January 9, 2014

IDPN 2015  Issue 02


Argentina:The nation’s government has agreed to extradite American Kurt Sonnenfeld, who is accused of killing his wife in 2002.  Kurt sought asylum in Argentina, claiming he had been set up.  Kurt claimed that his wife shot herself.  Part of the agreement for the extraction included the promise that Kurt would not face the death penalty.



Belgium: Fifty-one-year-old Frank Van Den Bleeken was scheduled to have a “medically assisted suicide,” at his own request, on Sunday, January 11, 2015.  Frank, is currently serving life sentence for rape and murder, with no chance of release, as he is unable to overcome to violent sexual impulses.  Belgium does not have the death penalty on its books, but the Justice Department has agreed that Frank has the right to die, as he spent the last 30 years in prison and has had a lack of therapy for him.  Doctors, however, have refused to assist in the death.  Instead, Frank will be assessed in a new psychiatric center before possibly being transferred to a center which deals with long-term inmates.



China: A post-graduate student, Lin Senhao, has had his sentence of death upheld.  Lin was a medical student when he poisoned his roommate, killing him.  Lin claims that the poisoning was intended to be an “April fool’s joke.



Iran:On Thursday, January 1, 2015, 38-year-old A. Azizi was executed by hanging for drug charges in Qazvin in western Iran.  He wife and 18-year-old daughter were arrested with him.  His wife received a 15 year sentence.  In addition to Azizi, a group of four women were executed in Kerman in souther Iran on January 1; two prisoners were hung in Bandar Abbas; seven prisoners were hung in Shahab prison; and a 30-year-old man had his hand amputated in Mashhad.  The names and crimes of the executed inmates were not reported.


On Sunday, January 4, 2015, Mehdi V, Ehsan K, and Mahmood K, were publicly executed by hanging for the rape of a young woman near Torqabeh.




Pakistan: On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, Ahmen Ali alias Sheesh Nag and Ghulam Bashir alias Doctor, were executed by hanging.  The two men were part of a banned terrorist organization.  Both were convicted of multiple murders.



Qatar:Three Asian men have been given the death sentence after being convicted of killing an elderly Qatari woman in her home three years ago.  The men are alleged to have worked at a nearby construction site and knew the woman, as she had invited them for meals during Ramadan.  The three men eventually confessed to the crime.



Saudi Arabia:On Tuesday, January 6, 2014, Mohammed al-Mahameed, a Syrian, was executed by beheading for drug trafficking.


The father of a man who son was killed has forgiven his son’s killer in court, requiring no diya or blood money.  The father is quoted as saying I “pardoned him for God’s sake…I don’t want anything except God’s mercy.”



United States of America: Warren Henness was scheduled to be the first execution of the year in the United States on Wednesday, January 7, 2015.  His execution was rescheduled to July 15, 2015, due to legal challenges to Ohio’s execution protocol.  Warren is convicted of murdering 51-year-old Richard Myers during a robbery on March 20, 1992.   Read his story here.


Christopher “Cool C” Roney, a Pennsylvania rapper, was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, January 8, 2015.  His execution was stayed by the US District Court for the Eastern District.  Christopher is convicted of murdering 43-year-old police officer Lauretha Vaird during a robbery.  Read the full story here.


Twenty-four-year-old Paul Ciancia is charged with a deadly shooting rampage at the Los Angeles International Airport in California in November of 2013, which killed 39-year-old TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez and injured three others.  Federal prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty for Paul.


A legislator in Alabama plans to introduce legislation that would allow for the use of the electric chair for executions.  Alabama, like many other states, is currently having difficulties obtaining execution drugs.  Additionally, lawsuits are pressuring the state to reveal details about the suppliers of the execution drugs.


The trial for the surviving Boston Marathon Bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is scheduled to begin on January 26, 2015.  If convicted, he could face the death penalty.  Jury selection has begun for his trial, which will occur in Boston, Massachusetts.  The bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people, including a child, and injured 264 others, including 17 to lost limbs.  Dzhokhar is also being charged with the murder of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer.