April 7, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 14

Iran: A 21-year-old male, Sina Dehghan, has been sentenced to death for “insulting Islam” through an instant messenger when he was 19. The contents of the messages were not made public. Human rights lawyers alleged that Sina only confessed to the crime because police promised he would be released if he confessed.



Iraq: Terrorist group, the Islamic State, has murdered 140 individuals as they attempted to flee from Mosul. The terrorist group has occupied large parts of the city and those fleeing were attempting to escape into areas controlled by the Iraqi government.



Libya: Four men, accused of being homosexuals, have been thrown off a rooftop and killed, according to a video posted by a local journalist on Sunday, April 2, 2017. In Sharia law, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. The names and ages of the victims was not reported.



Pakistan: Abdul Baqi was acquitted of murder after spending eight years prison. In 2009, Abdul was convicted of killing Muhammad Ali in Balochistan in 2009. Upon appeal, it was noticed that there was a contradiction between the medical report and the statements of witnesses for the prosecution.



Palestine: Three men, aged 32, 42, and 55, have been executed by Hamas in Gaza. All three men, whose names were not reported, have been convicted of treason and conspiring with foreign parties.



United States of America: Three legislators in Louisiana have introduced two bills which would abolish the death penalty in the state. Each of three legislators have experience working with the criminal justice system, although all have expressed different reasons for supporting the abolishment of capital punishment. Neither of the bills would affect the 73 men and women already on death row. Louisiana’s last execution occurred in 2010. Since then, the state has had difficulty obtaining execution drugs.

By a vote of 78 to 19, the Alabama House of Representatives has approved a measure that would end the practice of judicial override. Alabama remains the only state in the nation that allows judges to override the recommendation of the jury Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has indicated that he will sign the bill when he receives it. The practice would be abolished immediately.

The execution of one of the eight men scheduled to be executed later this month in Arkansas has been stayed. The execution of Jason McGehee was stayed after the Arkansas Parole Board recommended that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson grant clemency. With that recommendation, McGehee is entitled to a 30-day comment period, which will not expire until after the execution, and after the state’s supply of execution drugs has expired. The Arkansas Parole Board also recommended against granting clemency to face other inmates, and has yet to rule on another.

The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Ohio's three-drug lethal injection process is unconstitutional, specifically, the use of the sedative midazolam. Midazolam has been a controversial drug in executions, as several prolonged executions have used the drug, however, it has also been used successfully in numerous executions. Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States had previously ruled that midazolam can be used in executions. Ohio had planned to resume executions on May 10. The Ohio attorney general is considering asking for the full appeals court to review the ruling or appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States.

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