International Death Penalty News 2023, Issue 18: India, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United States of America
International Death Penalty News 2023
Friday, May 5, 2023
A request has been submitted to the Supreme Court to appoint a committee of experts to examine if there is a less painful method of execution. Currently, executions are carried out by hanging. The proposed alternatives include shooting, lethal injection, electrocution, and a gas chamber.
On Monday, April 24, 2023, 37-year-old Ahmad Nikouyi was executed in Karaj Penitentiary. He was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death. Under Iranian law, executions for adultery are to be carried out by stoning. However, in 2010, such a punishment was met with international outcry. Since then, adultery executions are carried out in secret and done by hanging. Nikouyi’s execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.
On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 32-year-old Mohammad Chahargoosheh was executed in Rajai Shahr prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. The murder occurred during a street fight about seven years ago. Iran law classifies all killings as “intentional murder” and does not allow for different degrees of murder. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.
On Saturday, April 29, 2023, 42-year-old Eid Mohammad Shadman was executed in Iranshahr Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.
On Sunday, April 30, 2023, a man and a woman were executed in Zahedan Central Prison. The Baluch man, 31-year-old Golmohammad Narouyi, was convicted of murder. The woman, who was not named, was also convicted of murder. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.
On Saturday, April 29, 2023, 48-year-old Nematollah Rigi Ladiz and Abdolsattar Shahuzehi were executed in Zahedan Central Prison. The men, both Baluch minorities, were executed on drug-related charges. Executions are traditionally carried out by hanging.
On Saturday, April 29, 2023, Mahmoud Rahmani, a Baluch minority, was executed in Iranshahr Prison. Rahmani was arrested about 12 years ago. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Under Iranian law, all murders are considered intentional murder and can lead to execution. Iranian law does not have differing degrees of murder, such as considering if the killing was carried out in self-defense, unintentionally, or intentionally.
On Monday, May 1, 2023, 40-year-old Aminollah Karimi Ghaljayi was executed in Mashhad Central Prison. His execution was likely carried out by hanging. Aminollah, a Baluch man, was convicted and executed on drug-related charges, after his arrest in 2020. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Shahin Firouzkohi and Ali Daftari were executed in Qazvin prison in northwestern Iran. Both men were convicted on drug-related charges. The execution was likely carried out by hanging.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, five prisoners were executed in Rajaeeshahr prison. The men were not named. All five were convicted of murder. The execution was likely carried out by hanging.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Hanif Khosravi was executed in Nishabour’s prison, in north-eastern Iran. He was convicted of murder. Executions are traditionally carried out by hanging.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Al-Mohammed Shirzaei Barahui and Hassan Zarei were executed in Minab prison. The men, both Baluch minorities, were convicted and executed for drug-related offenses. They were likely executed by hanging.
Six men and women are facing execution for converting to Christianity. They were arrested in March. At least one has confessed to attempting to convert others to Christianity. The state claims that six are members of an organized gang that was attempting to solicit and “make people leave Islam.” It is against the law to share views that aim to “alter fundamental constitutional principles, or the fundamental structures of the social order”, or overthrow the state, and anyone who possesses books, leaflets, drawings, slogans “or any other items” that promote their cause. Libyan law is heavily based on the Islam religion.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, it was announced that Manhal Al-Ribh was executed. The execution was likely carried out by beheading. He is the 20th person to be executed this year in the kingdom. Manhal was convicted of “joining a terrorist cell seeking corruption in the country.” He also was convicted of shooting at security vehicles, with intent to kill, and concealing a wanted person, among other crimes.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Prasitthichai Khaewkao. Khaewkao is convicted of killing three people, including a toddler during the armed robbery of a gold shop in 2020. Four others were also injured. Before his arrest, Khaewkao worked as a teacher and headmaster. There are about 250 inmates on death row in Thailand. The last execution was carried out in 2018, using lethal injection.
United States of America
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Darryl Barwick was executed in Florida. Darryl was executed for murdering 24-year-old Rebecca Wendt on March 31, 1986, in Panama City, Florida.
On Thursday, May 4, 2023, Oklahoma planned to execute Phillip Hancock. His execution is rescheduled to Thursday, November 30, 2023. Phillip is convicted of murdering 37-year-old Robert Jett and 57-year-old James Lynch on April 27, 2001. His execution was rescheduled at the request of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, to allow more time between executions.
On Monday, May 1, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that permits the execution of those convicted of raping a child under the age of 12. This law violates a 2008 US Supreme Court ruling. Florida politicians who support the bill, including Governor DeSantis, are hoping to get the US Supreme Court to reconsider the 2008 ruling that found it is unconstitutional to use capital punishment in child sexual battery cases. The Florida bill is planned to go into effect on October 1, 2023.
In 1983, Michael Sample was sentenced to death in Tennessee. He was convicted, along with Larry McKay, of murdering Benjamin Cooke and Steve Jones, workers at L&G Sundry Store in Memphis, Tennessee. Sample and McKay were attempting to rob the store when they shot and killed Benjamin and Steve. They also shot Melvin Wallace, a customer, twice, but he survived his injuries. Now, Sample’s death sentence has been vacated and he has been resentenced to life in prison. Sample was resentenced after his lawyers successfully argued that he had an intellectual disability that precluded him from being executed, per previous rulings from the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2016, Glen Bates was sentenced to death in Ohio for the torture and murder of his two-year-old daughter, Glenara Bates in 2015. In February 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed his conviction due to an allegedly racially biased juror being permitted to serve on the jury at Glen’s initial trial. Now, Glen has reached a plea deal with prosecutors. In exchange for pleading guilty, he will be sentenced to 25 years in prison.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Micky Ray Cage died while on death row in California. He was 55 years of age. His cause of death is currently under investigation, as he was found unresponsive in his cell. Cage was sentenced to death in 2003, after being convicted of murdering 16-year-old David Burgos and 50-year-old Burnilda Montanez on November 9, 1998. David was the brother of Mickey’s estranged wife, while Burnilda was her mother.
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