June 20, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 25


Brunei: The government of Brunei recently enacted legislation which approves and encourages the use of stoning as punishment for individuals involved in same-sex sexual activity.  This has cause international outrage.  Members of the United States House of Representatives are urging the United States federal government to halt a trade deal with Brunei until they repeal their homosexual laws.



China: On Monday, June 16, 2014, a total of 13 people were executed in China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.  The group was involved in seven cases and convicted of organizing, leading, and participating in terrorist groups, murder, arson, theft, and illegal manufacturing, storing and transporting explosives.  The group planned various attacks which killed police officers, government officials, and civilians, in addition to causing huge property losses.


Also on Monday, June 16, 2014, three people were sentenced to death for their part in a terror attack near Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October of last year.  Another individual was given a life sentence.  Four other received prison sentences ranging from five to 20 years.


In July of 2013, a pregnant woman, Tan Beibei lured a 17-year-old girl into her house by pretending to have abdominal pains.  The teenager was then drugged by Tan, in order for Tan's husband, Bai Yunjiang, to rape the girl.  The couple then killed her and buried her body in a rural location.  Bai has recently been sentenced to death, while Tan received a life sentence.


On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, seven individuals, out of a group of 17, were sentenced to death for smuggling drugs in east China's Shandong Province.  Three more people also received death sentences but with a two year reprieve.  The remaining seven were given various jail terms.  China has begun doling out harsher punishments for drug dealers as the government attempts to crack down on them. 


On Thursday, June 19, 2014, He Shenguo was sentenced to death for killing two government workers and injuring four others during an argument related to the nation's one-child policy.  The man slashed at people with a machete in a family planning office after he was not allowed to register his fourth child because he failed to pay a fee levied on parents who have more than one child.



Egypt:Out of 23 defendants accused of murder or attempted murder for shooting at a police raid on September 19, 2013, 12 individuals have been sentenced to death.  They were also accused of being a "member of a jihadist organization."  The 11 remaining defendants have not yet been caught.



 Iran: Razieh Ebrahimi was a child bride, forced to marry the neighbor's son at the age of 14.  By the age of 15, she was a mother.  At the age of 17, she shot and killed her husband, who, she alleges, was physically violent and verbally abusive with her.  Razieh originally told police that her husband was missing.  When her father discovered the body, he turned her over to police.  Razieh, now 21, faces imminent execution even though she was a minor at the time of the crime, which prohibits her from facing the death penalty according to international human rights laws.  The victim's family has, so far, refused to spare Razieh's life.


In honor of the one-year anniversary of the election of Hassan Rouhani, at least 10 inmates were hanged.  Hassan was elected president on June 15, 2013.  Since Hassan has taken office, executions in Iran have increased.


Iraq:It has been reported that militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have executed 1,700 Iraqi government soldiers.  The claims by the militants have not been confirmed.  The militant also claimed, via Twitter, that all those executed were Shiite Muslims.



Somalia:A man has been executed by beheading after he was found to be in possession of Khat, plant based narcotic.  Khat is banned in areas controlled by militants, which is where the man was executed.



United States of America: Late Tuesday night, June 17, 2014, Georgia executed Marcus Wellons.  The execution occurred at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  Marcus was 59 years of age.  Marcus was executed for the murder of 15-year-old India Roberts.  Marcus' execution was scheduled to begin at 7 pm EDT, however last minute appeals delayed the execution until shortly before midnight.  Read the full story here.


Early Wednesday morning, June 18, 2014, John Winfield was executed by the state of Missouri.  The execution occurred at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Corrections Center in Bonn Terre, Missouri.  John was 43 years of age.  John was executed for the murder of Arthea Sanders and Shawnee Murphy on September 9, 1996, in St. Louis County, Missouri.  Read John's full story here.


On Wednesday evening, June 18, 2014, Florida executed John Ruthell Henry.  The execution occurred at teh Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida.  John was 63 years of age.  John was executed for the murder of wife Susan Henry, and Susan's 5-year-old son Eugene Christian on December 22, 1985, in Pasco County and Hillsborough County respectively.  Read John's full story here.


Lewis M. Jordan, a/k/a John Lewis was also scheduled to be executed Tuesday evening, but he was granted a stay of execution by the Philidelphia Courts of Common Pleas to allow time for further appeals.  Lewis is 27 years of age.  He is convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 54-year-old Philadelphia Police Officer Charles Cassidy on October 31, 2007, inside a Dunkin' Donuts shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Read his full story here.


In California, executions have been on hold since 2006, as the state continues to attempt to find a way to perform executions that is feasible and will be approved by the courts.  With the largest death row in the nation at well over 700 inmates, at least 37 require 24 hour inpatient care for mental illness.  Due to such demand and the state's current inability to treat them, California prison officials plan to build a 40-unit psychiatric hospital for mentally ill death row inmates.