The Karnataka High Court has commuted the death sentences of three men to life in prison. The three men are convicted of a 2013 double murder. The death sentences were reduced after the justices determined that the case did not meet the “rarest of the rare” requirement for death sentences.
On May 8, 2023, 29-year-old Bahman Zayerfar was executed in Ahar Prison. Now nearly eight months later, his brother, Naghi, was executed in Maragheh Prison on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. Both were convicted and executed on drug-related charges.
On Saturday, January 13, 2024, Reza Heidari was executed in Khorramabad Central Prison. He was convicted about four years ago on drug-related charges. State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.
On Sunday, January 14, 2024, six men were executed in Karaj Penitentiary. The men were identified as Ahmad Latifi, Ali Akbar Moradian, Akbar Khoramtash, Hadi Nazari, Seyed Ali (Hojat) Miri, and Amirhossein Maleki. All were convicted on drug-related charges. None of the executions have yet been reported by state officials or the media.
On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 37-year-old Akram Karimpour was executed in Hamedan Central Prison. He was convicted on drug-related charges about three years ago. In the last year, drug-related executions have increased about 69 percent compared to the previous year.
On Thursday, January 18, 2024, 21-year-old Yuki Endo was sentenced to death. He was convicted of murdering two people, the 55-year-old father and 50-year-old mother of a female acquaintance while at their home in Kofu on October 12, 2021. Endo stabbed the couple, resulting in their deaths. He also injured the female acquaintance’s younger sister and set fire to the home. At his trial, Endo claimed he committed the crimes because the female acquaintance would not go out on a date with him. He did not apologize for committing the crimes.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 63-year-old man identified only by his last name, Wu. Wu is accused of stabbing to death the married couple who lived in the apartment above Wu in Lingya District. The couple also had two young children living in the apartment. On September 15, 2023, Wu became announced by the noise in the apartment and knocked on the door. When a child opened the door, Wu allegedly stormed inside and attacked the couple who was sleeping at the time. Wu was arrested hours later, after fleeing the scene of the crime.
United States of America
The Los Angeles Innocence Project in California has taken up the case of Scott Peterson. Scott is convicted of murdering his wife, 27-year-old Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant with their child, Connor, on Christmas Eve in 2002. Scott claims Laci was abducted and murdered and has insisted upon his innocence. In a new filing, the Los Angeles Innocence Project states that there is new evidence to support Scott’s claims. Additionally, his attorneys are seeking evidence that they have not been able to locate. After his arrest and conviction, Scott was sentenced to death. His sentence was later reduced to life in prison.
On Friday, January 12, 2024, US prosecutors officially announced they intended to seek the death penalty for Payton Gendron, who is accused of killing 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. The shooting has been determined to be a racially motivated crime, as the grocery store was located in a predominantly Black neighborhood. In February 2023, Gendron was convicted in the state of New York, where he was sentenced to life in prison. New York does not have the death penalty. Gendron is facing federal charges, which could lead to a death sentence. However, Gendron has expressed a willingness to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty.
Twenty-three-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors that will spare him the death sentence. Aldrich is convicted of opening fire inside Club Q, an LGBT club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which resulted in the death s of five people. Nineteen others were injured in the shooting. Seventy-four charges were filed against Aldrich, including 50 hate crime charges. In exchange for pleading guilty, Aldrich will serve “multiple concurrent life sentences plus a consecutive sentence of 190 years imprisonment.” Additionally, Aldrich is serving five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to state charges.
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