August 18, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 33

Belarus: On July 21, 2017, Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy were convicted and sentenced to death by the Mahiliou Region Court. Including these two men, three individuals have been sentenced to death so far this year in the nation.



Iran: On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, eight prisoners were reportedly executed by hanging at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison. All were executed on murder charges. Only five of the eight individuals were named - Mostafa Bashkouh, Rasoul Gol Mohammadi, Shahram Abadeh, Seyed Mohammad Seyed Abdollah, and Moharram Abdi.



India: Ishawari Lal Yadav and his wife Kiran Bai have had their executions stayed by the Chattisgarh High Court, in order to allow the court time to review the case. Ishawari and Kiran have been convicted of murdering two-year-old Chirag Rajput, who went missing on November 23, 2010. The couple is convicted of offering the boy as a human sacrifice in an ancient yogic spiritual practice. Chirag’s body was discovered chopped into pieces. The couple, along with five others, were linked the disappearance of 10 others.

Seven individuals - Manoj Atram, Devidas Atram, Yadhavrao Tekam, Punaji Atram, Ramchandra Atram, Motiram Atram and Yashodabai Meshram - were sentenced to death for “sacrificing” 7-year-old Sapna Palaskar on October 23, 2012. Another individual, Durga Shirbhate, has been sentenced to five years rigorous punishment for being part of the conspiracy. The group murdered the young girl to appease a goddess that was possessing one of their group and spare them and their village from her wrath.



Nigeria: Airman Kalu Bernard has been sentenced to death for the March 12 murder of his girlfriend, Oladipupo Sholape. Kalu has also been accused of housebreaking, impersonating a commissioned officer on Facebook with intent to defraud, and the attempted murder of Samuel Onah. Executions are carried out by hanging in Nigeria.



United States of America: Prison officials in Mississippi have announced that they have procured a new supply of execution drugs, replacing those that have expired. This revelation was made in response to an ongoing lawsuit regarding execution methods in the state. Among the issues in the lawsuit, is Mississippi’s secrecy law, which prevents the inmates and their lawyers from knowing the company who supplied the execution drugs. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood as previously stated that he hopes to ask for execution dates for two men in 2017. The last execution in Mississippi occurred in 2012.

The execution of Scott Raymond Dozier, a Nevada inmate, has been rescheduled from October 16, 2017, to some time during the week of November 15, 2017. Scott has asked that all of his appeals be dropped and his execution allowed to proceed. He recently told Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti that he does not care what drugs are used, even if there is possibility that his execution will be painful. His execution was delayed for one month as public defenders requested that Judge Togliatti make public the plans for the execution, including the drugs to be used, from where the drug are obtained, and how the drugs will be administered.

Raymond Martinez was found unresponsive in his death row cell earlier this month in Texas. Life saving measures were administered, however he was later pronounced dead in the hospital infirmary. Raymond was 71 yeas of age. It was determined that he died of natural causes. Raymond was convicted in 1984 of a 1983 saloon robbery which resulted in the death of Herman Chavis, owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Houston, Texas. After the botched robbery, Raymond and his accomplice fled to Fort Worth, where he killed a prostitute.

Gary Allen Trull, a death row inmate in North Carolina, has died on while on death row in Central prison. He was 65 years of age. Gary was convicted of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 21-year-old Vanessa Dawn Dixon in 1993. DNA testing helped convicted Gary. North Carolina’s last execution was in 2006.

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