August 1, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 31


China: An unnamed Japanese man in his 50s has been executed in China for smuggling drugs.  The Japanese man was sentenced to death in December of 2012.  China notified his family of the execution and he was able to speak with his family before his execution.



Ghana: President John Dramani Mahama, in celebration the 54th Republic Anniversary on July 1, 2014, granted amnesty to 1,104 prisoners.  Twenty-one prisoners on death row who have served at least 10 years have also had their sentences commuted to life in prison, while 17 prisoners who have served at least 10 years of their life sentences have had their sentences commuted to a 20 year term.



India: Twenty-eight-year-old Jogendra Tomar has been sentenced to death for the murder of 24-year-old Ruby Rawat.  On July 21, 2013, Jogendra became enraged when Ruby refused to move in with him  Jogendra, who is married, snuck into Ruby’s house and threw acid on her face while she was sleeping and on family members who attempted to help her.  The judge decided on the death sentence because the crime was “heinous.”


Many prisons throughout India lack a hangman due to the low wages and nature of the job.  In the southern state of Kerala, officials plan to increase the hangman’s salary considerably, leading to a spike in applicants applying for the position.  However, there are no inmates in the state that are have completed their appeals, clearing the way for their execution.


The India Supreme Court has extended the stay of execution for Govindachamy, who pushed a woman out of a moving train and then raped her.  The woman later died from her injuries.  Govindachamy had appealed his death sentence, claiming the court who sentenced him to death failed to properly examine the evidence.



Iraq: A Shi’ite militia has publicly displayed the bodies of 15 Sunni Muslims in the town square of Baquba, which is northeast of Baghdad.  The bodies were strung up after being shot in the chest and the head.  The execution occurred on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, one week after the victims were kidnapped.  Allegedly, the display is meant to deter Iraqi’s from supporting the new Islamic State.



Pakistan: Judge Ishtiaq Ahmad of the Anti-Terrorism Court sentenced Waqas Zulfiqar to death for throwing acid on 30-year-old Ayesha Zafar and her nephew, 14-year-old Zunari Sajid.  Ayesha later died from her injuries.  Waqas was also fined for his actions and ordered to pay restitution.



United Arab Emirates: Two men, both in their 20s, have been sentenced to death for the murder of 26-year-old Ajman Police Officer Suood Rashid Salim.  Salim received a telephone call from his mother-in-law informing him that there was a visitor at his home looking for him.  Upon arriving, two men were waiting for him and attacked him.  He was severely beaten and stabbed twice.  He died after giving police a description of his two attackers.



United States of America: The attorney general for Arizona has announced that all executions will temporarily be halted in the state of Arizona until a review of the extended execution of Joseph Wood can take place.  State officials insist that Joseph was unconscious for the duration of his nearly 2 hour execution.  Witnesses’ reports from the execution vary, with some claiming that Joseph appeared to be gasping for air, while others reported that Joseph was simply snoring.  An autopsy revealed no problems with the intravenous lines or the catheters.  Additionally, there is no evidence of the drugs leaking.  Currently, Ohio’s execution protocol calls for the same dosage of the same drugs.  It is not yet clear how or if Joseph’s execution in Arizona could affect upcoming executions in Ohio.


Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who faced execution earlier this year in Sudan because she refused to recant her Christian faith, has arrived in the United States, along with her husband and two young children.


According to Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor, the state will retain its current execution protocol, which includes the drug midazolam in its three-drug execution proceeds despite, recent prolonged executions which have used the drug.  According to Traylor, Virginia’s three-drug policy is not comparable to the two-drug procedure used by other states.  Virginia has not yet used midazolam in an execution.


Another state, Texas, has also announced it does not plan to change its execution protocol.  Texas uses a single drug, pentobarbital for its executions.  Since Texas has begun using pentobarbital in 2012, the state has carried out 33 executions without experiencing complications.


After the fatal shooting of New Jersey Police Officer Melvin Santiago, some lawmakers are calling for the state to bring back the death penalty.  New Jersey eliminated the death penalty in 2007 because it was not begin used.  State Senate President Steve Sweeny believes such a decision should not be a reaction to a tragedy but a well thought and discussed decision.