August 8, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 32


China: Two South Koreans have been executed for smuggling drugs into China from North Korea with the intent to sell them.  The duo was smuggling a large amount of methamphetamine.  South Korea has repeatedly asked that they be spared on humanitarian grounds, however, China insisted that foreign drug dealers are equally subject to China’s laws as domestic drug dealers.  



India: Death row inmate Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik was convicted of raping and murdering a 3-year-old child.  His petition for mercy to President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected on July 31, 2014.  



Iran: Three men - Mohammad Ghareh Ghaani, Bahman Kochakpour, and Rostami - were executed by hanging on Sunday, August 3, 2014.  All three were executed for moharebeh (waging war against God), in the form of armed robbery and rape.


The Head of the Human Rights Council of the Iranian regime’s Judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani, has responded to international human rights groups which have condemned the nation for its use of retribution and stoning.  On August 5, 2014, Larijani said “We are proud of our judicial system and we do not feel uncomfortable with Law of Retribution and even stoning.”  In the past, Larijani, had described the Law of Retribution, which includes amputation, flogging, and eye gouging, as “beautiful” and a “service to humanity.”



Maldives: Following an increase in violent attacks over the past week, the Maldives government has announced that it “will not hesitate to implement the death penalty.”  The death penalty was reintroduced into the nation in April and the government has recently finished building a facility in which to carry out executions.  Previously, the Maldives have had an unofficial moratorium on executions since 1953.



Saudi Arabia: Thirty-six-year-old Dante Altizo was a Filipino worker when he was convicted of murder and placed on death row.  While in prison, Dante, who now goes by Ebrahim, converted to Islam.  Ebrahim was released after a charitable group paid his blood debt.  Ebrahim, since he converted to Islam, was given the opportunity to stay in Saudi Arabia, however, he chose to return home to his family in the Philippines.  



On Monday, August 4, 2014, a Nepali housemaid was executed by beheading for murdering a two-year-old boy by slitting his throat.  No additional details of the crime were given.  The maid’s execution occurred the day after the Islamic holiday of Ramadan ended.


On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Maqbul Bin Madi Al Sharari was executed by beheading for torturing and beating his two-year-old son to death.  The torture included burning different parts of his body and punching the boy in the face repeatedly.



Somalia: On Sunday, August 3, 2014, three men were executed by firing squad.  The men were convicted of murdering civilians in a series of recent attacks.  The sentence was handed down by a military court, which drew criticism from international human rights groups, as international standards prohibit civilians from being tried in front of a military court.



Sri Lanka: Seven individuals were sentenced to death by the Panadura High Court for the 2005 murder of a youth.  Also sentenced to death for an unrelated murder was a 31-year-old man.  He was sentenced by Ratnapura High Court Judge Achala Wengappulli.


A 34-year-old has been sentenced to death by Moneragala High Court Judge Gihan H. Kulathunga for the sexual abuse and murder of a six-year-old boy.  The crime occurred in Battala on April 15, 2006.



United Arab Emirates: A government charity has paid the required blood money to ensure the freedom of a man convicted of killing a friend during a fight in 2013.  The man’s accomplice in the murder was able to pay his portion of the blood money.  Both men will be released.  If the men had been unable to pay the blood money, they would have been executed.



United States of America: Michael Shane Worthington was executed by the state of Missouri on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.  Michael was 43 years of age.  He was executed for the rape and murder of 24-year-old Melinda Griffin.  Read his full story here.


William Montgomery was scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, for the murder of 20-year-old Debra Ogle and 19-year-old Cynthia Tincher.  His execution has been rescheduled to February 11, 2015, after Judge Gregory Frost placed a hold on executions in Ohio to allow time for appeals regarding Ohio’s new execution protocol.  Read William’s story here.


Manuel Vasquez was scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, for the murder of 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra.  His execution has been delayed, although no new execution date has yet been set.  Manuel’s execution was delayed at the request of his attorney who claimed he did not have enough time to complete the necessary paperwork prior to the execution.  Read Manuel’s full story here.



An Alabama legislator is advocating for the state to return to using the electric chair for executions.  State Representative Lynn Greer is in favor of returning to the electric chair due to the shortage of execution drugs around the country.  Currently, Alabama has 16 death row inmates who have exhausted their appeals and are eligible to receive execution dates, however, no dates can be set since Alabama cannot obtain the necessary drugs to carry out the executions.  Suppliers are unwilling to provide execution drugs as the state currently has no laws which would protect their identity.  Legislation has been proposed which would protect the identity of the drug suppliers.  It is predicted that next spring would be the earliest Alabama would be able to resume executions - either with lethal injection or electrocution.


There are 33 inmates on death row in Kentucky.  It is highly unlikely that any will be executed within the next year, as the state is under a court stay.  Although some lawmakers are debating abolishing the death penalty, no death penalty bills have been filed for the 2015 season.