May 30, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 22


China: Liu Han, one of the 500 richest people in China and former chairman of Sichuan Hanlong Group, has been sentenced to death for various crimes, including murder and leading an organized crime group.  Along with Liu Han, his younger brother Liu Wei and three others were also given death sentences.  Five additional people were given death sentences with a two year probation, which could lead to a reduction in their sentences to life in prison.  The Hanlong Group will also be fined for fabricating financial documents.  


On May 27, 2014, a total of 55 people were convicted on charges which included terrorism.  At least three of the 55 were sentenced to death.  Others received jail sentences for murder, separatism, and organizing or participating in terror groups.



India:Three men, who were convicted of raping a photojournalist last year in Mumbai, have been given death sentences.  A fourth man was given life in prison.  The prosecutor asked for the death sentence after stricter anti-rape laws were passed in 2012.  This conviction is the first in which the defendants have been given a death sentence while the victim is still alive.



Iran:Mahafarid Amir Khosravi a/k/a Amir Mansour Aria, was executed Saturday, May 24, 2014, for fraud.  The billionaire businessman was at the heart of the nation's largest fraud case since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  The $2.6 billion bank scam involved using forged documents.  The crime began in 2007, and a total of 39 individuals have been convicted in the case with four receiving the death penalty, two receiving life sentences, and the remaining receiving prison sentences up to 25 years.  The execution occurred inside Evin prison in the city of Tehran.


On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, one man, Erfan, was executed by hanging in the prison of Qazvin.  Erfan was executed for murder.


A woman, identified by initials only, has been executed by hanging in the prison of Amol in Northern Iran on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.  She was executed for the murder of her husband.  The woman was sentenced to "qisas," that is, retribution in kind; an eye for an eye.  If sentenced to qisas, the family of the victim has the option of carrying out the execution.  The woman was executed by her mother-in-law, according to reports.



North Korea: Following the collapse of a North Korean apartment block, which caused the death of over 500 people, including high ranking intelligence and police officials, Kim Jong-un had the engineers and architects of the building executed.  Allegedly, Kim was unable to sleep because of the tragedy, which was thought to be caused by poor workmanship.  Four design and construction engineers were executed by firing squad, while a military official in charge of the project was sent to a prison camp.



Qatar: A Filipino man has been sentenced to death for passing Qatar military secrets, including aircraft, weaponry, maintenance records, service records, and names, ranks, and phone numbers of staff, to Filipino intelligence officials.  Two other Philippine nationals were also convicted and sentenced to life in prison, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.



Saudi Arabia:An unnamed man, from the Qatif area in the Eastern Province, has been sentenced to death for shooting at a police patrol, in addition to other crimes, according to Saudi new agency.  Saudi Arabia has a zero tolerance policy towards attacks on men in uniform.


A man, 18-year-old Ali Al Nimr, has been sentenced to death after being convicted of sedition, rioting, protesting, and robbery in the district of Qatif.  The man, a Shiite, lived in Qatif where many Shiites have alleged that they face entrenched discrimination.  Since February of 2011, protests have erupted, calling for democracy and equal rights between the sects.  Ali is not the first to be arrested, with over a dozen other men also on trial for similar crimes.



Singapore:A 42-year-old drug courier, Yip Mun Hei, has been spared from execution after a successful appeal under the nation's amended drug laws.  Yip was caught with 31 packets of diamorphine.  Yip was spared after he significantly assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau in disrupting drug activity in Singapore.  Additionally, Yip was able to prove he only transported the drugs; he was not involved in the buying or selling of the drugs.



Somalia: Twenty-one-year-old Nour Abdale Awale, who is suspected of being a member of an Al-Qaeda linked group, was executed after being caught "red-handed."  He was executed at the spot he was caught, without a trial.  The military court has recently issued an emergency order granting military personnel to execute Nour on the spot instead of taking him into custody.  Nour was accused of possessing illegal weapons and being the mastermind behind an attack on the Somali Federal Parliament complex, which resulted in the death of over 10 people, with dozens more being injured.



United States of America: The Supreme Court of the United States has banned Florida, and other states with similar laws, from using IQ scores alone to determine if an inmate is mentally competent and thereby eligible for execution.  In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that intellectually disabled inmates could not be executed, but left it up to the states to set their own guidelines for proving mental competency or incompetency.  The Supreme Court recommended a three-pronged approach to determining competency but some states, such as Florida, will not allow additional evidence towards incompetency to be presented if the inmate has achieved and IQ score higher than 70, the generally recognized cutoff as intellectually disabled.  By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the United States says that those states must allow additional evidence to be presented.


US District Judge Gregory L. Frost has issued a temporary moratorium on executions in Ohio until, at the earliest, August 15, 2014.  This order comes shortly after Ohio completed its review into the prolonged execution of Dennis McGuire in January of this year.  Ohio determined that the execution drugs worked properly, although it took longer than anticipated.  The state also determined that McGuire was asleep during the execution.  However, to alleviate further concerns, Ohio announced that it would be increasing the dosage of drugs used in its executions.  Judge Frost placed a stop on all Ohio executions on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in order for legal issues related to the new procedures to be worked out in court.  Two executions were scheduled to occur during the time of Frost's temporary moratorium: Ronald Phillips on July 2, 2014, and William Montgomery on August 6, 2014.  Each has been given a new execution date - September 18, 2014, and February 11, 2015, respectively.


Attorney General for Missouri, Christ Koster, has proposed that Missouri establish a "state-operated, DEA-licensed, laboratory to produce execution chemicals" for the state.  If such a proposal were to succeed, it would be a first in the United States.  It is thought that such an action would, in the long run, save the state money and provide more transparency in the execution process.  


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has reversed a previous decision regarding the secrecy surrounding the source of the state's execution drugs.  Previously, Abbot ruled that Texas must reveal the source of the execution drugs.  He has since reversed his decision, as pharmacies associated with providing execution drugs have been targeted and harassed with threats of violence.  His decision will likely be appealed.