December 5, 2014

IDPN 2014 Issue 49


China: The government has announced that beginning January 1, 2015, the nation will stop using organs from executed inmates in organ transplants.  This announcement is in response to human rights concerns.  China had previously announced that would be phasing out the practice in 2015, although this is the first firm date.  It is uncertain from where a replacement supply will come, as executed inmates are the primary source of organs.  China carries out over 1,000 executions a year, more than the rest of the world’s executions put together.



Egypt:In a mass trial, 188 defendants were sentenced to death for an attack on a police station last year.  Only 135 defendants were present at the trial.  The remainder were tried in absentia.  During the attack, 11 police personnel and 2 civilians were killed.  The defendants were also convicted of the attempted murder of 10 other individuals, sabotaging a police station, burning police vehicles and possessing heavy firearms.  This sentence will be reviewed by Egypt’s Grand Mufti and can be appealed.



Indonesia:Newly elected president, Joko Widodo, plans to take a tougher stance on drug smugglers than his predecessor, which includes executing those inmates convicted on drug charges.  In Indonesia, executions are carried out by firing squad.  The Attorney General’s office has announced that five inmates will be executed before the end of the year.  With the new president’s stance on executions, the chances of two Bali Nine members, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, or British grandmother Lindsay Staniford receiving clemency is slim.


Fifty-two-year-old Anthony Glen de Malmanche, from New Zealand, was arrested after 3.7 pounds of crystal methamphetamine were found hidden inside his backpack.  Anthony could face the death penalty for smuggling drugs.



Iran:On Saturday, November 29, 2014, 38-year-old Reza Karim Dadeh Zehi was executed by hanging for drug-related charges.  The executed took place in the main prison in the city of Kashan.  Another unidentified prisoner was executed in the main prison in the city of Qum.  The prisoner’s crime was also not reported.


Rahim Nosrallahzadeh was recently executed in a prison in the city Tabriz.  Rahim was convicted of accidentally killing a friend at the age of 14.  Executing juvenile offender is prohibited by Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which have been ratified by Iran.


On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, a total of 18 people were executed in three different prisons, according to unofficial sources.  All were executed on drug related charges.  Among the executed were two women and one Afghan citizen.



Maldives: Mohamed Niyaz has been sentenced to death for the murder of 35-year-old Ali Shiham on July 31.  Niyaz turned himself into police, confessed to the crime, and refused to defend himself in court.  The nation has had a 60-year moratorium on the death penalty, although the government has made steps to begin carrying out execution once again.  The current president, Abdullah Yameen, supports returning to the use of executions.



Qatar: A young Asian man has been convicted of killing and elderly Qatari woman in her home earlier this year.  He has been sentenced to death by firing squad.  The man confessed to the crime, saying that the killed her as revenge for humiliating him.



Saudi Arabia: The nation’s government has announced that anyone attempting to smuggle illegal drugs or any “publications that have a prejudice to any other religious beliefs other than Islam” would be sentenced to death.  This includes bring Bibles or Gospel literature into the country.


On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, Ridwan Awad Mohammed Awad, a Syrian national, was executed by beheading in Qurayyat, near the Jordan border.  Awad was executed for attempting to smuggle a large amount of amphetamine pills into the country.  He was the 75th person executed in Saudi Arabia this year.



Singapore:Forty-nine-year-old Mohd Jeefrey Jamil has been sentenced to death.  He was originally convicted of smuggling drugs into the country.  The nation has recently allowed drug couriers to be given a reduced sentence if they provided substantive assistance in disrupting drug-trafficking activities.  Jamil has failed to meet that requirement, which has resulted in him being sentenced to death. 



Somalia:Three men were executed by firing squad after a military court convicted them of killing innocent civilians.  The execution was carried out at Mogadishu’s police academy.  



United States of America: Charles Keith Richardson, an inmate on death row in California, died of natural causes on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.  He was 52 years of age.  He was convicted of raping and murdering 11-year-old April Holley in Tulare County, on December 3, 1988. 


Michael Ballard was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, in Pennsylvania.  Michael was granted a stay of execution by Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano.  Michael has chosen to give up his right to appeal, although he has joined a lawsuit against the state’s execution drugs.  Forty-year-old Michael is convicted of murdering 39-year-old Denise Merhi, 62-year-old Dennis Marsh, 87-year-old Alvin Marsh, and 53-year-old Steven Zernhelt on June 26, 2010, in Northampton, Pennsylvania. Read his full story here.


Scott Panetti was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, in Huntsville, Texas.  Less than 12 hours before his scheduled execution, Scott was granted a stay of execution by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Scott’s attorney’s argue that Scott is mentally incompetent.  Fifty-six-year-old Scott is convicted of murdering 55-year-old Joe Gaitan Alvardo, Jr., and his wife, 56-year-old Amanda Carrion Alvarado, the parents of his estranged wife, in their home on September 8, 1992, in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Read the full story here.


Richard Baumhammers was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, in Pennsylvania.  Richard was granted a stay of execution by US District Court for the Western District in order to allow Richard time to pursue his federal appeals.  Forty-nine-year-old Richard is convicted of murdering 63-year-old Anita “Nicki” Gordon, 27-year-old Theo Pham, 34-year-old Ji-ye Sun, 31-year-old Anil Thakur, and 22-year-old Garry Lee on April 28, 2000, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  Read his full story here.


James Cooke was scheduled to be executed shortly after midnight on Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Delaware.  James was granted a stay of execution by New Castle County Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter, Jr., to allow time for the Supreme Court of the United States to consider his appeal.  James’ attorneys allege that James did not have sufficient time to prepared his case after he fired his court-appointed attorney.   Forty-three-year-old James is convicted of raping and murdering 20-year-old Lindsey M. Bonistall, a University of Delaware student from White Plains, New York, on May 1, 2005.  Read the full story here.


John Grant was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Oklahoma.  John’s execution was rescheduled to Thursday, February 19, 2015, at the request of the Oklahoma Attorney General, who sought additional time for the training of the execution team after the state revised the execution process.  Fifty-three-year-old John was sentenced to death for the murder of Gay Carter at the Dick Conner Correctional Facility near Hominy, Oklahoma, on November 13, 1998.  Read his full story here.


Robert Flor was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Pennsylvania.  Robert was granted a stay of executed by the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.  Forty-seven-year-old Robert is convicted of murdering 46-year-old Newton Police Officer Brian S. Gregg on September 29, 2005, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.  Read the full story here.