Wednesday, April 17, 2024
IDPN 2024

International Death Penalty News 2024, Issue 08: Bangladesh, China, Iran, Pakistan, United States of America

International Death Penalty NewsForty-seven-year-old Nasir Uddin has been sentenced to death by Judge Zainal Abedin of the Third Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Chittagong.  Nasir, a madrasa teacher, has been sentenced to death for raping four children at the school in 2020.  

Five individuals have been sentenced to death in a murder case in Panchbibi Upazila.  They were convicted of attacking Abu Taher and his son, Abu Hossain, on March 25, 2010.  Hossain eventually died from his injuries.  The five men had a previous dispute with Taher, leading to the attack.   

According to a recent media report, a 41-year-old man has been executed.  The man has been identified only by his surname, Zhang.  Zhang was convicted and executed for robbing a woman, murdering her, and desecrating her body.  Zhang had previously been in prison on charges of robbery, rape, and theft.  He was released in 2016, after having his sentence commuted.  

On Saturday, January 20, 2024, 41-year-old Hajar Atabaki was executed in Qazvin Central Prison.  She was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges.  She had one child and had left her husband in 2018.  Her execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.  

On Monday, February 12, 2024, 38-year-old Abuzar Taher Arab was executed in Qom Central Prison.  Abuzar was convicted of murdering his employer and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Abuzar was arguing with his employer, who had not paid him since he started working four months ago.  

On Monday, February 19, 2024, 35-year-old Iraj Paaki was executed in Urmia Central Prison.  He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges.  He was arrested with a friend, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Iraj’s execution has not yet been pressed by state officials and the media.  

Kurdish prisoner, 27-year-old Shahin Vasaf has been sentenced to death after being convicted on charges of espionage for Israel.  Vasaf was arrested in September 2022.  He was physically and psychologically tortured into confessing to spying for Israel.  He was also denied access to a lawyer.  Another man who was arrested with Vasaf was eventually released.

A bill approving public executions for sex offenders and rapists has been rejected by the upper house of parliament.  Supporters of the bill believe that public executions will reduce the crimes.  However, opponents of the bill disagree and argue that public executions have no place in today’s world.  

A death row inmate in Alabama, David Phillip Wilson, has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of nitrogen gas executions.  In the lawsuit, the inmate alleges that the execution was “botched miserably.”  It also claims that the execution was torturous, calling it human experimentation.  Wilson was convicted of killing a man during a burglary in 2004.  

The state of Alabama is seeking to carry out a second execution using nitrogen hypoxia.  Alabama has asked the court to set an execution date of 59-year-old Alan Miller.  Miller was previously scheduled to be executed on September 22, 2022, however, the execution was called off when officials determined the execution could not be completed before the execution warrant expired.   Miler is convicted and sentenced to death for the triple murder of Terry Jarvis, Lee Holdbrooks, and Scott Yancy during a workplace shooting in 1999. 

While some lawmakers in Ohio are seeking to resume executions in the state using nitrogen hypoxia, Governor Mike DeWine is continuing to postpone executions.  Most recently, on Friday, February 16, 2024, it was announced that the executions of Timothy Hoffner and John Stumpf, initially scheduled for later this year, will be delayed until 2027.  Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has repeatedly granted stays of execution citing ongoing problems obtaining execution drugs.  Before becoming governor, DeWine was a supporter of capital punishment, however, since his election he has refused to confirm his support or opposition to the practice. 

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has overturned the death sentence of Kentucky inmate Benny Lee Hodge.  Hodge was convicted and sentenced to death on June 20, 1986, in Letcher County.  He was convicted of murdering Tammy Acker while robbing Tammy’s father’s home.  Tammy’s father was also injured in the August 8, 1985 attack.  Hodge has also been convicted and sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Bessie and Edwin Morris in Gray Hawk, Kentucky on June 16, 1985.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his death sentence, agreeing with Hodge’s argument that his original attorney failed to properly investigate mitigating evidence that could have resulted in a lesser sentence.

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