Wednesday, April 17, 2024
IDPN 2024

International Death Penalty News 2024, Issue 10: Japan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Singapore, Somalia, Thailand, United States of America, Vietnam

International Death Penalty NewsBryan Jefferson Lising dela Cruz and Hazel Ann Baguisa Morales, Filipino nationals, could be sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly couple.  Bryan and Hazel are accused of murdering 55-year-old Norihiro Takahashi and his 52-year-old wife, Kimie.  Neither has confessed to the crime.  The Filipino government is opposed to their execution.  At the time of the crime, Bryan and Hazel were working in Japan.

A death sentence has been confirmed for Nasra al Enezi, who was convicted of starting a fire in a wedding tent that killed 57 individuals, mainly women and children.  The wedding was celebrating the marriage of Nasra’s husband to another woman.  The tent was allegedly illegally constructed and lacked proper exits.  While Nasra confessed to the crime, her lawyers allege she was forced into confessing.

After allegations of a Quran being desecrated by a Christian family, many Christians in the Muslim-majority nation were forced to flee their homes.  The allegations sparked protests that resulted in over 80 homes and 19 churches being burned and demolished.  Additionally, two Christian brothers were arrested on blasphemy charges.  In Pakistan, those convicted of blasphemy can be sentenced to death.  However, their lawyers have recently reported that they have been cleared of all charges and released.  

Thirty-three-year-old Shen Hanjie has had his death penalty upheld by an appeals court.  Shen was convicted and sentenced to death after drugs, later identified as heroin, were found in a drawer in his bedroom.  

A military court has sentenced to death six Moroccan nationals.  The men were convicted on terrorism charges and being members of the Islamic State terrorist group.  The men were identified as Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Najwi, Khalid Latha, Mohamed Binu Mohamed Ahmed, Ridwan Abdulkadir Osmany, and Ahmed Hussein Ibrahim.  Two others, an Ethiopian national and a Somali national, were also convicted.  They each received jail terms of 10 years.  A second Somali national was found not guilty.

Andrew John Brett, a British national who was backpacking, could be sentenced to death for selling narcotics.  Andrew was arrested on Koh Tao island, where ecstasy and LSD were discovered among his possessions.  If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

On Thursday, March 7, 2024, Kendrick Simpson was scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma.  His execution was halted to allow the state more time between scheduled executions.  Forty-three-year-old Kendrick is convicted of murdering 20-year-old Glen Palmer and 19-year-old Anthony Jones on January 16, 2006, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

On Thursday, March 7, 2024, the Senate in Louisana passed a bill that permits execution by electrocution and nitrogen gas.  The bill also shields the identities of companies and/or compounding pharmacists who assist in executions from the public.  Newly elected Governor Jeff Landry has publicly stated his support for resuming executions.  Louisana’s last execution was 13 years ago.  The House of Representatives had previously passed the bill.  It is expected that Governor Landry will sign the bill into law.

The Oklahoma House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee unanimously passed a bill that would halt all execution in the state and prohibit new death sentences until an independent task force reviews the state’s death penalty procedures.  The bill approves a moratorium until November 2029, however, that date can be modified.  Additionally, the bill calls for the independent committee to present its findings in November 2025.  Since passing the House Committee, the bill now moves to the floor to be considered by the entire House.  If passed by the House and Senate, it would need to be signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Willie Cory Godbolt.  Godbolt was convicted and sentenced to death in early 2020 for the murder of eight people on May 27, 2017.  Godbolt had gone to the home of his in-laws, where a fight with his estranged wife ensued.  The family called the police who sent a deputy sheriff, who was fatally shot in the face.  The others, including Godbolt’s mother-in-law, were also killed at the house.  The next day, Godbolt killed four other people in two separate locations.  Godbolt was seeking to have his convicted overturned, claiming he had an unfair jury, as some members had connections to law enforcement.  He also claimed that he had ineffective counsel.  

Wealthy real estate tycoon, 66-year-old Truong My Lan could be sentenced to death if convicted of financial fraud.  The case is the largest financial fraud case in the nation’s history, with an alleged fraud of nearly $12.5 billion.  Lan is accused of using ghost companies to pay bribes to government officials and to violate banking regulations.  Eight-five others are also being prosecuted in connection with the case.  If convicted, Lan could be sentenced to death.  

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