International Death Penalty News, Issue 19: Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, United States of America

International Death Penalty News
Issue 19

May 12, 2023

Iran

International Death Penalty NewsIn 2020, Swedish-Iranian Habib Chaab was arrested in Turkey. He had been living in exile in Sweden for some time. He was allegedly abducted by Iranian agents while visiting Turkey. Habib was accused and convicted of being the mastermind behind a deadly attack on a military parade in 2018. A total of 25 soldiers and civilians died when a gunman opened fire. Habib was recently executed in Iran.

On Sunday, April 30, 2023, Jaber Aminifar, a Baluch minority, was executed in Birjand Central Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 31-year-old Baluch man Mohammad Malekdadzehi was executed in Mashhad Central Prison. He was a father of three. His crime was not reported, nor have state officials or the media announced his execution.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, five men were executed in Yazd Central Prison. Four of the men, 32-year-old Baluch man Sabour Shehbakhsh, 35-year-old Baluch man Amir Ramshak, 29-year-old Baluch man Abdolbasir Bajem Totazehi, and Sadegh Mashhouri were convicted on drug-related charges. The fifth man, 40-year-old Abbas Piralayi was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Allegedly, Abbas was to have several more days to raise the “blood money” for the family of the victim to avoid execution, however, his execution was carried out early. State officials and the media have not yet reported the executions.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, Baluch minority Nourahmad Zarouzehi was executed in Mashhad Central Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. His execution has not yet been announced by state officials and the media.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, 43-year-old Baluch minority Habibollah Faghirdadzehi was executed in Isfahan Central Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death three years ago for drug-related charges. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, four men were executed in Rasht Central Prison. One man was identified as 23-year-old Jalaledin Rahimian Azar. The other three were not identified. All four were convicted and executed on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, 52-year-old Hamid Emamizadeh was executed in Khorramabad Central Prison. Hamid was convicted of murder three years ago. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. All killings in Iran are considered intentional murder, as Iranian law does not take into consideration intent or the circumstances surrounding the death. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Friday, May 5, 2023, 31-year-old Baluch minority Edris Gorgij was executed in Torbat Jam Prison. The father of five was convicted and execution for drug-related charges. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Friday, May 5, 2023, Mehdi Teimouri was executed in Urmia Central Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges.

On Friday, May 5, 2023, 30-year-old Faramarz Shakhsi was executed in Urmia Central Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges. He was arrested about four years ago and has two children. Davod Mahmoudyar and Behzad Hanifi were also executed at the same prison on the same day. They were also convicted on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported on the three men’s executions.

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, Salahedin Majidi and Abdollah Khan Mohammadi were executed in Salmas Prison. Both men were convicted on drug-related charges and were on death row for about three years before their executions. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

On Monday, May 8, 2023, 45-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi was executed in Isfahan Central Prison. His execution was likely carried out by hanging. Mohammad was convicted and executed on drug-related charges. He was arrested about three years ago and has three children. State officials and the media have not announced his execution.

On Monday, May 8, 2023, an unnamed man was executed in Dezful Prison. The man was convicted of killing a policeman on July 31, 2021. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Iranian law does not differentiate between different degrees of murder, such as self-defense versus intentional killing.

On Monday, May 8, 2023, Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were executed by hanging in Arak Prison. Both men were arrested in May 2020 and charged with blasphemy. They were convicted of insulting the prophet Muhammad and promoting atheism. Executions for blasphemy in the kingdom are rare.

On Monday, May 8, 2023, 29-year-old Yasser Rakhshani was executed in Zahedan Central Prison. The Baluch minority 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 Wednesday, May 10, 2023, four unnamed men were executed in Rajai Shahr prison. Executions are traditionally carried out by hanging. All four men were convicted and sentenced to death on rape charges. Human rights groups claim that, especially in rape cases, trials are carried out quickly without adequate representation, and suspects are often tortured into confessing.

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Hossein Panjak, Abdolhossein Emami Moghaddam, and Babak Aghayi were executed in Qezel Hesar Prison. They were likely executed by hanging. All three were convicted on drug-related charges. Allegedly, Hossein had been granted a stay of execution, however, he was executed anyway.

Pakistan

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, Maulana Nigar Alam was beaten to death by a mob during a rally. Maulana made a comment that was deemed blasphemous and hundreds of people began beating him with sticks, throwing stones, and using other weapons. Blasphemy laws in the nation are highly controversial. Those convicted of blasphemy can be sentenced to death, although such sentences are rarely carried out. However, it is not uncommon for a person accused of blasphemy to be attacked by a mob, resulting in their death, before they are ever arrested.

South Korea

The top prosecutor in South Korea is asking that drug offenders who target minors be eligible for capital punishment. This proposal will be tabled at the Sentencing Commission of the Supreme Court in June. The proposal would affect those who are convicted of selling or otherwise supplying illegal drugs to minors, those convicted of doing drugs with minors, and those who involve minors in drug trading. Currently, those crimes carry a sentence of at least five years in prison.

United States of America

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Valdamir Morelos died on death row in California. He was convicted and sentenced to death for raping and murdering Kurt Anderson on February 21, 1996. His cause of death has not yet been reported.

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Thomas Doyle Crowe died in Alabama. He was 45 years of age. His cause of death has not yet been reported. Thomas was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 71-year-old Marvin Allen Dailey on Thanksgiving Day 2009. His sentence was later reduced to 50 years in prison.

A bill has recently passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate in South Carolina. It is now headed to Governor Henry McMaster’s desk. The bill, called the Lethal Injection Secrecy Bill, was passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, allowing it to advance to the governor. The bill will shield the identities of those who participate in the executions and those who supply the drugs. There are currently 34 death row inmates in the state. South Carolina has not carried out an execution in 12 years due to difficulties obtaining execution drugs.

Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that reduces the number of jurors necessary to sentence a person to death. Previously the decision had to be unanimous. Now, a person can be sentenced to death if eight out of the 12 jurors vote for it. A big question since the signing of the law is if it will apply to past cases and cases currently working their way through the court system. Now, one judge, Circuit Judge Martin Fein in Broward County, has ruled that the new law can be applied retroactively, meaning it can apply to cases from before it was signed into law. His ruling currently only applies to the case in which it was made. It is highly likely that this decision will be appealed, and will likely end up before the Florida Supreme Court.

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