October 14, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 42
Bangladesh: Twelve individuals who were convicted of being involved in the bombing of a Dhaka cafe in July, have been executed. The 12 individuals were members of the Islamist militant group who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Several other members were killed during a gun battle with security forces.
Indonesia: The nation’s Parliament has approved new punitive measures. Among the new measures is the approval of the death penalty and chemical castration for those found guilty of sexual abuse of minors. Also included was approval for the use of tracking devices for convicted offenders who have completed their prison terms. Prim Minister Joko Widodo is known for his support of tough punishments and the use of capital punishment.
United States of America: Thirty-eight-year-old Richard Penunuri, a death row inmate in California, attacked a correctional officer with a makeshift weapon on October 3, 2016. Richard attacked the officer while he was being secured in a shower stall. The guard had a serious cut to his arm but is expected to make a full recovery. Ten years ago, Richard attacked another correctional officer in a similar manner.
Shaun Michael Bosse was convicted in Oklahoma for the murders of 25-year-old Katrina Griffin, 8-year-old Christian Griffen, and 6-year-old Chasity Hammer, and for burning the family’s mobil home in 2010. The Supreme Court of the United States has recently overturned that sentence, agreeing with Shaun’s attorneys that the family members of the victims should not have been allowed to ask the jury to sentence Shaun to death. Shaun will receive a new sentencing hearing.
Last month, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Missouri had to reveal the identity of the lethal injection supplier, stating that Missouri’s concerns over revealing that information was “inherently speculative” and “hearsay.” Now, the court has reversed its decision. They unknown supplier requested and was allowed to join the state’s case under a pseudonym. They submitted additional information to the court and affirmed that if their identity was revealed they would stop supplying execution drugs to the state. They also said that they feared for their personal safety should the name of the company be revealed.
After one of its execution drug expired, Nevada prison officials sent out over 200 requests for proposals from pharmacies in order to obtain a new reserve of drugs. The state did not hear back from a single supplier. Currently lethal injection is the only approved method of execution in the state. The state is currently examining its options. The Nevada legislature recently approved the building of a new execution chamber, which will also serve as an attorney-inmate meeting area and storage area. Currently there are 81 inmates on death row in the state. No executions are currently scheduled. The last execution carried out by the state was in 2006.
Timothy Lee Hurst is the Florida death row inmate who brought the case before the Supreme Court of the United States, arguing that Florida’s death penalty sentencing procedure was unconstitutional, as judges were allowed to overrule the recommendation of the jury. Timothy won his lawsuit, forcing the state to rewrite its death penalty sentencing procedure, a process that is still ongoing. As expected, the Florida Supreme Court has vacated Timothy’s death sentence, granting him a new sentencing trial. Death row inmates in several other states have followed Timothy’s example, although none of those cases have reached the Supreme Court of the United States.
Zimbabwe: Legislators have stated that there is little they can do about the death penalty in the nation. The decision whether to abolish the death penalty, according the legislatures, rests with executive and political party leaders. Those who oppose the death penalty in the nation are in the minority, making it impossible to abolish the death penalty. There are at least 117 inmates on death row in the nation. There is currently an unofficial moratorium on executions in the nation, although it could end at any time. Recently, the government has advertised that it is looking to hire a hangman.