March 31, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 13

Bahrain: Two individuals have been sentenced to death for their part in bomb attack on a police patrol in 2015, that resulted in the death of two officers and six other being injured. Five other individuals were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the attacked, while six others received 10-year prison sentences and two others were acquitted.



China: The mother of Nie Shubin, a 20-year-old man wrongfully convicted and executed for rape and murder over 20 years ago, will receive approximately 2.7 million yuan ($391,000). The family was asking for 13.9 million yuan ($2 million). The mother has said that she will not appeal the compensation amount. Over a decade after Nie’s execution, another man confessed to the crime, although courts had already stated concerns over Nie’s conviction and execution.



Iraq: A youth has been stoned to death, after being thrown to the ground from a roof top, by the Islamic State in Mosul, after being accused of being a homosexual. These types of killings are common within the terrorist organization, which claims to strictly follow Sharia law.



Japan: Gen Sekine, a death row inmate, has died in prison at the ago of 75. Gen, a former pet breeder, is believed to have died of illness. He was convicted killing four individuals in Saitama Prefecture in 1993, with whom he had a financial dispute. His wife, 60-year-old Hiroko Kazama, participated in the attack and is also on death row.

Forty-four-year-old Tomoyasu Takiya has been extradited to Japan from Argentina, where he recently resurfaced. Tomoyasu has been on an international wanted list in connection with the murder of a Chinese woman, Shi Jieying in 2010. Tomoyasu is known to have stolen money from Shi, using her card at an ATM. Tomoyasu will be interrogated by police, who expect to then charge him with murder.



Pakistan: On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Amir Bahadur was executed by hanging at Haripur jail. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 2008. He appealed his convicted to the Peshawar High Court and, later, the Supreme Court. Both appeals were denied, as was his mercy petition to the president of Pakistan.

On Thursday, March 29, 2017, Tahir was executed at a Kohat jail. Tahir was described as a “hardcore terrorist,” belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban, a banned terrorist group that was involved in the 2012 Bannu jailbreak, which released several of the groups leaders.



United Arab Emirates: Ten young Indian boys have likely been spared execution after the father of their victim, from Pakistan, appeared in court to agree to pardon the boys. An Indian charity donated the required blood money to spare the lives of the ten boys. The victim was murdered allegedly after he got into a dispute of bootlegging with eleven boys from India. All but one was sentenced to death for his murder.



United States of America: A bill has been introduced to the Nevada legislature that would abolish the death penalty in the state. The bill would also commute the death sentences of those already incarcerated to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Supports of the bill claim now is the time to eliminate the death penalty, as the state has been unable to find a supplier for execution drugs. Last year, Nevada renovated the death chamber, which has yet to be used. The state currently has 82 inmates on death row and the last execution occurred on April 26, 2006.

Zane Jack Fields, a death row inmate in Idaho, was found unresponsive in his cell on Monday, March 27, 2017. First aid was administered but Zane was pronounced dead an hour later, around 8 am. Although cause of death has not yet been determined, as no autopsy has yet been performed, Zane is believed to have died of natural causes. He was 58 years of age. Zane was sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of 69-year-old Mary Catherine Vanderford during the robbery of her gift shop in Boise, Idaho.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled, by a vote of 5-3, that the standard used by Texas to determine mental competency is unacceptable. The ruling came on a case revolved around death row inmate Bobby James Moore. Bobby and his attorneys were arguing that the execution of Bobby would be a violation of his 8th Amendment rights and that Texas’ method for determining mental competency were outdated and unscientific. The court ruled that the state has not updated it methods for determining competency in relation to the death penalty. In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that intellectually disabled individuals could not be executed, as it was a violation of their 8th Amendment rights, however, the court left it to the states as to how to determine mental competency, with few guidelines. The Supreme Court criticized Texas’ high reliance on IQ scores, especially when the scores were close to the cut-off score of 70 (any adult with an IQ less than 70 is deemed intellectually disabled), and the Texas’ methods were “unconnected to modern medical consensus.”

Lawmakers in Delaware are hoping to restore capital punishment in the state after the Delaware Supreme Court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that the death sentencing process violated a defendant’s 6th Amendment right to a trial by jury, by giving too much power judges. Judges could overruled a jury’s recommendation of life in prison, and sentence the defendant to death. The new law aims to fix that flaw, and others, that led to the law being ruled unconstitutional. The new law would require a jury to unanimously find at least one aggravating factor, beyond reasonable doubt, before a defendant would be eligible for the death penalty. The 12 men who were on death row prior to the court’s ruling have been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state’s lethal injection protocol is constitutional, meaning executions could resume. Inmates on death row were arguing that Tennessee’s execution protocol violated their 8th Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Lawyers for the inmates have promised to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, who will have to decide whether to hear the case.

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