July 11, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 28


Iran: On Monday, June 9, 2014, a juvenile defender, Amir Sardhaei, was executed in the prison of Tabriz.  He was convicted of murder, which he committed before he turned 18 years of age.  It is believed that at least eight juvenile defenders have been executed so far this year in Iran, which is in violation of international human rights laws.



Malaysia: Thirty-nine-year-old Asni Omar has been sentenced to death for killing 30-year-old Stephanie Foray, a French tourist on Tioman Island, a popular tourist island.  She was reported missing in May of 2011 and her partially mummified remains were discovered three months later in a cave on the island.  In Malaysia, murder carries a mandatory death penalty, which is carried out by hanging, however, Asni can appeal his sentence.


Two friends, 26-year-old Muhammad Iswandi Din and 27-year-old Ahmad Azizuddin Mohd Radzi have been sentenced to death by hanging for smuggling heroin and monoacetylmorphine into the country.  They were arrested nearly two years ago.



Thailand: In response to the death of a 13-year-old girl who was raped and thrown from a moving train by a State Railway of Thailand employee, people are calling for legislation that make the death penalty mandatory for rape and murder crimes.  Similar calls for such legislation occurred prior to the murder, however, the death of the child has sparked increased public support.



United States of America: Florida inmate Eddie Wayne Davis was executed on Thursday, July 10, 2014, at the Florida State Penitentiary near Raiford, Florida.  Eddie was pronounced dead shortly before 7 pm EDT.  He was 45 years of age.  Read his full story here.


Tommy Waldrip was scheduled to be executed in Georgia at 7 pm EDT, on Thursday, July 10, 2014.  His death sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole approximately 24 hours before his execution by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.  No reason was given for his commutation.  Read his full story here.


Robert Wayne Murray has spent the last 23 years of his life behind bars in Arizona.  He received the death penalty in 1992, for the murder of Dean Morrison and Jackie Appelhans during the course of robbing their home on May 14, 1991, in Grasshopper Junction.  Robert is reported to have died in prison from cancer.  He was 49 years of age.


Joe Dansby has been on death row in Arkansas since 1997, when he was convicted of killing 23-year-old Jeff Lewis and his fiancee  21-year-old Malissa Clark.  Joe died on Monday, July 7, 2014.  Joe suffered from multiple health problems and had been receiving treatment at Ouchita River Correctional Unit hospital.  He was 61 years of age. 


Michael Allen Jauhola has been on Idaho’s death row since 1998, when he was convicted of beating to death another inmate, John Williams, with a baseball bat.  He was originally in prison for stabbing and killing a 17-year-old rival gang member.  Michael died on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, inside the medical unit of the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.  He was 41 years of age.


Death row inmates in Louisiana are suing the state over the conditions inmates are forced to endure during the state’s hot summer months.  Last year, a federal judge ruled that the extreme heat violated the inmates 8th Amendment rights and order the state to create a plan to cool the facility.  That ruling was put on hold by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals while the state appeals the ruling.  The inmate appealed to the United States Supreme Court to overturn the stay, however Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia declined to hear the case.


Thirty-three-year-old Justin Ross Harris, from Georgia, could face the death penalty for killing his 22-month-old son, Cooper.  Justin left his son in his car for seven hours, while he was at work.  Justin claims he forgot his to drop Cooper off at daycare and forgot his son was in the car.


The California Supreme Court unanimously overturned the death sentence for Fred Lewis Weatherton who was convicted of murdering two, 33-year-old Latonya Roberson and 43-year-old Samule Ortiz, and attempting to kill a third man who later identified Fred as the attacker.  The conviction was overturned as a juror had discussed the case outside of deliberations and had made up his mind before the trail was over that Fred should received the death penalty.



Vietnam: Thirty-seven-year-old Hom Kosal, from Cambodia, was sentenced to death last September for trafficking methamphetamine.  On Thursday, July 11, 2014, Hom had her sentenced commuted to life in prison.