March 28, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 13


Egypt:The nation’s top Islamic jurist ratified a ruling by a criminal court in Cairo which sentenced 26 people to death for terrorism offenses.  All defendants were tried in abesntia for crimes including planning attacks on ships passing through the Suez Canal, manufacturing missiles and explosives to carry out attacks, monitoring and planning to attack security targets, and possession of guns, automatic rifles, explosives, and ammunition.  One defendant was spared the death penalty because he was younger than 18.  He received 15 years in prison.  Most of the defendants have yet to be caught and it is expected that they will receive retrials.  


A total of 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death for murder and other offenses.  The Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed in Egypt, oppose the current regime, which overthrew the first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi, who was also a member of the Brotherhood, last July.  



Indonesia:Forty-one-year-old Satinah Binti Jumadi Ahmad was an Indonesian domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, who was convicted of killing her employer and sentenced to death.  According to Satinah, she suffered months of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her employer.  On the days her employer died, she was attempting to smash Satinah’s head into the wall, when Santinah hit her on the neck with a rolling pin, killing her.  Satinah then stole several thousand dollars and fled, although she was eventually caught.   Her execution by beheading is scheduled for April 4.  The family of the victim has requested approximately $1.9 million as blood money.  The people of Indonesia have attempted to raise the necessary blood money, led by Indonesian pop singer Melanie Subono, however, they have been unable to raise the full amount.  Indonesia is asking that the family accept the money raised and halt the execution.  



Japan:Three men, Olusegun Obaro, Jonah Lase, and Theophilus Friday, were all sentenced to death by an Akure High Court on Thursday, March 20, 2014, for the kidnapping and murder of 18-month-old Rachael Akingboye.  Their execution is to be carried out by hanging.  They are convicting of kidnapping Rachael from her parents' residence and then killing her.  When the corpse was discovered, her right eye, right ear, and right breast had been removed along with the right part of her scalp.  


The world's longest serving death row inmate, 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada, was freed on Thursday, March 27, 2014, after serving 48 years in prison in Japan, 45 of which were spent on death row.  In 1968, Iwao was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1966 murder of a company manager and his family by setting fire to their home, where he was a live-in employee.  Following DNA analysis, a court found that investigators had likely fabricated evidence that put Iwao, a former pro boxer, on death row.  Iwao's first appeal for a retrial took 27 years to be denied by the Supreme Court.  His second appeal was granted in 2008, resulting in his release from prison this week.   



Pakistan:A court has sentenced 35-year-old Christian sanitation worker Sawan Masih to death for blasphemy.  In March of 2013, Sawan is alleged to have gotten into an argument with a Muslim friend, during which he is accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad.  Two days later, a mob swept through Sawan's Christian neighborhood, lighting over 170 house of fire and two churches.  Sawan insists he has been falsely charged as part of a larger plot to seize Christian land for industrial use.  Pakistan has never carried out an execution for blasphemy, however, lynching and other violence is frequent over perceived blasphemy.  



Qatar:A Qatari national, Badr Khamis Abdullah Hashim, was sentenced to death on Thursday, March 27, 2014, for the murder of 24-year-old British school teacher Lauren Patterson.  Lauren was last seen leaving a nightclub with two men.  Her body was later found, burned.  A second national, Mohammad Hassan Abdul Aziz, was sentenced to three years in prison for aiding in the burning of the body and the disposal of evidence.  


A United States couple, Matthew and Grace Huang, who were originally from Los Angeles, California, have been sentenced to three years in prison for causing the death of their adopted eight-year-old daughter, Gloria, in order to harvest and sell her organs in 2013.  They have also been ordered to pay a fine of approximately $4,000 and will be deported following completion of their sentence.  The Huang family moved to Qatar in 2012 so that Matthew, an engineer could work on infrastructure projects linked to the 2022 football World Cup.  Gloria was adopted from Ghana, where she had an impoverished childhood, which resulted in an eating disorder.  Friends describe the family as loving and caring for their children.  Adoption, and multiracial families (Matthew and Grace were of Asian descent) are both rare in Qatar.  Matthew and Grace are calling on United States President Barack Obama to talk to Qatar's head of state and explain the unusual situation and to help with their release.  Prosecutors were originally seeking the death penalty for Matthew and Grace.  They have two other adopted children, who are currently residing in the United States.  



Saudi Arabia:Mohammed bin Khamees al-Hantushi al-Enzi was beheaded on Sunday, March 23, 2014, for murdering fellow national, Ibrahim bin Marfu al-Enzi.  



United Arab Emirates:An Asian man has had his death sentence upheld by an Abu Dhabi appeals court.  The man is convicted of raping and Asian school girl inside of the school kitchen.  



United States of America:On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Jeffrey R.   Ferguson was executed shortly after midnight by the state of Missouri.  Read his full story here.  


On Thursday, March 27, 2014, Anthony Dwayne Doyle was executed by the state of Texas.  He was pronounced dead at 6:49 pm.  Read his full story here.  


Ronald Phillips, an inmate on Ohio’s death row, had his execution delayed earlier this year to allow the state time to consider if he could donate his organs to family members.  Ohio has now denied his request, saying he would not have enough time to recover from surgery before his execution.  The deadline for the surgery was this coming Sunday, however, neither Ronald nor his mother have made significant attempts to move forward with the procedure.  According to documents released by the state, Ronald was warned of the deadline two months ago.  Read Ronald’s full story here.  


Prison reform, and the death penalty is one of the top issues being discussed by Republican gubernatorial candidates in Nebraska.  Nebraska has not carried out an execution in 16 years.  In order to carry out executions, Nebraska would face a problem similar to nearly every other state carrying out executions: What drug to use and where to get it?


Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish has ruled that Oklahoma must reveal the source of their lethal injection drugs.   Death row inmates, Charles Warner and Clayton Lockett, who are scheduled for execution next month, are suing the state for information regarding the lethal injection drugs, citing concerns that the drugs may cause pain and suffering during their execution.   Oklahoma claims they are protecting "those who provide lethal injection drugs.  .  .  from threats of coercion and intimidation.  " Judge Parrish claims withhold this information violates the inmates' right to due process.   Oklahoma plans to appeal Judge Parrish's ruling.  


Two Texas death row inmates with impending executions, Tommy Lynn Sells and Ramiro Hernandez Llanas, are suing the state in an attempt to force the department of corrections to reveal the source of the drugs Texas plans to use to have them executed.  This lawsuit comes shortly after the Texas Department of Corrections announced they had obtained additional drugs for executions, although they would not provide details regarding who provided the drugs, citing concerns about the company being harassed, as has happened in the past.  


The Attorney General's Office of Arizona announced on Thursday, March 27, 2014, that they have changed the combination of drugs that will be used to execute inmates.  The new lethal injection procedure uses a combination of Midazolam and Hydromorphone, replacing the state's single drug protocol.  This combination has been used in an execution once before - the controversial Ohio execution of Dennis McGuire.  Arizona plans to use a stronger concentration of the drugs than used by Ohio.  Arizona does not yet have any executions scheduled for this year.  



Vietnam: In late 2012, 21-year-old Ho Duy Truc chopped of the lower part of Nguyen Thi Thuy’s arm to steal her Honda SH scooter.  Ho had seven accomplices who received jail terms ranging from six months to 20 years.  Ho received the death penalty.  Ho and his friends committed 15 robberies before they were finally caught.  Ho’s death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City.