Wednesday, April 17, 2024
IDPN 2024

International Death Penalty News 2024, Issue 11: India, Iran, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, United States of America

India

International Death Penalty NewsThe Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the death sentence of Baljinder Kumar, who is convicted of murdering his wife Seema Rani, two children three-year-old Suman Kumari and two-year-old Harsh and his sister-in-law Reena Rani on November 29, 2013. Two others were also injured in the incident. Allegedly, Kumar killed his family as his wife left him after his dispute. Kumar was appealing his sentence. The family was all killed in their home.

On Sunday, March 3, 2024, 29-year-old Milad Galavi was executed at Kahash Prison. He was convicted of murdering his mother and two siblings in June 2022. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Monday, March 4, 2024, 40-year-old Mostafa Jamil Samadi and an Afghan national identified as Iman were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. Mostafa was convicted on drug-related charges while Imran was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind. Under Iranian law, all killings are considered intentional murder, and mitigating evidence is often not considered. Once convicted of murder, the family of the victim chooses if the defendant will be granted forgiveness, asked to pay diya (blood money), or be sentenced to qisas.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 37-year-old Salim Bagheri was executed in Kashan Prison. He was convicted of murdering another man over a financial dispute and sentenced to qisas. Under Iranian law, all killings are considered intentional murder, and mitigating evidence is often not considered. Once convicted of murder, the family of the victim chooses if the defendant will be granted forgiveness, asked to pay diya (blood money), or be sentenced to qisas.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 25-year-old Farshad Rakhshani was executed in Gonbad Kavous Prison. Farshad was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind. Under Iranian law, all killings are considered intentional murder, and mitigating evidence is often not considered. Once convicted of murder, the family of the victim chooses if the defendant will be granted forgiveness, asked to pay diya (blood money), or be sentenced to qisas. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Thursday, March 7, 2024, Abbas Dadvar and Fakhreddin Mangournejad were executed in Mahabad Prison. Both men were convicted on the same murder charges and sentenced to qisas. They are convicted of killing two brothers. Under Iranian law, all killings are considered intentional murder, and mitigating evidence is often not considered. Once convicted of murder, the family of the victim chooses if the defendant will be granted forgiveness, asked to pay diya (blood money), or be sentenced to qisas.

On Thursday, March 7, 2024, 42-year-old Hadi Hadi Khanlu and 50-year-old Mehdi Gorgij were executed in Zanjan Central Prison. Both were convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. Mehdi was also identified as a Baluch ethnic minority.

On Monday, March 11, 2024, 44-year-old Mansour Mansouri was executed in Ilam Central Prison. Mansour, a Kurdish national, was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind. Under Iranian law, all killings are considered intentional murder, and mitigating evidence is often not considered. Once convicted of murder, the family of the victim chooses if the defendant will be granted forgiveness, asked to pay diya (blood money), or be sentenced to qisas.

On Monday, March 11, 2024, 63-year-old Moein Salahvarzi was executed in Ilam Central Prison. He had been on death row for the last 32 years. He was convicted of murdering his brother during a dispute regarding that year’s harvest. His brother said that the year’s harvest should be given to him. When Moein refused, his brother made public disparaging comments about Moein’s wife. Moein shot at his brother with a hunting rifle, killing him. Moein alleges he was not trying to kill his brother. His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Thursday, March 15, 2024, 42-year-old Behzad Bidrang was executed in Qazvin Central Prison. The father of two was convicted on drug-related charges.

Iran Human Rights has released its report on executions in Iran for 2023. They reported that every year for the last three years, drug-related executions have steadily risen in Iran. Additionally, Iran remains one of the few nations to carry out executions of minors. The exact number of minors executed in Iran in 2023 is unclear due to a lack of accuracy and transparency when reporting the ages of inmates. For those convicted of murder, in about 20 percent of the cases, the family of the victim chooses qisas as the punishment. The approximately 80 percent remaining are granted forgiveness, sometimes after paying diya. The report also shows that for the first time in nine years, two people were executed on blasphemy charges. Additionally, for the first time in 14 years, an execution was carried out for adulatory charges. Iran also carried out the execution of at least 22 women in 2023, which makes it the most women executed since 2014.

On Tuesday, March 12, 2024, the Japanese high court overturned the death sentence of 77-year-old Satoru Nomura. They resentenced him to life in prison. Satoru, the head of the Kudo-kai crime syndicate was convicted as the mastermind behind four cases of attacks against civilians.

Multiple people have been sentenced to death since the February 1, 2021 coup by the military, including those who have denounced and/or protested against the new government. Since 2021, at least 164 people have been sentenced to death, with many people receiving multiple death sentences.

A 22-year-old former student has been sentenced to death for messages he shared over WhatsApp. The images were considered blasphemous and allegedly shared with the intention of outraging Muslims. Another man, a juvenile, has been given a life sentence for participating in the crime. Lawyers for the two men alleged that the case against them was false.

On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, James Harris, Jr., was scheduled to be executed in Texas. His execution was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. James is convicted of murdering 85-year-old Alton Wilcox during a home robbery on January 14, 2012, in Houston, Texas.

On Thursday, March 14, 2024, John Stojetz was scheduled to be executed in Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled at the request of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to May 19, 2027, due to Ohio’s ongoing problems obtaining execution drugs. John is convicted of murdering 17-year-old Damico Watkins on April 25, 1996, at the Madison Correctional Institution in Ohio.

Following the first execution by nitrogen gas in the United States, three of the largest manufacturers of nitrogen gas have barred their products from being used in executions. Manufacturers of lethal injection drugs have taken similar actions in recent years. One of the nitrogen gas manufacturers first started speaking out in 2019, after Oklahoma first passed a law permitting the use of nitrogen gas in executions. Currently, four states have approved the use of nitrogen hypoxia: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

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