Monday, March 4, 2024
IDPN 2023

International Death Penalty 2023, Issue 47: Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, Taiwan, United States of America

International Death Penalty NewsOn Sunday, November 19, 2023, Abdolghafour Mahmoudi, Mohammadhossein Tashtzar, and Ali Payam were executed in Bandar Abbas Central Prison. All three were convicted and executed on the same drug-related charges. Mahmoudi and Tashtzar were Baluch ethnic minorities, while Payam was from Bandar Abbas. State officials and the media have not yet reported the executions.

On Sunday, November 19, 2023, Yasin Zeinoldini, a Baluch ethnic minority, was executed in Shiraz Central Prison. The 30-year-old was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Monday, November 20, 2023, 40-year-old Siamand Bukani was executed in Ardabil Central Prison. Executions are traditionally carried out by hanging. Bukani, a father of two, was executed on drug-related charges. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials and the media.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 20-year-old Milad Zohrevand was reportedly secretly executed in Hamedan Central Prison. Milad was arrested for participating in a protest on October 27, 2022. The protest was against the death of Mahsa Amini, who died while in police custody after being arrested due to her attire. Milad was accused of murdering Ali Nazari, an IRGC officer. Human rights groups allege that Milad was denied his right to due process and a fair trial. He was also not afforded the right to a final visit with his family.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, four men were executed at Ghezelhesar Prison. One of the men has been identified as Loghman Omrani. Loghman and another unnamed man were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. The other two men, Moslem Jamshidi and Mohammad Andishkouh were executed on drug-related charges.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 48-year-old Ebrahim Zamharir was executed in Tabriz Central Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. Ebrahim, a father, was arrested about three years ago. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Thursday, November 23, 2023, 34-year-old Rasoul Gorgij and 44-year-old Shahmorad Davoudi were executed in Mashhad Central Prison. Both men are members of the Baluch ethnic minority group. They were also both convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

On Friday, November 24, 2023, Hamidreza Azari was executed in Sabzevar Prison. Azari was allegedly 16 years of age at the time of the crime and 17 years of age at the time of his execution. International law prohibits the execution of minors and those who were minors at the time of the crime. While in custody Azari gave a confession, and state media reported that he was 18. However, Iran Human Rights claims to have obtained documents showing he was actually under the age of 18. Azari was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.

On Friday, November 24, 2023, an unnamed 18-year-old was executed, according to state media. The location of his execution was not specified. The teenager was convicted of murdering a man during a street fight. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. After being convicted of murder, the family of the victim is required to choose between granting forgiveness, demanding qisas, or accepting diya (blood money). All killing deaths are considered intentional murder under Iranian law, as intent and circumstances are not considered during the trial and sentencing.

On Sunday, November 26, 2023, 37-year-old Reza Rastkhiz was executed in Shiraz Central Prison. He has been convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet announced his execution.

On Sunday, November 26, 2023, 25-year-old Adel Damani, a Baluch ethnic minority, was executed in Chabahar Prison. He was convicted of murdering another person during a street fight about nine years ago. Allegedly, he was 16 years of age at the time of the fight. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. International prohibits the execution of those who were minors at the time of their crimes. Iranian law does not consider the circumstance or intent in regard to killings, with all being considered intentional murder. After conviction, the family of the victim must choose to grant forgiveness, demand qisas, or demand diya (blood money).

On Tuesday, November 28, 2023, Eghbal Fathollahi and Mohsen Amrayi were executed in Ghezelhesar Prison in Karaj. Both men were convicted on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 38-year-old Shahram Mohammadbeigi was executed in Ilam Central Prison. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. He was convicted of murdering his friend. Before his arrest, Shahram was a cross-country runner. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

Thirty-two-year-old Hani Shahbazi was executed at Ahvaz Sepidar Prison sometime over the last week. The exact date of his execution was not specified. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.

On Wednesday, November 29, 2023, seven men were executed in Ghezelhesar Prison. One of the men has been identified as Ayoub Karimi, a political prisoner who was allegedly physically and psychologically tortured into giving a false confession. The other six men were not named.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the murder of an 18-year-old female, including her father. She was killed after appearing in a social media post. Her father, Arslan Mohsin, alleges it was an honor killing. He was encouraged to carry out the killing by his family elders.

In the West Bank city of Tulkarem, two men were executed by members of a Palestinian armed group. The men, 31-year-old Hamza Mubarak, and 29-year-old Azam Juabra, were publicly hanged after being accused of providing intelligence and colluding with Israel. The men allegedly confessed, saying they were paid for their information.

After spending nearly a decade in prison, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison or parole. Pistorius, who had the bottom half of both legs amputated, gained international fame after competing at the Paralympics. He was nicknamed the Blade Runner after the prosthetic blades he used for running. He was sentenced to prison after shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013. As part of the conditions for his release, Pistorius will be required to participate in community corrections and cannot leave the city of Pretoria.

On Thursday, November 23, 2023, Lin Hsin-wu was sentenced to death for stabbing to death two police officers in Tainan City on August 22, 2022. Lin stabbed the police officers, 36-year-old Tu Ming-cheng and 27-year-old Tsao Jui-chieh, after escaping from Mingde Minimum-Security Prison. He was attempting to steal a scooter when the officers stopped him.

On Thursday, November 30, 2023, Phillip Hancock was executed in Oklahoma. Phillip was executed for the murders of 37-year-old Robert Jett and 57-year-old James Lynch on April 27, 2001.

On September 20, 1985, Kenneth Earl Gay was first sentenced to death for the murder of Los Angeles police Officer Paul Verna during a traffic stop in Lake View Terrace, California on June 2, 1983. In 1998, the California Supreme Court granted him a retrial of the penalty phase of his trial due to not receiving “constitutionally adequate representation” during his first trial. He was resentenced to death in 2000. Then in 2008, his death sentence was again overturned by the California Supreme Court due to error during his 2000 retrial. Now, on Monday, November 27, 2023, at a new sentencing hearing, Gay was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Before his most recent trial, the prosecution announced they would not be seeking a third death sentence. California has not carried out an execution since 2006, and the current governor has issued a moratorium on executions in the state.

In 1998, Ethan Eugene Dorsey was sentenced to death in Alabama for murdering 13-year-old Timothy Brian Crane, Scott Williams, and Richard Cary during a robbery at Cary’s Store the year before. In 2004, his death sentence was overturned and his sentence was reduced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole. Since his reduced sentence, Dorsey has come up for parole four times. Parole has been denied all four times, including most recently in November 2023.

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