Wednesday, June 12, 2024
IDPN 2024

International Death Penalty News, Issue 20: China, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United States of America

International Death Penalty NewsOn Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Luo Chongchuang was executed in China. He was convicted and sentenced to death for child rape and child molestation.  Before his arrest, Luo worked as a primary school teacher and used his position to rape four girls multiple times.  He also molested at least 25 other young girls.  Luo was sentenced to death in April 2023.  

Two Ukrainian nationals, a Russian national, and an Indonesian national were all arrested earlier this month at a villa on the resort island of Bali.  None of the four were identified by name. They were accused and convicted of operating a hydroponic marijuana and mephedrone manufacturing laboratory.  They intended to sell the drugs, however, they were having production problems. 

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Houshang Nourollahi Younjalu and 28-year-old Mohammad Afghan were executed in Gorgan Central Prison.  Both were convicted on drug-related charges.  The mother of Mohammad, an Afghan national, was denied permission for a final visit.  State officials and the media have not yet reported the executions.

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, 35-year-old Hassan Choopani, Abdollah Hassanzadeh Yangajeh, and Hassan Arabi Anabi were executed in Urmia Central Prison.  They were convicted and sentenced to death on separate drug-related charges.  Their executions have not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, 40-year-old Khan Mohammad Eshaghzehi was executed in Semnan Central Prison.  Khan, an Afghan national, was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges.  His family was not notified before the execution, preventing them from having a final visit.  State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, three Baluch ethnic minorities were executed in Bam Central Prison.  Two of the men have been identified as Hamed Shehbakhsh and 28-year-old Saman Jarangideh.  Both were convicted on drug-related charges in the same case. The third man was not identified by name, nor was his crime reported.  State officials and the media have not yet reported the executions. 

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, Amin Jafari was executed in Isfahan Central Prison.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder.  After conviction, the family of the deceased must choose between granting forgiveness to the convicted, or demanding diya (blood money) or qisas.  Amin’s execution has not yet been reported by state officials and the media.  

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Reza Gholamhosseini and Farokh Khan Mohammadi were executed in Ilam Central Prison.  Both men were convicted of murder in two separate cases and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder.  After conviction, the family of the deceased must choose between granting forgiveness to the convicted, or demanding diya (blood money) or qisas. Their executions have not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, Sirus Hayatbini, Mohammadreza Rahimpour, and Mohammad Karim Fazeli were executed at Ghezlhesar Prison.  They were all convicted on drug-related charges.  State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, Khosro Besharat was executed in Ghezelhesar Prison.  Khosro is a Kurdish-Sunni political prisoner who was sentenced to death over 14 years ago.  Allegedly, he was physically and psychologically tortured into confessing to murder.  However, when witnesses to the crime denied that Khosro was involved, he was instead tried for “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth.”  His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, three people were executed in Ghezelhesar Prison.  They were convicted of drug-related crimes.  The three men were not identified by name.  State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.

An unnamed foreign national has been arrested and sentenced to death for branding narcotics into the county with the intent to sell them.  Over the past several years, drug use has been rapidly accelerating, even with strict rules against drug use.

The Federal Court has commuted the death sentences of four inmates to prison sentences ranging from 30 to 35 years.  The men have been identified as 41-year-old Asis Lako, 40-year-old Daud Passarin, 34-year-old Daniel Usin, and 51-year-old Ramasamy Mahendran.  Ramasamy was convicted on drug-related charges, while the remaining three were convicted of murder.

The Federal Court has upheld the death sentence of 59-year-old Shawal Senin, who was originally from Singapore.  He was convicted of murdering a child, Siwakorn Sukuntha, at Shawal’s home between December 24 and December 27.  Shawal was asking that his death sentence be commuted under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life.  

Former death row inmate 73-year-old A Arokiasamy has been released from prison after his death sentence was commuted to 33 years in prison.  He became eligible for early release due to good behavior. Arokiasamy was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering S Ganam at a car park in Tampoi, Johor.  Arokiasamy later turned himself in to the police and admitted what he had done.

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, the Senate passed a bill increasing the punishment for the manufacturing of hard drugs from life in prison to capital punishment.  Increasing usage of drugs, especially among young people, was cited as a reason for increasing the punishment of the crime.  Additionally, more and more people are allegedly becoming addicted to the drugs.

At the request of the Kenyan government, Saudi Arabia has agreed to postpone the scheduled execution of Stephen Munyakho.  The stay has been granted to allow time for further negotiations between all parties.  Stephen is convicted of inadvertently causing the death of another person.  Saudi Arabia follows Muslim law which permits the family of the victim to demand that the convicted be executed on pay diya, that is, blood money.  The family can also grant forgiveness.  

The Court of Appeal has overturned the conviction and death sentence of 63-year-old Mohamed Mubin Abdul Rahman.  The court overturned the conviction and sentence after it found that the evidence did not support a finding of beyond a reasonable doubt.  It has not yet been decided if the case will be retried or if Mohamed will be acquitted.

Forty-one-year-old Joseph David Heard has been sentenced to death in Biloxi, Mississippi.  He is convicted of murdering his two-year-old stepson Hayden Lee Bataille on December 27, 2021.  Joseph’s wife, 24-year-old Hailey Lynne Bataille Heard, testified against him.  She has received a life sentence for the murder.  During his final days, Hayden was repeatedly punched in the head and stomach by Joseph, who grew even angrier when the toddler cried out.  Eventually, Hailey placed her hand over the child’s mouth to stop his screams.  He ultimately died of suffocation, however, severe physical trauma also contributed.

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take up a death penalty case which is questioning if the defendant has the right to present during jury selection.  The appeal was made on behalf of Gustavo Sandoval, who is on death row in Texas for the murder of an off-duty border patrol officer during a robbery.  Sandoval was not present during a special proceeding in which a judge conducted a preliminary interview of potential jurors.  Sandoval and his lawyers were arguing that he had a constitutional right to be at the special proceeding.  

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