February 14, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 7


Egypt:Fourteen people have had their death penalty sentences upheld by the Egyptian president.  All 14 people have been convicted of attacking police in North Sinai in 2011.  All of the men belong to Tawheed wal Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War) group.  They were sentenced in 2012, for the death of three police officers, an army officer, and a civilian during an attack on a police station and bank in the town of el-Arish in 2011.



Gaza:A military court has sentenced a man to death for collaborating with Israel.  Another man, with the same charge, has been sentenced to life in prison.  Neither of the men have been identified by name, nor was an execution date was set.



Indonesia: Schapelle Corby, originally from Australia was released from an Indonesian prison on Monday, February 10, 2014, after being convicted of smuggling drugs, a conviction which can often lead to death.  Schapelle was caught smuggling the drugs in 2005.  She denies knowing the drugs were in her bags.  She received a 20-year sentence but has been released on parole after serving nine years.  A condition of her parole is that she continues to live in Bali, with her sister, until 2017.


Forty-five-year-old Catholic Priest Herman Jumat Masan has been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for the death of his lover, a former nun, and their two newborn children.  Herman was first found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.  Upon appeal to the Supreme Court decided to impose execution by firing squad.  Herman killed his first child in 1999, out of fear that his relationship with Yosephine, the former nun, would be discovered.  In 2002, Yosephine became pregnant again.  Allegedly, Yosephine suffered a miscarriage.  Yosephine suffered a hemorrhage during the childbirth and died nine days later after Herman refused to get her medical help.  He buried the bodies and kept his secret for 10 years until he told his new lover.



Iran:On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 15 Baluchi political prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Chahbahar.  Allegedly, the day before, seven prisoners were secretly buried in nameless graves.  On Thursday, February 6, 2014, two prisoners, Parviz Ashna and Farhad Soltani, were executed in the prison of Bandar Abbas.  A total of 107 inmates have been executed in the first five weeks of 2014.


Sixteen-year-old Abolfazl has been sentenced to death for accidentally killing his friend during a drunken brawl.  The family of the victim has asked for blood money in order to forgo the execution.  Abolfazl was arrested while he was in the 9th grade.  He will remain on death row until he can legally be executed at the age of 18.



Malaysia:Chandran Paskaran was scheduled to be executed on Friday, February 7, 2014.  Her execution was stayed following outcry from several human rights groups.  Chandran is convicted of murder.  Her sentence was imposed mandatorily, with the sentencing judge not given a chance to consider mitigating evidence.  Such action is a breach of international law. In the past, executions in Malaysia have been carried out in secret, often without prior or posthumous announcements.



Maldives: The death penalty has recently been approved by the Maldives government.  Regulations on the process of execution will be enacted soon.  Lethal injections will be used to perform the executions, according to the order.  This order comes in response to the increasing violence and murders in the nation.  So far 20 people have been sentenced to death.



United Arab Emirates:On January 29, 2014, Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan issued a stay on all execution.  The European Union Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, welcomed the announcement and hopes that it will lead to a permanent moratorium on the death penalty.  She also hopes other countries will adopt similar measures.


Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for an unnamed 39-year-old man who is charged with raping five boys in Abu Dhabi.  The man stopped the boys, asked about his name and age, gave them money, and asked that they come to the top of the building to watch birds.  Once up there, he would rape them.  All the victims identified the man as their attacker.



United Nations:Three anti-death penalty groups are asking the United Nations to stop counter-narcotics aid to Vietnam following the sentencing of 30 people to death for drug offences.  Recently, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Ireland have each withdrawn aid from Iran’s drug control program out of fears that they could be assisting in executions for those who are caught smuggling drugs.



United States of America:On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, Juan Carlos Chavez was executed by the state of Florida.  The execution was delayed by several hours, eventually being carried out shortly after 8 pm EST, at the Florida State Prison, near Rairford, Florida.  AGE Juan was executed for the rape and murder of 10-year-old Samuel James “Jimmy” Ryce in Redlands, Florida on September 11, 1995.  Read the full story here.


Ohio’s first execution after the controversial execution of Dennis McGuire has been postponed by Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Gregory Lott was scheduled to be executed on March 19, 2014.  The execution has been delayed eight months, rescheduled for November 19.  A spokesman for the governor has stated that the delay was granted in order to give the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction time to complete the review of Dennis’ execution.  Ohio’s next scheduled execution is currently Arthur Tyler on May 28, 2014.


The trial for Dzkokhar Tsarnaev, accused of participating in the Boston Marathon bombing which killed three and injured hundreds, is predicted to last three months.  If convicted the trial could last another six weeks, as jurors will have to decide whether he should be executed.  A trial date has not yet been set.


Missouri has carried out three executions in the past three months.  They have come under intense scrutiny in regards to how and where they have obtained the execution drugs.  Such information is classified as a state secret, however, the name of the compounding pharmacy in Oklahoma that sold them the execution drugs has since been released.  Additionally, Missouri has been criticized by several national media outlets and a federal judge for performing executions while petitions for a stay of execution were pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.  St. Louis Public Radio reported the Missouri’s attorney general’s office as saying, "The state of Missouri went to the United States Supreme Court and asked if the execution should happen. The court answered that question and said, 'No, the execution should not be stopped.'”


The Kansas Senate has given approval for a bill which would speed up the appeals process for death row inmates.  Since the death penalty has been reinstated 20 years ago, Kansas has not carried out a single execution.  According to Senator Jeff King, “In the 20 years since the reinstatement of the death penalty, no case in Kansas has made it past even the 1st appeal.”  The bill would limited directed appeals to three and one half years, although inmates would still have two more levels of appeals.  King estimates that the entire appeal process could take approximately 11 years.



Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, that he was suspending the use of the death penalty in Washington state, so long as he is governor.  He cites the “many flaws” and calls the death penalty an “imperfect system.”  Any execution warrants that come before him will be given a reprieve.  Their sentences will not be commuted and they will not be pardoned.