April 8, 2016

IDPN 2016  Issue15


China:  A man, Luo Renchu, a former worker at a nursing home, has been sentenced to death for killing nine individuals and injuring nine others at the nursing home in 2015.  Allegedly, the attack was sparked by a dispute with the owner over unpaid wages.



Iran:  According to Amnesty International, the nation executed at least 977 individuals in 2015, compared to at least the 743 individuals the year before.  Not all executions are reported.  The nation also executed several juvenile offenders, which violates international law.  Amnesty International also questions the legal process in the nation, with accusations of unfair trials, with inmates receiving in adequate counsel.



Pakistan:  On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, Aslam was executed by hanging in Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore.  Aslam was executed for the murder of another man in 2003.  Farrukh Shahzad was also scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, however, his execution was postponed after reaching an agreement with the victim’s families.


On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, three men were executed by hanging at Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore.  Brothers Imran and Luqman were executed for killing Ali in Islamabad in 1996, while Rahil was executed for the 1994 murder of another man in Sargodha.



Saudi Arabia:  On Thursday, March 31, 2016, Mohammed al-Khaweir al-Qahtani was executed for the murder of Hussein al-Shayeb al-Qahtani.  The murder occurred following a dispute between the two men.


Baddah al-Dusari and Mansur al-Azuri were each executed for murder.  Baddah was executed for the murder of fellow national Abdullah al-Qahtani and Mansur was executed for the murder of fellow national Saad al-Subaiee.  Both men were executed in al-Kharj, likely by beheading.  So far 84 individuals have been executed in the kingdom in 2016.


Government officials reportedly believe that the widespread adoption of social media is causing an outbreak of homosexuality and is considering the reinstitution of the death penalty for being homosexual.  There are currently laws on the books to punish individuals convicted of homosexuality, but the government does not fully enforce them, often convicting the person of a vaguely worded crime.  Many nations who follow Sharia currently have punishments, including death, for being homosexual.



Uganda: The nation is looking into revising its current death penalty policy.  Inmates on death row have argued that the state provided lawyers merely go through the motions, rarely visiting the inmates before the trial and doing the bare minimum while in court.  Additionally, it is nearly impossible for inmates on death row to appeal their convictions, due to the lack of willingness of the lawyers and the lack of proper record keeping.  



United States of America:  On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, Pablo Vasquez was executed by the state of Texas.  He was pronounced dead at 6:35 pm CDT.  Pablo was executed for the murder of 12-year-old David Cardenas.  Read more about Pablo here.


Wayne Doty, a death row inmate is Florida, is requesting that his appeals be dropped and that his right to counsel be waived.  If successful, Wayne’s execution would be allowed to proceed unhindered.  A judge found Wayne competent, meaning he can voluntarily drop his counsel, however the judge has not yet ruled if Wayne can drop his appeals.


William Stevens, a death row inmate in Tennessee, died of natural causes in a Nashville hospital on Monday, April 4, 2016.  He was pronounced dead at 1:57 am.  William was 60 years of age.  He was convicted and sentenced to death for the his 45-year-old wife Jean Stevens and her mother, 75-year-old Myrtle Wilson on December 22, 1997.  He spent the last 16 years of his life on Tennessee’s death row.


The US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, is currently considering whether Dylan Roof will face the death penalty for the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Dylan will face several charges, including murder and hate crimes for the slaying during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in June of 2015.


Glenn Ford served 30 years on death row in Louisiana after being wrongfully convicted of murder.  Nearly a year after his release, Glenn died of late stage lung cancer, which he alleged was discovered while he was in prison, but went untreated.  During his brief life of freedom, Glenn attempted to gain compensation for his imprisonment, which the state fought against, stating that Glenn failed to meet the burden of proof for “factual innocence.”  Now, Glenn’s remaining family has been granted the assistance of State Representative Cedric Glover, who has filed a bill that would grant the family compensation.


Terrance Carter, a death row inmate in Louisiana was found dead in his cell on Saturday, April 2, 2016.  He committed suicide by hanging.  Terrance was 36 years of age.  He was sentenced to death for the murder of five-year-old Corinthian Houston, the son of his ex-girlfriend.  Earlier in the day, another prisoner, 49-year-old Calvin Craddock was also found dead in his cell.  Calvin was serving a life sentence for raping a woman at knife point in 2004.  Both men were housed at Camp J, where prisoners spent 23 hours a day in their cells without privileges, however, it is not thought that the two men’s deaths are related.