Wednesday, June 12, 2024
IDPN 2024

International Death Penalty News 2024, Issue 22: China, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, United States of America

International Death Penalty NewsOn Tuesday, May 28, 2024, Bai Tianhui was sentenced to death for accepting “extremely large” bribes, totaling over $151.9 million.  Bai was the former general manager at a subsidiary of bad-debt manager Huarong Asset Management.  He also used his potion to offer favorable treatment to some.  In addition to being sentenced to death, all of Bai’s personal property was also confiscated.  Bai’s conviction was part of President Zi Jinping’s efforts to crack down on corruption in the nation, although some claim he is also using it as a way to go after political rivals.  No execution date has yet been announced, however, executions are not always announced before they are carried out.

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, He Zehua, former deputy chief of China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, was sentenced to death.  Zehua was convicted of taking advantage of his position, and of taking large bribes between 1998 and 2023, amounting to about $132.6 million.  He was given a two-year reprieve for his death sentence, after which his sentence will be reduced to life in prison, with no further commutation or parole allowed.  His personal property and illegal gains were also confiscated.  In determining his sentence, Zehua’s cooperation in the investigation and wellness to return the illegal gains was taken into consideration.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 35-year-old Reza Ghobadi was executed in Shiraz Central Prison.  He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges.  State officials and the media have not yet reported his execution.  

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 37-year-old Naser Atarod was executed in Qom Central Prison.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Naser killed someone at a gym about six years ago.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder, as mitigating evidence is rarely taken into consideration.  After being convicted, the family of the victim is forced to choose between granting forgiveness or demanding qisas or diya (blood money).  

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 40-year-old Jafar Aslani was executed in Qazvin Central Prison.  He was convicted and executed on drug-related charges.  His execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder, as mitigating evidence is rarely taken into consideration.  After being convicted, the family of the victim is forced to choose between granting forgiveness or demanding qisas or diya (blood money).  Her execution has not yet been reported by state officials or the media.

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, 27-year-old Fatemeh Abdollahi was executed in Neishabur Prison.  She was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  She was convicted of murdering her husband about three years ago.  

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, five men and one woman were executed in Urmia Central Prison.  The six have been identified as 57-year-old Parvin Mousavi, 29-year-old Ramin Lavandi, 45-year-old Mansour Naseri, 30-year-old Yousef Saeedi Chehreh, Parviz Mirghasemi, and a man only identified as Jabali. All were convicted and executed on drug-related charges.  None of the executions have yet been reported by state officials or the media.  

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, Asghar Hajizadeh and Kaveh Bashangeh were executed in Salmas Prison.  Both men were convicted on separate drug-related charges.  State officials and the media have not yet reported their executions.  

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, 51-year-old Yaser  Abdollahi was executed in Isfahan Central Prison.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  He was the father of three children.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder, as mitigating evidence is rarely taken into consideration.  After being convicted, the family of the victim is forced to choose between granting forgiveness or demanding qisas or diya (blood money).  State officials and the media have not yet reported the execution.

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, 20-year-old Ramin Sa’adat was executed in Miandoab Prison.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.  Ramin, however, insists that while he was involved in a fight, he was not responsible for the other person’s death.  Additionally, Ramin was allegedly only 16 years of age at the time of the fatal altercation, meaning he was a juvenile at the time of his arrest.  It is against international law to execute a person for a crime committed as a juvenile.  

On Sunday, May 19, 2024, four men were executed in Shiraz Central Prison.  Three of the men have been identified as 35-year-old Mostafa Aghayi, 28-year-old Nader Ghorbani, and Mojtaba Jouyandeh who was around 40 years of age.  The fourth man was only identified as an Afghan national.  Three of the men were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind, while the fourth man was convicted and sentenced to death on drug-related charges.  Under Iranian law, all killings are classified as intentional murder, as mitigating evidence is rarely taken into consideration.  After being convicted, the family of the victim is forced to choose between granting forgiveness or demanding qisas or diya (blood money).  None of the executions have been reported by state officials or the media.  

In 2014, after spending over 30 years on death row, Iwao Hakamata was granted a retrial.  He was released from prison after the retrial was announced. Prosecutors again sought a death sentence, arguing there was sufficient evidence in the case.  Lawyers for the elderly Hakamata insist he is innocent of the crime.  A verdict is expected to be announced on September 26, 2024.  

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 50-year-old Japanese national Mariko Takeuchi had her death sentence reduced to 30 years in prison from the date of her arrest in 2009.  Mariko was sentenced to death after she was convicted of drug-related charges.  Mariko alleges that the drugs in her suitcase were not hers, and that she was carrying the suitcase for an acquaintance.  A previous attempt at an appeal for a reduced sentence failed in 2015.  It is possible that Mariko will be released from prison early due to good behavior.

On Thursday, May 30, 2024, Jamie Mills was executed by the state of Alabama.  He was pronounced dead at 6:26 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.  His execution was carried out via lethal injection.  Jamie was 50 years of age.  He was convicted of murdering 87-year-old Floyd Hill and his 72-year-old wife Vera Hill on June 24, 2004, in Guin, Alabama.

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