February 7, 2014

IDPN  Issue 6


Brunei:In April of this year, a set of laws formulated last year will be enacted.  These laws, based on Sharia laws, criminalize many activities viewed as acceptable in most nations, such as adultery and homosexual relations.  Punishments range from public stonings to executions.  For years, the country has refrained from performing executions, however, with the new laws, executions will once again occur.  International groups are outraged at the implementation of these laws and punishments.  



India:A man has been given the death penalty after being convicted of beheading a baby and drinking its blood.  The villagers who discovered the man beat him before turning him over to the police.  


Two Italian Marines on trial in India for killing two Indian fishermen will not face the death penalty.  Italy, like most European countries, oppose the use of the death penalty.  



Iran: Thirty-two-year-old Hashem Shaabani, a poet, and 38-year-old Hadi Rashedi, both Ahwazi activists, were executed by hanging on Monday, February 3, 2014, for Moharebeh (“enmity against God”), Mufsid-fil-Arz (“corruption on earth”) and spreading propaganda against the system.  Their executions were ordered by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.  


On Thursday, February 06, 2014, two prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Bandar Abbas.  The inmates were identified by initials only and convicted of murder.  


Thirty-seven-year-old Alireza M.   was hanged in Bojnourd prison on October 7, 2013, however when his family went to collect his body the following day, they discovered that he was still breathing.  Judiciary leaders have stated that the law calls for him to be executed again, however, due to emotional issues, the sentence has been reduced to life in prison.  



Kenya: Three individuals David Manegene, John Bundi and Francis Nyamu, have been sentenced to death for robbery with violence.  As many as eight witnesses identified the three as the robbers.  



Malaysia: A French woman and four others have been detained on suspicion of growing cannabis (marijuana).  It is likely that they will be charged with drug trafficking, and, if convicted, could be sentenced to death.  



Saudi Arabia:Habib Al Shammari was executed by beheading for the murder of fellow tribesman Meshaal Al Shammari after the two had a dispute.  This is the fourth execution carried out in 2014.  


A man has been sentenced to three years in jail and 360 lashes after being convicted of seeking a same-sex partner on Twitter.  Allegedly, the 30-year-old man confessed during a police interrogation.  


On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, a Pakistani named Mohammed Asharaf Ramadan was executed for smuggling drugs into the kingdom.  Also executed on Wednesday, was Saudi national Turki Ahmed al-Salami.  He was executed for murdering Salman Subaykhi.  



Singapore:A review of the nation’s homicide laws could lead to fewer cases seeking the death penalty.  The review is considering creating a special set of laws which would deal with those who cause the death of another due to violent crimes.  The review is also considering the best way to handle mentally disabled offenders.  



United Arab Emirates: A national, identified by initials only, has had his death sentence upheld by the Fujairah Court of Appeals for the murder of a stateless man.  The incident occurred during a scuffle at a hotel.  The family of the victim is insisting on the execution.  The Emirati national will also be given 80 lashes for consuming alcohol.  



United States of America:Gary Ploof, a death row inmate in Delaware, was scheduled to be executed on February 4, 2014.  His execution was stayed to allow him time to complete his federal appeals.  Gary is convicted of murdering his wife, Heidi Ploof, in order to collect her life insurance.  Read his full story here.  


Suzanne Basso was executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.  Suzanne was 59 years of age.  She was executed for the 1998 murder of Louis “Buddy” Musso, who was mentally challenged.  Read her full story here.  


The execution of Christopher Sepulvado was scheduled for 6 pm CST on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.  In the days leading up to his execution, Christopher was given a 90-day delay over concerns about the recent changes in Louisiana’s lethal injection protocol.  Read the full story here.  


The Supreme Court of the United States will decide later this month whether they will hear an appeal from Michelle Byrom, a woman on death row in Mississippi.  Michelle has been convicted of killing her husband, however, she also claims that he was physically and sexually abusive towards her.  Michelle is seeking a new trial, which state and federal courts have rejected.  


Following the announcement of the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to seek a sentence of death for the Boston Marathon Bomber, the reaction has been mixed.  Those who support the death penalty believe that the right decision was made as it will send a message to other would-be terrorists.  Those opposed to the death penalty, call it an emotional response and a thirst for vengeance.  Critics of the death penalty believe that America should follow the example of Europe and outlaw it.  


A hearing on DNA evidence for Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner concluded on Tuesday, February, 4, 2014.  Additional DNA test were conducted by three separate laboratories on several pieces of evidence.  Unfortunately, some of the evidence was not stored properly, which resulted in degrading of the DNA material.  Other evidence has disappeared completely, including the yellow windbreaker the killer was believed to have been wearing.  Each side claims that the new DNA evidence has strengthened their case.  State district Judge Steven Emmert presided over the hearing.  It is now up to the court to decide if this new evidence would have caused reasonable doubt for the jury in Hank’s original trial.  


Some lawmakers in Virginia had proposed making electrocution a secondary measure of execution if lethal injection drugs were unavailable.  It failed to pass in the state Senate by a vote of21 to 19.  It has been sent back to committee, effectively killing it for one year.  Critics of the bill say that execution is "archaic" and "inhumane.  "Proponents of the bill view it as a way to ensure justice is carried out for victims and their families.