other states, has struggled to obtain lethal injection drugs in recent years. Most recently, the execution of Gerald Pizzuto had to be called off because the state could not obtain execution drugs.
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